If your organisation has business transformation in its sights or is undergoing change initiatives that require multiple projects and programmes being implemented then some expertise in Management of Portfolios is essential for a successful business strategy. Take a look at our quick fire Q&A session with lead SPOCE MoP trainer and delegate favourite Julia Gosse to see why she thinks MoP is a winning course.

Question 1: What are the key advantages to using the AXELOS Management of Portfolio (MOP) approach?

Answer: Doing the right things and doing them in the right way, that’s the MoP mantra.

The terms of reference for any senior management team include setting the strategic direction of the business. The question is, how far do they actually know that the projects and programmes they are investing in are taking the organisation in the right direction?

Doing the right things in order to deliver the benefits required from the strategic direction requires review of what you are currently investing in, looking at the gap between where you are and where you want to be and identifying what you could invest in to fill the gap. This will often require a fair amount of prioritisation. MoP includes different techniques that can be used in identifying the optimum portfolio of programmes and projects that is achievable within your resource and funding limitations.

Doing them in the right way to optimise the chances of delivering the required benefits to the organisation requires mature project and programme management practices. This is where the AXELOS best practice Managing Successful Programmes and PRINCE2 can be applied to help deliver change while obtaining real, measurable business value.

MoP provides another big advantage... plugging the big black hole that benefits management often falls into at the end of a project or programme. It is able to take up the benefits management gauntlet and review the benefits expected by the organisation well into operational use.

Question 2: What made you want to focus on portfolio management in your career?

Answer: It was a natural progression from project management to programme management and from programme management to portfolio management.  As a consultant I give advice on delivering programmes and projects effectively and often the first question to ask is why are you doing this and where does it fit in your strategic plan. I was at an organisation, which shall remain nameless, where they are in the ridiculous situation of not being able to close a project because no one knows who authorised it, crazy, or what! Too many projects are ill conceived, with little or no alignment to strategy. My work also brings me into contact with great practice out there which inspires and excites me. The variety of different environments that I get the chance to work in is enormous. In just one month I have worked for a recruitment company, a space exploration company, a large financial institution and waste management for a local authority. I am always learning which l love.

Question 3: What tips do you have for keeping the momentum going after the excitement of initial implementation wanes?

Answer: Don’t try and tackle all of the issues in one go. A staged or incremental approach is often best. Keep it on the agenda for senior management focus. You can’t implement full portfolio management quickly, it takes time to fully embed it but you can make a difference in the short term, learn from it and further enhance and refine your processes.  The trick then is to keep it sustained and to keep measuring the difference portfolio management is having. Not only are you measuring the benefits that the outputs and outcomes of your projects are delivering, you also need to measure the benefits that portfolio management itself is delivering.

Question 4: Who would benefit from MoP training?

Answer: Those involved in a range of formal and informal portfolio management roles encompassing investment decision making, project and programme delivery, and benefits realisation.

It is relevant to all those involved in the selection and delivery of business change initiatives including: members of Management Boards and Directors of Change; Senior Responsible Owners (SROs); portfolio, programme, project, business change and benefits managers; and business case writers and project appraisers.

Management of Portfolios is an essential component of the all new AXELOS Propath Programme Leader study route.


SPOCE Project Management Limited is a global leader in delivering best practice training for project programme and risk management. We offer a wide range of courses which can be tailored to suit any form of training need. For example, public courses e-Learning, blended learning, ONLIVE Virtual Classroom, On Demand Virtual Classroom and client workshops.  SPOCE is the flagship training provider for PRINCE2® and MSP® and PRINCE2 Agile®.

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* Information correct at time of broadcast.