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How Are Projects Programs and Portfolios Different?

How Are Projects Programs and Portfolios Different?

As a certified project manager and portfolio manager, I am often asked, what is the difference between project, program and portfolio management? The way I explained it is to use the metaphor of a musical concert series, and it goes like this.

If you are a fan of opera, orchestra music or love a Jazz series program, then this analogy should make sense. When I think of projects, programs and portfolios I think of them in terms of musical concerts. The entire season of musical concerts would be the portfolio, each event or concert in the season would be the program and each song within a concert or program would be a project. So, you would equate a portfolio to a concert series, you would think of the concert event with multiple songs as a program and each song as a project.

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Gerald J. Leonard

Gerald J. Leonard is an international expert on the topics of Developing A Culture That Works, Strategy Implementation, and Project Portfolio Management. He is the author of Culture Is The Bass: 7 Principles for Developing A Culture That Works, and the upcoming book, Workplace Jazz: How Emotionally Connected Teams Thrive and Sustain Results. He is the CEO of Principles of Execution (PofE), a Certified Minority Business Enterprise with over 20+ years experiencing working with large Federal and State Governments and Multi-National Corporations. Gerald provides an insightful and unique way of combining his experience and expertise as a professional bassist and a certified Portfolio Management Professional consultant. Find out how you can work with Gerald as your business coach or attend one of his upcoming programs