Mudassir Iqbal

“Project management., program management, portfolio management and operations managed as a group to achieve strategic objectives. ” PMBOK

  • project is a temporary endeavour undertaken by a company or organization (such as the creation of a new product, service, or result)
  • program is a group of projects that are similar or related to one another, and which are often managed and coordinated as a group instead of independently
  • portfolio is a collection of different programs and/or projects  and/or  operations within the same organization, which may be related or unrelated to one another but is managed as a group to achieve strategic objectives,


The project can be every size imaginable in virtually every industry, and project managers supervise them regardless of these specifics.

A project may be managed in three separate scenarios:

  • Stand-alone project (Outside of a portfolio or program)
  • within a program
  • within a portfolio

Project Manager

He is responsible for meeting the project objectives with the resources that are available

Project management

is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to meet project requirements.

Project management focuses on interdependencies within a project to determine the optimal approach for managing the project


As a project, a program is a temporary organization, so when the related projects are complete, the program is complete. Programs are not large projects and have a business case as the project initiation document

Program Management

is The application of knowledge and skills to achieve program objectives and to obtain benefits and control not available by managing related program components individually.

Program Manager

doesn’t micromanage those projects; he or she is helping ensure that the right work is moving between the right projects at the right points in time. HE or she focuses on , on the business benefits realization. He is to ensure that the benefits are not only transitioned to operations but that processes are in place to sustain these benefits. The program manager is responsible for overseeing the dependencies between projects and creating program-level plans to accomplish this

Each project still has a project manager completing the work described. Projects which are not providing value are either realigned or removed from the program.


Portfolios are designed to critically look at programs and projects, not at the individual level but holistically to know how these align with the organization’s overarching goals

Monitoring and controlling are key to the process since portfolio composition is not a one-time decision. Evaluations should be conducted in some regular cadence.

Project management program management portfolio management

Program and project management focuses on doing programs and projects the “right” way, and Portfolio management focuses on doing the “right” programs and projects.

Project management is focused on delivering a specific project within a defined scope.
Program management is focused on managing a group of related projects to achieve a common objective.
Portfolio management is focused on managing a collection of projects and programs to achieve strategic objectives.

  • Temporary
  • Unique
  • Related projects
  • Shared goal
  • Collection of Project, Programs and Operations
  • Strategic business objectives
  • Well Defined structure
  • greater levels of uncertainty
  • Loosely correlated to achieve business objectives
Monitoring and Control
  • Project management is in charge of taking care of the project and its deliverables.
  • It has a defined scope which alters and is improved upon as the project moves forward.
  • Using program governance, the program manager monitors and controls the program.
  • The program schedule is essentially the aggregation of the schedule of the program components
  • It has a wider scope and is focused on the benefits.
  • The scope is driven by the strategic business objective, which the portfolio was meant to address.
Success criteria
  • Success is measured by the product quality, time of delivery, budget compliance, and degree of customer satisfaction.
  • The level to which it satisfies the needs and benefits for which it was started decides the level of success of programs.
  • Success is measured regarding the collective performance of its components, and on the benefits, it inflicts on the stakeholders and investors.
  • Project schedule is the time taken to create the results expected out of the project
  • The project schedule is the time taken to create the results expected out of the project
  • The portfolio does not have a schedule. Individual program or projects associated with it will have their schedules
  • Might be years long, but are not very long in general
  • Usually Long as contains multiple projects with larger impacts

project manager works to deliver a project efficiently and reliably. They are responsible for the day-to-day management that brings a project to fruition. Program managers are more concerned with strategic alignment: Understanding what individual project managers are doing and enabling effective communication between them in order to understand where projects are and in order to provide support where necessary. Portfolio managers, meanwhile, coordinate between various programs in order to ensure that things stay on track and that the organization is meeting its overarching strategic initiatives.

Put another way, projects fit within larger programs, which themselves fit within portfolios. Or A project is the lowest level in the hierarchy of project, program, and portfolio. A project can be a part of a program, but a program cannot be a part of a project.

The portfolio is about the collection, Programs about relationships and
The project is temporary and Unique

An example by Alvin Soltis on his blog


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