Portfolio Management vs Program Management


In a Company or Organization Management is an act by using which all the activities are organized with a specific manner to achieve the desired target or goal. There are certain Management functions like planning, staffing Directing, reporting, Budgeting etc.


There are different types of management like Project Management, planning Management, Program Management, portfolio Management etc.

The Portfolio Management is a combination of different assets. The main target of portfolio management is to decrease the risk of the stakeholders and maximize the profit of all stakeholders. If an organization invests his money into different projects of different natures, then portfolio management comes into picture and a manager is appointed for this. There are number of investors who invest in a financial instrument like shares, debentures, fixed deposits, mutual fund units. By making the investment in different field risk of the investor is covered by use this technique called Portfolio Management. Portfolio management is the centralized management of multiple projects, programs and possibly portfolios.

Responsibilities of a portfolio manager include:

  1. To make the best use of all kind of resources
  2. Removal of low value and non-profit projects from the portfolio
  3. To make sure all projects under him are aligned with organization’s mission and goal.
  4. To present the deep understanding of profit/lost/mission/goal of all the projects
  5. Creates a methodology to develop project charter & for the selection of new projects and evaluation of existing projects
  6. Ensures balance between cost, schedule, complexity and risks associated with the projects.

Program is a group of same type of projects. There is a Program manager who is totally responsible for the program management. Main task of the program manager is to completely focus on achieving objective and benefits of the integrated program. If we are talking about the railway online system that is also programs which consist of number of project like cancelation of ticket, buying the ticket etc. These projects are of same type and grouped together to form a program. All these small projects of online railway system are managed by a Program manager using a formal project management approach.

There are certain difference between Portfolio Management and Program Management such as:

  1. Portfolio management deal with the collection of assets but the Program Management deals with the collection of projects which are combined together to make a program.
  2. Portfolio Management focuses on a long term value of stakeholders – especially of the investing company as compared to the Program Management.
  3. For the Portfolio Management manager must have analysis and decision making skills. But in a Program Management there is a requirement of leadership skills.
  4. Portfolio Management implemented for minimization of the risks. As Program Management deals with the Management of a Program. No risk has been involved in Project Management

It is best described in the below snapshot from “http://blogs.pmbestpractices.com/tag/program-management/” (Thanks to its creator)

Portfolio Management vs Program Management, Difference, Similarities


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  1. Nishant
    September 27th, 2011 at 09:50 | #1

    very well explained…

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