Project Portfolio Management

What Are the 5 Key Skills of a Portfolio Director?

Portfolio directors should understand which programs and projects would help in achieving company objectives. Before senior managers used to fulfill this project management role. They used to be known as project directors, program directors, and head of projects. So why a different role altogether? In this article at Strategy Execution, Lindsey Scott discusses 5 key skills of a portfolio director.

Key Skills to Become a Portfolio Director

The basic difference between a managerial role and a portfolio director is the job description. While managers ensure they deliver the projects right, directors make sure those get selected for execution in the first place.

1.    Strategy Alignment:

Portfolio directors not only select projects for delivery, they see if the strategies are aligned to improve business. They must be experienced in handling budget, strategy, PPM, and operations. Understand the processes of planning, collected data, and available functions to figure out the future. You must know how to guide, suggest, and ideate to let these strategies benefit the business.

2.    Best Practices:

Portfolio directors should know which latest best practices to follow and which to bend as per the company goals. You should have real-time experience of portfolio management to accommodate changing business demands and divergent ideas of sponsors and stakeholders. You must know how to translate the industry best practices to business owners. Create prototypes and back them up with confirmed data. Use your influence to work on projects that serve all purpose despite the limited resources and boundaries.

3.    Managing Resistance to Change:

Portfolio directors bring changes to achieve business goals. Senior management meets up directors the most. So, directors must not only understand the impact of change management, they also must translate it to others. Effective communication leads to better implementation of change management across the organization.

4.    Managing Stakeholders:

Directors need to have seamless communication across the corporate hierarchy. Communication channels are different for every stakeholder. You must know how to cater to their different styles for better stakeholder management.

5.    Lead the Way:

Some of the directors had worked as project or program managers previously. Some were a part of PMO. Others have worked as leaders in another part of the business but have limited knowledge about programs and projects. Portfolio directors are not only leading organizational change, they are also responsible for managing the team. They have to maintain cordial relationships with all the stakeholders across the globe. You also must play around internal conflicts, pet projects of company influencers, and limited resources.

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Indrani Roy

Indrani Roy is currently working as a Content Specialist for CAI Info India. She has knowledge in writing blogs, product descriptions, brand information, and coming up with new marketing concepts. Indrani has also transcribed, subtitled, edited, and proofread various Hollywood movies, TV series, documentaries, etc., and performed audio fidelity checks. She started her career by articulating a knowledge base for an IT client, and, eventually, went on to create user manuals and generate content for a software dashboard. Writing being one of her passions, reading books is naturally her favorite pastime. When not lost in the world of letters, she is a foodie, movie buff, and a theater critic.

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