Project, Program, General and Portfolio Management - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1900 Words
Date:  2021-05-25

Project management is a unique business process that consists of a set of effectively controlled and coordinated activities with set deadlines in mind. These activities are majorly undertaken in order to achieve a specific objective that conforms to certain specific requirements including time constrains, resources and costs (Kerzner, 2013). Project management has a target objective which is majorly to see a project to completion and the scope of the project is elaborated in progression during the life cycle of the entire project. In project management, success is effectively measured by the quality of the project, compliance to the budget, timeliness and the level of customer satisfaction after the completion of the project. In project management, risks are often seen as threats to the success of the project and the work of the project manager is to directly monitor and control all the activities concerned with the project as well as all the deliverables. This process is majorly concerned with execution and the project manager is often a part of the team and not the leader (Kerzner, 2013).

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Program management on the other hand is the management of a group of related but different projects in a way that is coordinated in order to achieve benefits and clear control that may otherwise not be possible through managing them individually. Program management focuses on a wider scope as compared to project management and the biggest focus here is on the benefits that come off the program. In program management, success is often measured by the level to which the program fulfills and satisfies the needs present and the benefits that are ripped through the program. As opposed to project management, in program management, risks are perceived as opportunities and rarely are they considered as threats. The role of the program manager is to govern the program through monitoring and control and they are normally seen as the leaders who possess the vision for the project. They are responsible for maintaining team relations and managing conflicts (Kerzner, 2013).

Portfolio management is the process of setting priorities in regards to the objectives that have been agreed on by the leadership and additionally selecting programs or projects that are to be undertaken with a clear basis of what will provide optimal value to the business, available resources and the level of risk that is to be expected. These projects or programs may not necessarily be interdependent or related directly. Portfolio managements scope is driven by the business objective that the portfolio has been specifically designed to address. As opposed to the other two types of management discussed above, in portfolio management success is determined by the aggregate performance of the components included in the portfolio and the creation of long term values to stakeholders and investors (Kerzner, 2013). Risks are seen as a deviation from the expectations of the stakeholders and are therefore managed through portfolio balancing. While portfolio managers act as the leaders and overseers of the portfolio they also act as part of the team adding value to the decisions of the portfolio.

Lastly, general management is a unit in an organization which is majorly concerned with the management and leadership of the whole organization as an entity. General management is concerned with the personal values and qualities that organizational leaders and other managers posses, the values, philosophies and strategies that inform success in the organization and the relationship of the organization to the community and other external stakeholders. The scope of general management is broad with a view on the whole organization and its success and general managers are viewed more as the leaders who are bestowed with the authority to make key decisions on behalf of the organization as a whole (Kerzner, 2013).

Effective organizational project culture

An organizational project culture constitutes of values, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors of all key players in the execution of a project. It is a reflection of the defined principles and values of the workplace which mirrors every small undertaking that an organization is involved with. Project cultures go a long way in determining the success of any project being dealt with in an organization and therefore this culture should be approached with utmost care and regard. A positive organizational project culture more often than not creates positive changes in the culture of the whole organization by all parties involved (Gido and Clements, 2014). An effective organizational project culture is one which ensures that the voices of all team members are heard and their contributions taken in to account in order to gain their commitment and motivation.

An effective project culture is also one that ensures that the ever changing customer needs are constantly met and that the strategic plan is successfully achieved. An effective project culture is one that ensures project are thought off strategically and implemented keeping in mind the organizations corporate strategies and objectives. A positive organizational culture additionally ensures that all projects receive mainstream attention and support from top management and ensures that the organization provides sufficient resources to allow the projects succeed (Mir and Pinnington, 2014).

Furthermore, an effective project culture is one that ensures that all projects are aligned with the corporate strategies of the organization to ensure that all the objectives of the organization are met and to make sure that all projects are timely so that marketing time is improved. A project culture that is effective also ensures that projects stick to the budget and not unnecessarily exceeding the expenses due to errors and faults. This ensures that the organization saves a lot of money in each given project leading to more profits and benefits.

