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While project and programme process models are very similar, the portfolio process model is quite different and, at first glance, appears to be much simpler.
Portfolios are very varied in their nature, scale and complexity. A small contracting organisation may have a standard portfolio of a few projects. The reasons for managing these as a portfolio are to co-ordinate resources and embed good practice consistently across all projects. This is sometimes known simply as the ‘management of projects’.
At the other end of the scale, a large multinational organisation may have a structured portfolio of projects and programmes designed to meet the strategic objectives of a five year business planning cycle.
The portfolio process model shown below is common to all types of portfolio. Complexity is addressed by the way the process is applied.
Click on the components of the diagram for more detail