Portfolio Management : Overview & Benefits

Portfolio Management :
Overview & Benefits

While the debate continues about the scope of ‘strategic performance’, there is general agreement on the need to develop a transversal view and consolidated monitoring of transformation initiatives. However, few can claim to provide a consensual and definitive definition of the role in question.

Portfolio Manager/Leader, PMO Director, Project Portfolio Manager, Head of Portfolio Management, IT Strategic Portfolio Manager or EPMO, etc. are all combinations that reflect the difficulty organisations have in appropriating this need. The question does not seem to be clear-cut among international certification training organisations either. Apart from the PMI, which has recently been working on a real innovation in terminology (cf. xMO), practitioners still oscillate between a PMO (House of PMO, AIPMO) and a Portfolio Manager (MoP and P3O from Axelos).

Plurality would not be a problem if it did not pose an obstacle on more fundamental issues, especially in the consulting professions. As an example, let’s just illustrate the need to identify the diversity and levels of services offered, processes deployed, skills required. Without this more detailed understanding, how can a business manager make sense of a client’s needs? Similarly, how can a candidate assess the fit between an assignment or job description and their own career plan? Finally, how can a talent define and prioritise this or that area of development or even define a training strategy with relevance?

It was with this field of questioning in mind that Phinest organised a company event to introduce portfolio management. Aimed at all its consultants, the consultancy firm devoted time to both the correct positioning of the function in the training professions and to clarifying the reasons for the Portfolio Manager’s existence and services (according to the MoP reference framework).

The participants now bear in mind the following major benefits.

  • The definition of a clear, realistic, manageable strategy
  • Preserving the “value for money” of strategic investment, i.e., selecting and executing only those initiatives that provide the highest level of benefits (financial, functional, etc.) within the constraints of time and resources
  • Contributing to a “clear line of sight”; in other words, ensuring the alignment and operationalisation of strategic objectives into transformational initiatives
  • Implementing performance monitoring systems and deploying solutions or working methodologies (agile, waterfall, hybrid) to support the effectiveness and efficiency of change agents

At the end of this exchange, the senior consultant shared some feedback to identify the impact of the role for an organisation as well as some of the prerequisites necessary for its proper deployment.

Thomas Pongo, 30th March 2023

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