So What is a Portfolio of Projects?

In the news today another story about a research project backed by the Virgin Brand. This time a satellite launch from a Boeing 747. This got me thinking about an organisation holding a diverse portfolio of projects.

Portfolio of Projects

The Association for Project Management (APM) defines Portfolio Management as:

A collection of projects and/or programmes used to structure and manage investments at an organisational or functional level to optimise strategic benefits or operational efficiency.

(APM Body of Knowledge version 7, May 2019)

The APM has more detail about portfolio management on its website.

Programme of Projects

Whilst a portfolio of projects can be unrelated, a programme of projects are linked to one aim.

The APM definition:

A unique, transient strategic endeavour undertaken to achieve beneficial change and incorporating a group of related projects and business as usual (steady-state) activities.

(APM Body of Knowledge version 7, May 2019)

I wrote about the Coventry Friargate Programme in March 2016, and updated progress with another blog in August 2017. At the time I tagged these blogs with a “Programme of Projects” label, as they are all connected projects. A programme of projects should contribute to one overall aim.

Portfolio of Projects Example

So the news today is a project to launch a satellite from a Boeing 747 from 30,000ft (9144m). Another example of a high technology project backed by the Richard Branson Virgin brand.

This is also an example of how the UK government is taking a low risk and low cost route to protecting assets in earth orbit.

Now in this case, the Virgin companies are separate companies so this is not really a single company portfolio of projects. Rather this is an example of a portfolio under a brand name – Virgin gives it name  to nearly 30 organisations.

However this does give the Virgin brand a diverse portfolio of high technology projects: Virgin Galactic, Virgin Hyperloop One, and Virgin Orbit.

Summary

Diversifying is a method of reducing reliance on one particular item, product, or project.

A Portfolio of Projects allows a company (or brand)  to grow and expand at reduced risk. Failure in one project should not greatly affect other projects and commercial success of the organisation.


Posted On: 3rd October 2019

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