Even the most experienced business professionals tend to misunderstand the terms project, portfolio and program, and use them interchangeably.
They often refer to a project by calling it a program, and vice versa. Surprisingly enough, there are times when project portfolios and program are erroneously used to explain one another.
This blog post is dedicated towards explaining the crucial difference between these three important management terms, their unique aspects, and roles they fulfill.
A simple and effective way to begin this is by assigning these three terms to a pyramid hierarchy. Portfolio management settles at the top section of the pyramid, comprising all programs and projects to be handled.
The middle section belongs to program management, comprising various interrelated projects, and the last section houses project management.
Keep reading for a detailed look:
Portfolio refers to a top-level view of all the projects in the organization that fulfills certain strategic corporate objectives.
This can entail projects currently opened in a specific division, or even a small department.
Managing portfolios is all about establishing priorities depending on the defined business objectives. Further down, it’s about selecting programs and projects to be carried out based on its importance, priority, corporate value, risks and resources. Let’s put it this way: project management focuses on fulfilling projects in the right manner; whereas, portfolio management focuses on fulfilling the right projects.
Program refers to a set of related projects that fulfill the same business goal or helps in achieving a specific benefit. Programs tend to have defined and clear goals. Every project within a program is geared towards meeting that goal.
People hired to look over programs, known as program managers, spend their time looking for links, associated threats, problems, prerequisites, and solutions.
Typically, the focus is not on the success of individualistic projects, but on the overall program for greater success. Program managers also ensure the right projects are selected to maximize business value.
While portfolio and program management emphasizes on the bigger picture, project management is a solitary task, or a chain of tasks intended to generate a precise product/ service/ benefit in a given timeline.
Project managers administer single projects, run teams and make sure that projects are completed within their due time, budget and prerequisites.
They devise best practices, scrutinize processes to promote efficiency, and collaborate with stakeholders to guarantee anticipated benefits.
With good project management software in place, teams and team members can expect to consistently progress, advance and upgrade, providing the organization a much needed competitive edge.
At Copper Project, we intend to provide businesses with a new way of working effective, simple and valuable. Go through our blogs to learn more about our web based project management software or get a free trial to explore its key features.