Project, Program, Portfolio and Benefits Management
This paper discusses the difference between Projects, Programs and Portfolios and how they relate to Benefits Management.
What is a Project?
The International Organization for Standards (ISO) defines a project as “a unique process consisting of a set of co-coordinated and controlled activities with start and finish dates, undertaken to achieve an objective conforming to specific requirements including the constraints of time, cost and resources.”
Each project within a program needs a different set of resources to ensure success. Manpower, expert consultants, tools, workspace and time must all be allocated to the completion of a project. Project managers within a program must compete for these resources by showing the program manager how their projects will meet company or program goals.
Challenges to successful project completion, such as project creep and scheduling conflicts, can interfere with a program’s budget. As each project moves toward completion, program managers require frequent updates from project managers. Frequent updates reduce the chance of issues like project creep, which occurs when the scope of a project is not well planned. This lack of thorough planning can result in a slow spread of objectives, and much larger projects, which affects the program as a whole.
Project management is the act of creating plans and managing resources in order to accomplish a project. A project is a scheduled undertaking for the purpose of creating a product or service.
Project management is usually short-lived with specific time constraints while program management is an ongoing process in order to achieve the goals and objectives.
The job of a project manager usually involves working on finite projects or objectives. The program manager works more often with strategy.
Two common extensions of project management practice are Project Portfolio Management and...