Organizational Context, Strategy, Operations


Boosting Organisational Value Through Smarter Portfolio Management



By Iain Fraser

New Zealand



Organizational Context of Portfolio Management

Put simply, a portfolio is ‘a way of doing business.’ A portfolio should reflect the total or parts of investment planned or made by an organization. These should be aligned with the organization’s strategic goals via its business objectives. It’s a collection of programs of work, projects and other work grouped together to facilitate effective governance, management, and control of that work to meet specific business objectives. The components are quantifiable; they can be measured, ranked, and prioritized.

A portfolio is where priorities are identified, investment decisions made, capacity is analyzed, and resources (human, financial, equipment, etc.) are allocated. If the components of each portfolio are not aligned to its business objectives, the organization’s leaders can reasonably question why the investment is being proposed, its value contribution, or why the work is being undertaken.

Portfolio management is the centralized management of one or more portfolios, which includes the enabling, identifying, balancing, measuring, adjusting and reviewing/renewing of programs of work, projects and other work to achieve specific business objectives. It is quite different from program of work management, project management or other management disciplines. These differences are mostly around the level of focus, in that portfolio management considers the achievement of objectives at a strategic level whilst programs of work, projects and other work are focused around the achievement of specific outputs and outcomes – a form of sub-plan if you will. Figure 1 shows the general relationships among the strategic, tactical, and operational processes within a typical organization.

Figure 1 The Pivot Model

From various inputs, and coordinated via a value management framework, the organizational strategy together with goals and objectives are developed. Implementation of the strategy requires the application of a strategic implementation management process, such as a value-driven portfolio management system, supported by appropriate tools, so that high-level planning and management control systems are developed and deployed for implementation purposes.


To read entire article, click here


Iain Fraser is a former Chair and Fellow of the Project Management Institute and a globally recognized PM expert and professional leader.  This series of articles on smarter portfolio management is based on Iain’s book “The Business of Portfolio Management: Boosting Organizational Value Through Portfolio Management” (PMI, 2017).

How to cite this paper: Fraser, I. (2020). Boosting Organizational Value Through Project Management:  Organizational Context, Strategy, Operations; PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue VIII, August. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/PMWJ96-Aug2020-Fraser-portfolio-management-2-organizational-context-strategy-operations.pdf



About the Author

Iain Fraser

Scotland & New Zealand



 Iain Fraser, Dip PPC, PMP, MoP, P3M3, PMI Fellow, Fellow PMINZ has over 30 years of global business, portfolio, program of work, project, and EPMO leadership experience from a variety of sectors such as oil & gas, telecommunications, power, banking, defence, government and technology. He is globally known for his expertise and in-sights on leveraging benefits from project-based management for business advantage. A former CEO, he is now an independent consultant, speaker and trainer. He is considered a thought-leader by his peers, has been featured on live radio, video and podcasts and has been quoted in The Times and The Telegraph of the UK. He is the author of the top-selling business book ‘The Business of Portfolio Management— Boosting Organizational Value(PMI, 2017) and co-author ofThe Business of People: Leadership for the Changing World(Routledge, 2019) with Madeleine Taylor as well as other publications. More at www.jacobite.co.nz

Iain can be contacted at Iain.Fraser@jacobite.co.nz.

To view other works by Iain Fraser, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/iain-fraser/