08.09.2016 : Greg Rozen

Articulating the three P’s

Relating portfolio, programmes and projects to everyday life can help your team understand the terms.

The Three P’s - Portfolio, Programmes and Projects. Who would have thought we could use this language in everyday life? Applying these terms to our real lives, is an easy way to help explain them to your teams.

My Portfolio of life objectives is to oversee my three daughters. Raising and sending them out into the world, reviewing our accommodation needs and building an investment portfolio so I can rest easy in my twilight years. My wife and I regularly review our (life) portfolios, to make sure we are both heading in the same direction – it also eases those barter sessions if you do this regularly!

Mapping out all the educational needs for our three girls, from preschool to university and beyond is, in reality, a Programme: common objectives, related deliverables with funding requirements and a source – me! All of which is connected to our portfolio discussion.

Our Project mission this year (and part of next year), is to design and build a new house with lots of unique risks and issues that need to be considered and managed. It will be an exciting project with a start, a deliverable and an end solution that will meet our initial detailed requirements – less those aspirational items we realistically can’t include because the portfolio manager has declined the funding request!

There is a clear hierarchy with Portfolio, Programmes and Projects. So when we apply our understandings to a business setting, is there a practical application?

Portfolio Management is here to stay. It remains constant to help deliver strategic objectives and has overall eyes over the funding of all operational/capex spend. However Programmes and Projects are temporary activities. The former, a grouping of projects, lets businesses realise benefits that might not be achieved if they were managed individually, while the latter creates a product, service or a result.

I’d like to hazard a guess and say we all apply the three P’s in everyday life, pretty much without confusion. We may not use these exact terms, and we may not realise we’re even applying them, but remembering this simple hierarchy will help set the context… as well as enable you to plan and adapt to unexpected budget requests that are common with three daughters.

Still having trouble articulating the three P’s to your work teams?

About the Author

Greg Rozen

Principal - Programme Management

Greg is our national lead for Programme Management, with two decades of experience leading complex and diverse programmes in the United Kingdom and New Zealand. His most recent programmes have helped support the Christchurch rebuild, and are in addition to the programme management the southern hemisphere’s largest ever insurance claim. Greg is also the Chairman of the New Zealand UPP Education Trust, which supports 100 teenagers with Down syndrome in the Canterbury and Otago regions.

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