Typically, at the beginning of a financial year, the portfolio management team will be put in charge of a range of projects, including those identified in the business plan and possibly others that have run over from the previous year. This mix of projects is known as the portfolio, which, in common with the wider business, has to flex and change throughout the year. As it does so, the portfolio management team is responsible for commissioning and delivering a value-adding mix of projects within a budget, aligned with the imperatives set out by the business.
The team will normally meet every month to:
e identify candidate projects (from the business plan or elsewhere); e commission business cases;
e apportion resources across the portfolio; e identify suitable project steering groups; e delegate ownership of projects to project steering groups; e prioritise projects in the portfolio; e manage situations where benefits may be at risk.
Given the wide interest in the assorted projects, the portfolio management team may be large, increasing the risk that it will fail to operate effectively. Therefore, it is sensible to construct the team according to specific criteria:
e Do all participants carry the authority needed to make any decision required of them? e Have participants been drawn from all areas from which decisions will be needed, including sales/marketing, operations, technology, facilities/property, legal, human resources? e Are participants likely to remain committed to their responsibilities for the whole year?
At the end of the year, it should be possible to judge the team's success by looking at the extent to which:
e the mix of projects has helped to achieve defined business objectives as planned; e commercial and strategic targets have been met; e the projects within the portfolio have been delivered on time and within budget;
e the projects have produced results of acceptable quality; e the portfolio has been administered efficiently.
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