The rings of project, program and portfolio management

I found this nice summary of the relationship between project, program and portfolio management on the Facebook page:

The graphic is from an Italian PPM consulting firm called Humanware and I think it pretty much captures in a nice graphical way, how project management is a subjection of program management which in turn is a subsection of portfolio management.  Another important way to think about these relationships is to view it from the following:

  1. Tactical (project) management – In this area, the focus is on the tactical completion of work.  What are the tasks, issues, scope, risks, etc. that I need to manage to deliver this project on time, within budget and scope.
  2. Tactical/strategic (program) management – Program management is about the grouping and management of projects that are interrelated and oftentimes overlapping that a program manager is tasked with overseeing to ensure they are being managed to meet their tactical goals.  But in addition, s/he needs to ensure those projects are fulfilling their strategic initiative such as containment of risks, achievement of economies of scale, cost optimization, integration of product deliverables, etc.
  3. Strategic (portfolio) management – This is viewing programs and projects at the organizational level with the view towards how these align with not only the company’s overall financial and strategic plan, but should also with the company’s mission and core values.

My current day to day work as a corporate project manager within the IT department forces me to focus almost entirely on the inner ring of project management within the narrow confines of the IT department, and the above graphic reminds me that I need to look outward more so that I keep a more broader perspective on how my project(s) effect the overall missions of the company.

The graphic was an excellent way to visualize that.

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