Paul Rayner has led a ProgM initiative to write an "Introduction to Portfolio Management" for the APM and I was one of a group of people who reviewed a draft version of the document and provided feedback. At that stage, the booklet consisted of 32 pages of clear and concise guidelines about the purpose of portfolio management and how it can be applied.

Portfolio management is defined within the Association for Project Management's Body of Knowledge as:

"The selection and management of an organisation's projects, programmes and related business-as-usual activities, taking into account resource constraints ...carried out under the sponsorship of the organisation".

When fully implemented, portfolio management can eliminate waste on unnecessary programmes and projects and can dramatically increase the percentage of such initiatives that is successfully completed. It provides a link between strategy development, finance and strategy implementation, ensuring that the organisations programmes and projects make the greatest possible contribution to on-going success.

The booklet begins by explaining how the portfolio management discipline helps organisations to ensure that their collections of programmes and projects provide the maximum business benefit. It also explains that portfolio management provides answers to the questions:

- are we undertaking the right combination of programmes and projects to achieve our organisational strategy?

- are all the programmes and projects in the portfolio likely to deliver the expected business benefits?

- could we use our scarce investment resources better by cancelling some initiatives and investing in others?

When fully implemented, portfolio management can eliminate waste on unnecessary programmes and projects and can dramatically increase the percentage of such initiatives that is successfully completed. It provides a link between strategy development, finance and strategy implementation, ensuring that the organisations programmes and projects
make the greatest possible contribution to on-going success.

The APM is expected to publish the final version of the booklet (by Paul Rayner and the committee and membership of ProgM) in October 2009.