5 Reasons Why You Should Need A Program and Portfolio Management Certification

As organizations grow in size, projects that are related to each other are often clubbed together as a program to facilitate better control and deliver combined benefits. This brings into focus the need for effective Program Management in the enterprise.

At the next higher level, Project Portfolio Management, or Portfolio Management as it is more popularly known, is a practice where organizations group projects and programs and manage them as a portfolio of investments that can deliver maximized business value.
The growing importance of implementing Program and Portfolio Management (also known as PPM) methodologies reflects the benefits they deliver to organizations, and they are:
  1. Enables systematic planning: Program and Portfolio Management enable senior management to have multiple plans in place for transformational change that integrate into a coherent whole. Weightage is given to the short-term, mid-term and long-term. Going beyond tactical measures, program and portfolio management encourage the deployment of structured and consistent processes across projects to achieve maximum return on investment from change initiatives. Prioritization of projects and programs which provide maximum benefit can be done.
  2. Aligns need for change with business objectives: According to PwC’s ‘4th Global Portfolio and Programme Management Survey’, 45% of more than 3,000 global respondents reported that portfolio performance is not reviewed on a regular basis by key stakeholders to ensure alignment with organizational strategy. Portfolio Management practices advocate the setting up of a Portfolio Office / Committee that will be assigned the mandate of advising senior management on the composition of the portfolio, whether its progress is in line with plans, points of conflict, risks and other pertinent aspects. Segregation and prioritization of portfolios can also be done with respect to revenue and non-revenue (for instance, compliance) objectives. With this integral information, top level management can take hard calls on projects and programs and get the right answer to the all-important question: ‘Are the right things being done?’
  3. Develops flexibility and agility: The pace of reacting to change needs to be fast to capitalize on opportunities and solve challenges. Following Program and Portfolio Management guidance ensures that organizations are able to cope with the growing quantum and urgency of change. With the right tools and processes for proper planning, clear definition of scope during inception of programs, and utilization of business intelligence, successful and agile delivery can be ensured.
  4. Better control over resources: According to EY’s ‘In Control: How Project Portfolio Management Can Improve Strategy Deployment’, with an analysis of the strategic fit, value-add, cost, resources, change impact and risks associated with a portfolio, the likelihood of successful outcomes can be improved. The ideal Program and Portfolio Plan takes into consideration an in-depth assessment of the talent, finance, knowledge and infrastructure resource constraints related to a portfolio of projects, which enables better control over these critical factors throughout the transformational change exercise.
  5. Facilitates transparency and teamwork: By putting in place clear and co-ordinated communication channels and processes, transformation leaders can ensure the organization’s vision and plan unify the efforts of all project teams. Effective Program and Portfolio Management eliminates the disconnect between those who lead change and those who implement it, and promotes transparency in decision-making. Metrics can also be employed to assess the performance of the projects within a program and portfolio, which will enhance operational efficiencies.
  6. Improved customer satisfaction: Effective Program and Portfolio Management ensures consistency in project-based processes, leading to greater efficiency, shorter turnaround time, and higher quality of output. Any issues that crop up can be resolved through adequate reporting and monitoring on an appropriate project management application. With this focus on project deliverables, customer or end-user satisfaction can be considerably enhanced.
  7. Delivers tangible business results: Through all the above-mentioned benefits, Program and Portfolio Management methodologies can bring about growth in revenue, ROI, market share, innovation, and adherence to regulatory standards.
As more and more organizations employ Program and Portfolio Management methodologies to gain the above-mentioned benefits, the requirement for certified Program and Portfolio Managers is also on the increase. Training in the best practice guidance for these practice areas enables employees to be well-prepared for change programs and deliver the required results. In the PwC survey cited above, 73% of respondents felt that Program and Portfolio Management is recognized as a skill and gets organizational investment but less than 40% are certified in the methodology and 55% believed that organizations did not provide adequate training.

Managing Successful Programmes (MSP®) for Program Management, and Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices (P3O®) for Portfolio Management are two certification courses that enterprises can leverage for their employees to bring them up-to-speed with proven best practices. With these certifications, transformation leaders, key project managers and promising project team members will have the knowledge and skills to implement global best practices for the enterprise and bring about streamlined business change and project and program deliveries for continued success.

(This article has been written by Arvind Rongala, who is Global Training Delivery Head at Invensis Learning.)

Image: thinkstock


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