Is Management of Portfolios (MoP) for me?

Management of Portfolios (MoP), from the OGC, is a new set of guidance for the effective and efficient management of portfolios of projects and programmes.

In these post-recessionary days we are often faced with common questions such as ‘do we have a budget for this?’, ‘should we be doing this?’ or ‘are these risks worth taking?’ Both individuals and organisations are a lot more careful with how they handle their investments. The days of when projects were loosely managed with project managers having carte blanche to spend thousands without having a clear idea of the costs, risks and benefits are over.

MoP seeks to address this gap in the market that has existed up until now. It allows organisations to ensure that investments in any portfolios of projects and programmes are right for them and identify how they will contribute to their strategic objectives. MoP achieves this by ensuring:

  • The programmes and projects undertaken are prioritised in terms of their contribution to the organisation’s strategic objectives and overall level of risk
  • Programmes and projects are managed consistently to ensure efficient and effective delivery
  • Benefits realisation is maximised to provide the greatest return (in terms of strategic contribution and efficiency savings) from the investment made.

(Bullet points taken from Management of Portfolios Overview by Craig Kilford)

At the core of MoP are the five principles of portfolio management, and two cycles. These cycles are focused on the planning and delivery of portfolios, and their constituent parts and practices work with the context of the five principles.

The five principles of portfolio management are as follows:

  1. Senior Management Commitment
  2. Governance Alignment
  3. Strategy Alignment
  4. Portfolio Office
  5. Energised Change Culture.

The first of the two cycles, the Portfolio Definition Cycle, deals with planning of a portfolio. Its key stages are: Understand, Categorise, Prioritise, Balance and Plan.

This cycle helps the organisation to understand the scope of the portfolio, prioritise the order of tasks, understand how all the resources need to be managed, and create a portfolio strategy and delivery plan based on all these understandings.

The second cycle, the Portfolio Delivery Cycle, is tasked with the effective and efficient delivery of the portfolio strategy and delivery plan created by the Portfolio Definition Cycle. Its key elements are: Management Control, Benefits Management, Financial Management, Risk Management, Stakeholder Engagement, Organisational Governance and Resource Management.
This second cycle is also tasked with adapting the portfolio according to changes in strategic objectives, project and programme delivery and lessons learned.

MoP is designed to be used in any organisation, it does not matter whether you currently have in place any formal methods for programme or project management. Though having such methods in place will make the use of MoP more robust, any organisation can benefit from implementation.

The core MoP guidance is available from the IT Governance online store in various formats. We offer all of the current official books in our MoP Core Guidance and Study Kit.  

We will be offering a selection of courses as soon as the MoP qualification scheme is launched.