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The Portfolio Manager ensures that organizational strategy is delivered effectively.

Connecting across a variety of roles and managing dependencies across portfolios and work collectively to ensure all of their work is successful.

Portfolio Manager Role Summary

Connecting the Strategy Realization Office, line of business executives and domain PMOs with the teams doing the work, the portfolio manager is key to strategic success.  That success depends on the portfolio manager’s ability to deliver against the following strategic imperatives within strategic portfolio management:

  1. Ensuring all work is integrated across all portfolios
  2. Delivering and reporting on work effectively across all work methods and modalities
  3. Optimizing how resources are utilized
  4. Ensuring cost transparency and managing funding effectively
  5. Managing to ensure business value is delivered

Understanding dependencies

Portfolio managers must first understand how their work integrates with the strategic environment for the organization.  There are many portfolios – projects, programs, products, capabilities, infrastructure and applications and each portfolio manager will only be accountable for a subset of all organizational investments.  That means they must manage dependencies across portfolios and work collectively to ensure all of their work is successful.

Managing across all execution

At the same time, they must be able to manage all work that falls under the scope of their portfolios, regardless of whether it is delivered using traditional, agile or ad hoc methods.  They must be able to provide guidance to the teams, consolidate and contextualize information from all work to allow for effective decision making, and must ensure alignment is always maintained between the work being done and the purpose and drivers of that work.

Managing costs and resources

Resource management software ensures that resources are being leveraged effectively, again aligning needs across multiple portfolios and multiple work types to ensure all dependencies can be met.  This management extends to financial resources with the portfolio manager expected to manage the cost side of the ledger to ensure investments are being used appropriately in order to deliver value.

Managing outcomes

Portfolio managers can use benefits realization software to keep an eye on the benefit side of the ledger as well. This ensures that teams understand the outcomes that are expected to be achieved by their work and the metrics by which those outcomes will be measured.  Portfolio managers must then support the SRO and LOB executives in actually delivering those outcomes.

As noted above the primary relationships for portfolio managers are with LOB executives and the SRO where the portfolio manager acts as an execution function, ensuring that their strategic goals and objectives are met through the investments that they have approved.  The portfolio manager does this in part by maintaining strong relationships with domain PMOs who are the intermediaries between those strategic functions and the work teams.