PORTFOLIOS & PROGRAMS; UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENCE

By JB Nartey · Jul 8, 2020
Portfolios & programs; understanding the difference picture

PROGRAMS

•A group of related and interdependent projects managed together to obtain specific benefits and controls that would likely not occur if these projects were managed individually.

•A centralized management of multi/multiple related & interdependent projects.

•Projects within a program are only related through a common objective/outcomes or collective capability.

•If the relationship between the projects is that of a shared/common client, seller(contractor), technology or resource. The efforts should be managed as a portfolio of projects rather than a program.

•Program manager focuses on the project interdependencies to determine the optimal approach for managing them.

•The group of projects inter-related via a common objective and outcome and also interdependent within an organization/department/PMO could be an example of a program and could be managed by a HOD/ Program Manager/PMO Head

•The HOD/ Program Manager/PMO Head on a monthly/quarterly uses the Program M&E tools to monitor & evaluate the PM elements(cost,time,quality,scope,risk) across the entire program looking for ways to leverage economies of scale, identify, authorise and prioritise the projects in terms of program impact, reduce risk and improve the probability of the program successfully delivering the expected program strategic objectives/ outcomes/results or benefits.

PROGRAM MONITORING & EVALUATION( M&E) TOOLS  

•Program Performance Management Systems(PMS)

•Program M&E Softwares - MIG-MIS,EPWP-MIS, PPO etc

EXAMPLE; KSD PIP PROGRAM 

•Project 1; upgrade & ext of bulk water infrastructure

•Project 2; upgrade & expansion of wtw & pump stations

•Project 3: construction of water reticulation & associated works

•Project 4: integration of projects 1,2 & 3

•Project 5; testing & commissioning

 

EXAMPLES; PROGRAM 

•RDP

•DBSA Siyenza Manje Program,

•EPWP- Expanded public works program,

•National Feeder Roads Rehabilitation program.

•Bucket Eradication Program

•Mud School Eradication Program

PROGRAM PHASE/SUB-PROGRAM 

•Grouping of similar or Identical inter-related and interdependent projects within a program on a basis of their common nature of work for the purpose of better management and control.

EXAMPLE; PROGRAM PHASE/SUB-PROGRAM 

•MTHATHA SEWER SYSTEM REPAIRS & UPGRADE  - PROGRAM

Rehabilitation of 25 man-holes -Sub-Program1/Phase1

Rehabilitation of 15 Sewer Pump stations- Sub-Program2/Phase2

Replacement of the damaged sewer pipes--Sub-Program3/Phase3

Integration of Phases 1,2 & 3 - Sub-Program 4/Phase4

Testing and Commissioning- Sub-Program 5/Phase 5

 

PROGRAM CLUSTER 

•Grouping of similar or identical inter-related and interdependent projects within a program/sub-program or phase on a basis of geographical proximity or common geographical location for the purpose of facilitating better management and control.

EXAMPLE; PROGRAM CLUSTER 

MTHATHA SEWER SYSTEM REPAIRS & UPGRADE  - PROGRAM

Rehabilitation of 15 Sewer Pump stations- Sub-Program2/Phase 2

      1. Rehabilitation of 3 Sewer Pump stations  at Ngangelizwe

                - Phase2, Cluster 1- Ngangelizwe Cluster 

      2. Rehabilitation of 1 Sewer Pump stations at Northcrest

               - Phase 2,Cluster 2- Northcrest Cluster 

 

PORTFOLIO

•Projects or programs not necessarily directly related or interdependent that are managed as a group to achieve strategic business/portfolio objectives.

•A centralized management of multi/multiple projects,programs and possibly portfolios.

•The group of projects and programs not necessarily related within the infrastructure department/PMO could be an example of a portfolio and could be managed by a HOD/ Portfolio Manager/PMO Head

•The HOD/portfolio manager/PMO Head on a monthly/quarterly basis uses the Portfolio M&E tool to monitor & evaluate the PM elements(cost,time,quality,scope,risk) across the entire portfolio looking for ways to leverage economies of scale, identify, authorize and prioritize projects in terms of portfolio impact, reduce risk and improve the probability of the portfolio successfully delivering the expected portfolio strategic objectives/ outcomes/results or benefits.

PORTFOLIO MONITORING & EVALUATION(M&E) TOOLS 

•Portfolio Performance Management Systems(PMS) 

•Portfolio M&E Software tools- MIG-MIS,EPWP-MIS,PPO etc


EXAMPLES; PORTFOLIO

•ORTDM Rural Sanitation Portfolio( over 100 Projects)

•KZN Basic Education Infrastructure Development  Portfolio(179 projects)

•2010 World Cup Legacy Portfolio(16 projects)

SUB-PORTFOLIO

•Grouping of similar/Identical independent projects within a portfolio on a basis of their common of nature of work for the purpose of better management and control.

EXAMPLE; SUB-PORTFOLIO

•KZN BASIC EDUCATION INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT PORTFOLIO

         1. Repairs of 63 storm damaged schools- Sub-Portfolio1 

         2. 341 school sanitation repairs & upgrades - Sub-Portfolio2

         3. 3 school maintenance projects - O& M Sub-Portfolio 

PORTFOLIO CLUSTER

•Grouping of similar/identical independent projects within a sub-portfolio on a basis of geographical proximity or common geographical location for the purpose of maximizing strategic impact in that locality or region.

EXAMPLWE; PORTFOLIO CLUSTER 

•KZN BASIC EDUCATION INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT PORTFOLIO

341 school sanitation repairs & upgrades - Sub-Portfolio2

         1. Cluster 1- North-Coast Cluster

         2. Cluster 2- Midlands Cluster

 

PORTFOLIO PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT; 

Resource Frustrations/Competition

•Project managers who find themselves continually frustrated by lack of resources or by other organizations stealing their resources should be especially interested in Project Portfolio Management.

•These frustrations are symptoms of an unbalanced (or unacknowledged) project portfolio. In short, the frequent complaint of “not enough resources,” is simply another way of saying that there are too many projects! And if there are too many projects, then someone should be sorting them out, prioritizing them, and “killing” the projects that aren’t high priority.

•Every project manager wants to have enough resources available to complete high-quality project deliverables, on-time and within budget. And every project manager wants to work on projects that are perceived to be valuable and, therefore, enjoy plenty of support throughout the organization.

How to overcome it; Use Project Portfolio Management Tool(PPM)

•PPM can help project managers achieve both of these visions.

•Effective PPM can help make a project manager’s life much easier and more professionally rewarding.

•More importantly, it can help an organization align its project workload to meet its strategic goals, while making the best use of limited resources.

•But PPM can’t be effective without solid, well-documented project plans, accurate estimates of resource requirements, and accurate information about actual resources consumed.

KEY LESSONS/TAKE AWAYS  

•You don’t use project management principles to manage a program/portfolio or vice versa.

•As PMs you need to first of  all know whether your project is a stand-alone project or part of a program or portfolio(Consult the IDP/SDBIP)

•If it is part of a program or portfolio then you must seek to know, appreciate and ensure that the strategic objectives of your project is always aligned to the overall program or portfolio strategic objectives which then talks to the overall organizational goals 

 

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