Management of Portfolios

Advantage Learning taught the first Management of Portfolios certification course in Canada.  We asked our MoP Lead Trainer (LT) a few questions about this standard.

Why has MoP – Management of Portfolios – been developed?

LT:  “Over the past few years there has been a growing recognition that improved prioritization of change is required i.e. it is not just about delivering Programmes/Projects right but also about delivering the right Programmes/Projects to maximize the benefits that can be achieved. Building on the successful development on guidance on Programme Management (MSP) and Project Management (PRINCE2) The UK Government introduced Management of Portfolios (‘MoP’) in February 2011 to provide guidance on a best practice approach to Portfolio Management.  This draws together the experience of experts in the field and provides guidance on how organizations can approach Portfolio Management and in particular how it supports the delivery of an organization’s strategic objectives.”

What is the certification process and what is the value of getting certified?

LT: “Certification has been developed at Foundation level which demonstrates knowledge of the method and Practitioner level which demonstrates an ability to apply the knowledge. The best way to secure certification is to undertake a MoP training course with an Accredited Training Organization. To ensure quality of training organizations are accredited to deliver courses and provide opportunities to participants to write exams.

Achieving the certification demonstrates that individuals understand what Portfolio Management is all about and they have sufficient knowledge to go on and practice it in an organizational environment. In today’s financial climate this can only enhance an individual’s skill set and the contribution they can make to supporting the achievement of the organization’s strategic objectives.”

How do organizations adopt the model and tailor it to their needs?

LT:  “There is no one right way to implement Portfolio Management. MoP suggests three approaches to its adoption.

  1. The Big Bang approach views the implementation of Portfolio Management as a business change programme and is carefully planned with a supporting business case.
  2. The Evolutionary or Incremental approach starts with areas of greatest need or those where rapid progress can be made. Thereafter the approach evolves to reflect the needs and opportunities of the organization.
  3. The third approach is Ad-Hoc where implementation is opportunistic with no detailed plan in place.

There is also guidance on a staged implementation where the experience of experts is drawn on to support a staged approach.”