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Project vs. Program vs. Portfolio Management

merlynBuilding on past posts, Vaughan Merlyn explains in detail the shifts occurring between business-IT maturity, portfolio management, and the process of extracting business value from IT Investments. He explains in particular how, in his opinion,  you can't avoid any level of project management (this being project management, program management, and portfolio management – and how program management is “the critical link between Project and Portfolio Management.” 

Merlyn then goes on to list three key points in order through level 2 and level 3 maturity: 

  1. You need project management as a fundamental principle
  2. You need great program management as a bridge to portfolio management. You can't easily go from project to portfolio – there are just too many projects, and projects are focused on deliverables, whereas program focus on business outcomes – which is what portfolio management needs to focus on.
  3. The biggest impact in terms of advanced IT practices comes from portfolio management (the IT investment strategy), and if you are weak in project or program management, you will never get the full potential of portfolio management. 

About Matthew Kabik

Matthew Kabik is the former Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He worked at Computer Aid, Inc. from 2008 to 2014 in the Harrisburg offices, where he was a copywriter, swordsman, social media consultant, and trainer before moving into editorial.

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