Portfolio, Program & Projects

Recently I had the opportunity to interact with the CEO of a manufacturing company, a supplier of automobile accessories to globally renowned brands of automobiles. He has this wonderful plan to increase the turnover of the company 10 times (10X) within the next five years time. Going by his track record, this is quite feasible, if the portfolio of programs, projects and other work supporting this vision are planned properly and executed well.


  • Portfolio is a collection of programs, projects and other work, supporting the organization’s business strategy for growth.
  • Project Portfolio Management (PPM) or Enterprise Portfolio Management (EPM) is always linked to achieving the business goals of the organization.
  • Portfolio management comprises of;
    • Selecting the right projects which are in true alignment to the organization’s strategy for growth.
    • Maintaining this alignment throughout by optimizing the project portfolio according to the dynamic changes in the environment.
  • Project portfolio management is performed Portfolio managers
  • Program managers of the programs which are part of the portfolio reports to the portfolio manager


  • Programs are a collection of inter-related projects, which when done together provides more value than doing them one after the other.
  • Programs are managed my program managers
  • Project managers of the projects which are part of the program reports to the program manager
  • It is not mandatory that projects must be part of programs. There can be independent stand alone projects which are not part of any program.


  • Projects are unique in nature
  • Have definite start and end dates
  • Delivers unique products or services as output
  • Are progressively elaborated
  • Are considered as successful when completed within the agreed upon time and cost, and met the business goal for which the project was undertaken.
  • Managed by project managers


Portfolios, Programs and Projects are tightly linked and a good understanding of the linkages will help to manage the projects better. Without establishing the linkages correctly, integrated approach to portfolio, program and project management cannot be implemented, which in turn can affect the organization’s plans for growth.