After successfully managing projects in IT, healthcare, construction, or general business, project managers can move up to managing multiple projects, programs and/or portfolios of projects. Enterprise Project Management Main Page
Here they must allocate resources across all the projects in the program or portfolio they’re responsible for managing. They must also deal with executive sponsors and stakeholders more often. They must try to enforce effective organization-wide processes for managing multiple projects and programs. And that is a significant challenge.
The technical skills of portfolio management, setting priorities and allocating resources are straight-forward and rather simple. What’s not simple is handling the politics of managing multiple stakeholders with conflicting interests and priorities. Many newly promoted program and portfolio managers think all they need to succeed is the power of the CEO behind them. However, they soon find out that the senior executive, while backing the idea of doing projects the right way, will not overrule the executives that the program or portfolio manager deals with every day.
Far from using their power to force compliance with the program manager’s proposals and processes, the CEO will want them to “work it out” with the executive stakeholders. Thus, managing multiple project takes program and portfolio managers into the world of political maneuvering, horse-trading and deal-making. They must join in the political deal-making and coalition-building or the executives will quickly ignore them. They will consider the program and portfolio managers irrelevant to the issues and challenges these executives face.