Portfolio Management SIG 2015 New Year Newsletter



1 - Chair's message

2 - Strategic goals

3 - Spotlight on developing new knowledge (DNK)
4 - Our volunteers
5 - Portfolio management in IDBS
6 - Portfolio management conference 22 April 2015
7 - Portfolio management SIG survey

1 - Chair's message

Looking into 2015 - a view from the Chair

As you can see from the activities outlined below, the SIG is bringing a number of interesting professional threads together as we develop a sustainable model for developing and debating the future of portfolio management. The SIG has nearly 900 members now, and this reflects an increasing interest in this important area of change management.

To maintain and accelerate this momentum will require continued effort from those who put themselves forward to organise our activities. A lot of this energy is beginning to come from the growing numbers joining a support group (see item 4 below) which is being established to help the committee pursue the SIG's strategy (see item 2 below).

At the heart of the SIG, however, is the committee. Currently there are 7 of us, and with the competing claims of family and business life there is a limit to the time which anyone can give and sometimes this cannot be on a continuous basis. Therefore, we are looking for more people to join the committee next year. If you would like the challenge of being part of the top team that steers the SIG along its future path please consider joining the committee at the 2015 AGM (details will be issued shortly).

Having been a committee member since the SIG was formed in 2010, I can truly say that it is a great place to spend some time, with strong camaraderie, challenging debates and immense satisfaction at seeing progress made on so many fronts. Please contact one of the existing committee to find out more or email us at: portfoliosig@apm.org.uk

Your thoughts, comments and suggestions on the strategy work, events, this newsletter, or any other topic are welcome, and the committee wishes you all every success in 2015.

Stephen Parrett
2014-15 Chair, APM Portfolio Management SIG

2 - Portfolio management SIG strategic goals and our progress to date

At the beginning of 2013 the Portfolio Management SIG defined 5 strategic goals:

  1. Developing new knowledge
  2. Disseminating knowledge
  3. Closer working with the APM and other SIGs
  4. Engaging with the CxO community
  5. Engaging with the SIG membership

These were developed during the year into a comprehensive strategy and an outline plan determining what we needed to deliver to achieve our aims. These aims, or outcomes, include:

Developing new knowledge

  • More practitioner's material accessed by the APM members.
  • More sponsor and CxO material accessed by APM members.

We would achieve these by providing additional intellectual property (IP) that has been validated and classified for easy access. This is progressing well, with a number of you involved in helping us, and is highlighted in the next section.

Disseminating knowledge

  • More people tapping into the SIG's knowledge bank;
  • Forums being more active and perceived as 'think tanks' for opinion leaders;
  • APM is recognised as having a wealth of knowledge on portfolio management

There is still quite a bit of work to do on this strategic theme; however we ran several blogs and are enhancing our knowledge from the presentations at our events and conferences. We are classifying these presentations in line with Management of Portfolios (MoP) principles and the APM Body of Knowledge (BoK) topics and working with the APM to enable you to find the presentation relevant to your particular issue or concern.

Closer work with the APM and other SIGs

  • Improved effectiveness of the SIG operations;
  • Successful joint ventures;
  • Improved events (whether joint or sole)

We've piloted a number of changes to the way we have been working as a committee, which has helped us increase momentum, including weekly progress updates and closer liaison with our representative on theSIG Steering Group (SSG). At several events we have taken 20 minutes or so to discuss with you how we are moving forward as a SIG. Our 2014 Portfolio Mgt Conference last March was run jointly with the Benefits SIG and was a great success, and we are planning more joint ventures.

Engaging with the CxO community

  • Effective, open 2-way communications channel with the CxO community
  • There is a greater recognition by other professional institutions that the APM PfM SIG is the portfolio management 'centre of excellence'

This is an area that requires coordination by the APM across the SIGs and branches. Research being undertaken by the APM will influence our overall approach. We do, however, rely on SIG members to introduce the CxO level of management to our activities, events and knowledge base, and we need to work harder at this to achieve our goals. What are the 'big issues' keeping your CxOs awake at night?

Engaging with the SIG membership

The key new initiative in this area is our volunteer programme, which we stated this year. Again many of you have commitments that constrain your time, but several of you have made a significant contribution, for which we thank you. Section 4 of this newsletter discusses this further.

