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Top 6 Challenges for Portfolio Managers

Several factors including globalization, recent technology developments, and recent recession brought several challenges to Project Portfolio management. This article highlights the top 6 challenges that the Portfolio Managers face today.

Let’s look at the below fictitious conversation between a manager and his supervisor.

“Hi Mike, How was your weekend?” Bill asks

“Fine, how was your weekend?” Mike replies

“It was fine” Bill says.

“Mike, I wanted to remind you that the last minute scope changes for the project that I discussed with you last week need to be implemented as part of this weekend release. Can you please make sure that everything goes fine?” Bill says

“Bill, as you know already, we have few resources in my team and they are overloaded and few of my key resources won’t be available this week. Also, the scope of the proposed changes is not clear. I need to setup few calls with the stakeholders to get clarification. Can we finalize the timelines after getting clarifications from the stakeholders?” Mike replies.

“Mike, I can understand your concerns. But you know, I have promised the timelines to the clients. So we should meet the deadlines” Bill says.

I’m sure Project Managers face many challenges like the manager Mike in work place. Several factors including globalization, recent technology developments, and recent recession brought several challenges to project management.  Project Managers are under tremendous pressure to show results with very limited resources. Similar to Project Managers, Project Portfolio managers and Program Managers also face several challenges now.  Few might think that both Portfolio project management and program management are all about gathering project status from project manager and reporting it to the management is their job and few even think it is kind of an overhead job. But in reality that is not true. They are not only directing the individual projects correctly, but are also directing all the projects to ensure that the projects add business value.  Like Project Managers, they also face many challenges.  ESI International conducted an e-mail survey of 28 close-end questions to project and program management professionals in the US, Europe, Middle East and Asia and the results revealed the following challenges that they face in today organizations:

·         The funding approval process has become more complicated and time consuming.

·         Strategic projects obtain significantly less funding than tactical projects, compared to previous years.

·         The Project Portfolio directions and strategy change more frequently.

·         Resourcing projects is increasingly difficult and less predictable.

·         They are under more pressure to manage many processes including funding, project outcomes, project resourcing, and portfolio direction and strategy

·         The gap between available funds and the demand for project deliverables is increasing.

To view the complete survey reportFree Articles, please visit ESI’s International official website. Comparing the survey results with the organization where you work and sharing your view would definitely help the Project Management Community.

Source: Free Articles from


Joseline Edward is founder and CEO of Lucas Project Management Consulting Company which is offering 60 days PMP® and CAPM® Prep courses and Mock Up exams online.  We provide the required training, including all the materials needed to prepare for the exam. Free mock up exams included to evaluate your readiness.   Check out the URL  or our blog for additional information.

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