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PM0010 Q1 : Explain the following a. Project vs. Program Vs. Portfolio b. Project work and Traditional functional work.

Posted on: February 22, 2012

PM0010 Q1 : Explain the following

a. Project vs. Program Vs. Portfolio

b. Project work and Traditional functional work.


a. Project Vs. Program Vs. Portfolio:

Project Management is the application of Tools and Techniques to meet Project Objectives. Project Management requires balancing key project constraints such as Scope, Schedule, Cost, Quality, Risk, Resources. Constraints are interdependent and changing one constraint impacts other constraints.

Program management is the process of managing related projects of an organisation, in order to improve the organisation’s performance.

Program group together many related projects to better manage interdependent Projects.

Program management deals with multiple projects that collectively produce an agreed business outcome – i.e., they have inter-dependencies (e.g., impact the same group of stakeholders, each contribute to achieving a business outcome, and depend upon each other to do so).  It is the management of these inter- dependencies against the delivery of the agreed outcomes that distinguishes program from project management. In the aerospace/defense industry, for example, programs have a different connotation more related to funding.

If projects can be thought of as the bottom of a hierarchy, programs sit above them in the middle of the hierarchy and address a related set of projects, then things get to be most interesting at the top of the hierarchy – the portfolio management level.

Portfolio management is a process of managing the assets to hold in a portfolio which includes choosing and monitoring of appropriate investments and allocating the funds accordingly.

Portfolio consist many projects and programs to better manage and align organization’s objectives. Projects in Portfolio might not be related or interdependent.


b. Project work and Traditional functional work:

Project work and traditional functional work differ in significant ways, and it is important to understand these differences.

Functional work is routine ongoing work. Each day machine operators, car salesmen, secretaries, accountants, financial analysts, quality inspectors perform functional work that is routine, notwithstanding some variations from day to day. The functional worker gets training from a manager assigned to the specific function, and the manager supervises and manages the worker according to standards of productivity and quality set for the particular function.

Functional work is typically structured as a hierarchical organization with traditional formal lines of authority as shown in figure below.

In contrast to functional work, project work is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique, non-routine product or service. A project manager manages a specific project with people and other resources assigned to him only for project management support on the specific project, and not on an ongoing basis. The project manager is responsible for the approved objectives of a project – such as budget, schedule and specifications. Project teams are typically not organized in the same hierarchical structure as that of functional groups. They are organized in one of the various ways which will be described in unit 6 under „Organization structure‟.

A comparison of project and functional work is as under

The traditional functional approach is not adequate in a project environment and does not promote work meeting the time, budget and quality targets fixed. The project approach promotes the innovation, experimentation and entrepreneurship, which is needed in business today.

Thus it is to be noted that a project has the following characteristics:-

1. A project has an owner

2. Fixed set of objectives those are unique

3. Goal Oriented

4. Specified time of completion (life span)

5. Specified budget

6. Performance parameters

7. Logical sequence of activities

8. Coordination between different areas of work expertise

9. Resources

10. Project team is temporary

11. Large projects involve a substantial degree of subcontracting

12. Risk

1 Response to "PM0010 Q1 : Explain the following a. Project vs. Program Vs. Portfolio b. Project work and Traditional functional work."

Thank you very much for this post i am now convinced of project characteristics.i thought of a few characteristics like -Temporary-Unique product and services-Progressive elaboration,however what i have gotten here is great.

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