Section C Management of Portfolios

To manage a portfolio of projects you need an air traffic control system. Any airport (company) will have a range of aircraft (projects) of different sizes, capability, and capacity. Small ones will be buzzing around on routine activities. Medium‐sized aircraft will be doing the boring repeat shuttled trips. There will also be a few larger aircraft, which are the more interesting ones to fly, but being unusual they need a lot of support. However, you can't have them all flying around doing their own thing because accidents will happen and disaster ensues. Like projects, most people prefer their flights to be uneventful.

Air traffic control (project portfolio management) is needed to track and monitor the pilots (project managers) and define the air corridors and flight rules (methodologies and project procedures) to be used. This ensures that flights are correctly prioritized, pre‐flight checks (feasibility studies) carried out, and collisions avoided so that whole programmes can be coordinated. The air traffic controllers aim to launch and then successfully land the right flights on time and in budget so that the key stakeholders are satisfied. Sometimes air traffic controllers look after several flights at once and, similarly, some managers will often find themselves members of several steering groups.

All aircraft, big or small, need a destination (an objective), passengers (stakeholders), and a payload of goods (benefits) to be delivered. ...

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