What is Portfolio Management (PfM)?

Portfolio management is the name given to describe an organisation’s entire basket (or a sub-group) of programme and project activity, specifically linking all the programmes and projects to the strategic goals of the organisation.

Portfolio management has become increasingly popular due to the need for business agility and the ability to link the high level corporate goals (strategy) with successful outcomes and realised benefits from the programme and project delivery.

Portfolio management is fundamentally a process which enables an organisation to monitor and adapt which programmes and projects they should be delivering in order to meet corporate objectives – in other words “Doing the right programmes and projects” as opposed to just concentrating on best practice programme and project management; “Doing the programmmes and projects right”. It is ultimately about visibility and representation at the c-suite level where the stategic decisions are made.

The Cabinet Office defines portfolio management (PfM) as;

“Portfolio Management is a co-ordinated collection of strategic processes and decisions that together enable the most effective balance of organisational Change and Business as Usual…..a corporate, strategic level process for co-ordinating successful delivery across an organisation’s entire set of programmes and projects

Whilst the Association for Project Management (APM) defines portfolio management as;

“Portfolio management is the selection and management of all of an organisation’s projects, programmes and related business-as-usual activities taking into account resource constraints. A portfolio is a group of projects and programmes carried out under the sponsorship of an organisation. Portfolios can be managed at an organisational, programme or functional level”


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