Additionally, an effective project culture is one that ensures that all customer expectations are met with utmost respect and consideration to ensure that customer satisfaction increases in each project. Lastly, effective project cultures are the ones that will see to it that project teams are motivated, efficient and effective as this is crucial for obtaining more dedicated team players with high morale (Gido and Clements, 2014).

A positive organizational project culture ensures that the organization will improve on its performance in regards to project management and effective success in the business in addition to ensuring that project management is perceived as a competency strategy to which everyone is dedicated towards.

Characteristics of a project


All projects are characterized by the time factor. This is because projects are always temporary and they are meant to be accomplished within a given time frame to allow the organization move to another different project. Time often refers to how long the project will take before it is completed and more often than not, project managers use past predictions to determine how long it will take to complete a specific project. Timing often indicates what should be happening at what level of the project (Mir and Pinnington, 2014). Usually time is a big factor when it comes to project execution because in many instances a certain level of the project cannot be implemented until another part is completed. For example, in a construction project, the constructors may not be able to start roofing until the walls are completed and proved to be strong enough to handle the weight of the roofing (Gido and Clements, 2014). This may sometimes interfere with the timing of the project because there may be delays and other inconveniences which might slow down the whole project process. Ultimately, some projects may take lesser time than the one initially anticipated and this is always good because most customers do not ogre well with delayed projects.


Another major characteristic of a project is the scope. The scope of a project involves knowing what is included in the project and what is not. For example, while renovating a house, the project manager should be well aware about what areas of the house are scheduled and documented for the renovation. The manager should at all times be aware of those areas that are not scheduled for renovation otherwise they will be going against the project of the scope and this may lead to customer dissatisfaction. When a project scope is clear, it is easier to reduce ambiguity and minimize risks. Also, a well considered project scope ensures that all areas of the project are substantially covered and costs are minimized and customer satisfaction is ensured.


Cost or budget is also another major characteristic of a project. Every project has an estimated budget on how much is supposed to be used while implementing the project. The budget or cost of a project estimates how much is expected to be spent. A project managers role is to ensure that execution of a project does not exceed or surpass the estimated cost and therefore they should ensure that all errors and risks are minimized in order to stay within the set budget. Often times, when the budget is exceeded during a project, it always leads to conflicts between the customer and the organization and this sometimes leads to distrust on the clients part (Mir and Pinnington, 2014). Sometimes, when a projects budget is exceeded it becomes costly to the organization because the customer sometimes expects the over-charge to be billed to the company. Therefore, it is important for project managers to estimate the right cost for a project in order to avoid unnecessary expenditures.


Every single project is unique in its own different way. No single project is exactly the same as another. In as much as one project may bear some resemblance with another, there will always be a few features that distinguish it from the other. Projects have their own uniqueness when it comes to budgeting, timing, location, labor and customers. For example, a customer may have seen a house built for another customer and comes up with an idea that he wants to have the same house built for him. In as much as the requirements for the house might be the same, the location, the owner, the budgeting and time frames will be different (Gido and Clements, 2014). Because of this, uniqueness has been thought to be a major characteristic of projects.


Uncertainty as a project characteristic is majorly brought about by the fact that projects are unique. This is because; one may never be sure about how the project is going to turn out at the end of it all. Uncertainty is normally brought about by the ever changing nature of the customer. The customer may alter the requirements of the project every so often and therefore a project manager will never be 100% sure about how the project is going to turn out prior to its completion. Other factors may also make the project manager to be uncertain about a project. Factors such as availability of resources, the weather, seasons and other natural factors that are beyond human control may make it difficult for a project manager to be fully certain about its execution.

Monitoring and controlling techniques

Project monitoring and control is the process where the project manager will track and observe the activities tasks of the project to ensure that they meet the required objectives. These processes are done by the project manager in the quest ti ensure that the stakeholders will be satisfied with the project. Projects are known to be unique than the other activities in a network. It is because of this unique nature that the project activities will have to be monitored and controlled for their success. It is unique because activities are...

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Project, Program, General and Portfolio Management - Essay Sample. (2021, May 25). Retrieved from

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