We have also run a series of successful blogs, although with a fairly limited audience. At our events we now have regular, short updates to you and discuss with you how you want to be engaged and involved.

Overall we have made a great deal of progress. The key constraint is the shortage of resources and the volunteer programme discussed above is designed to alleviate this constraint. Please join with us to help move the profession forward

3 - Spotlight on developing new knowledge (DNK)

The strategic focus as we moved into 2014 was to develop new knowledge – from research and by gathering and collating information already in the public domain. In addition we have a wealth of information and intellectual property from organisations who have presented to our members at our conference and SIG meetings.

During our conference in March 2014 (details can be found here) we ran a couple of workshops where we asked participants to identify the issues with creating and sustaining portfolio management in their organisation. These were analysed and collated by a group of volunteers to 'key issues' that face our profession. We presented this summary at our November meeting and we are now working with a number of you to research publicly and commercially available information to assist in addressing these issues and challenges.

Currently we have derived 'new knowledge' for a couple of these streams, with work progressing on the others. We have also started to analyse and 'tag' the IP we hold (the presentations in particular), and some of you are working with us to validate this information.

Our aim is to identify new knowledge that addresses the issues raised by members at the last conference and make it available to the SIG members in line with the strategic goal of Disseminating Knowledge. This includes working with the APM to develop a platform for better sharing of, and feedback on, this kind of knowledge. We plan to present a summary at our 2015 conference, and as we move forward we are looking for further volunteers to take over and spread the load, as well as to broaden the experience that we can bring to the analysis.

4 - Our volunteers

Through our various events we have got to know more of the portfolio management community and some of you have taken the bold step of getting more involved with the development of our strategy. This is a great opportunity to shape the future of portfolio management. Our volunteers (committee support volunteers "CSVs") work off line and tailor the level of contribution they can make alongside their other commitments. If you would like to get more involved please contact one of the committee members at portfoliosig@apm.org.uk

5 - Portfolio management in IDBS

Learn more about the fascinating presentation give at the PfM SIG November 2014 meeting on how portfolio management is being implemented in IDBS.

6 - PfM SIG conference - 22nd April 2015

The SIG will be holding a full day conference focused on identifying how to make portfolio management work for you/your organisation.

This event will see a variety of senior practitioners from a wide range of organisations sharing their experiences of portfolio management in practice, covering, but not limited to, areas such as:

  • Linking strategic objective setting and effective delivery of projects/programmes,
  • Constructing your first portfolio - from rough and ready to something for the board,
  • Prioritising programmes and projects - process, frequency of review, challenges etc,
  • Creating the right infrastructure and the initial steps in setting up PfM,
  • Managing and balancing, innovation, research, product development, BAU and other initiatives within a portfolio to achieve the corporate objectives.

From these case studies, presenters will discuss their learning and insights and provide opportunities for delegates to compare their own experiences.

The conference will include:

  • An opening scene-setter, looking at the current "state" of portfolio management
  • A series of presentations, from a mix of private/public sector organisations
  • Break-out sessions to capture the views of delegates
  • Latest findings from the SIG's portfolio management research project
  • Concluding summary and panel session

This event is aimed at change professionals, change leaders and those involved in running large programmes or portfolios who wish to understand more about the application of portfolio management disciplines and exchange views with like-minded people.

You will see more about this shortly, and we already have speakers being lined up from major organisations to explain their experiences of setting up and implementing portfolio management and making it stick.

7 - Portfolio management SIG survey

As some of you know we run a portfolio management survey every 2-3 years to better understand our profession. You will shortly see details of the 2015 survey and our goals are to:

  • Identify trends in the shapes and sizes of portfolios;
  • Determine the maturity level of portfolio management;
  • Understand the approach to portfolio management in different organisations;
  • Identify sector and size differences in the application of portfolio management;
  • Identify organisations' views of the importance of portfolio management and portfolio management principles;
  • Determine portfolio management challenges and how these have changed or evolved over time;
  • Validate, or challenge, findings from other surveys on portfolio management

We urge you to complete this as accurately and consistently as you can please when you receive it. The portfolio management SIG, with nearly 900 members, are in a unique position to gather data from a wide range of organisations and the numbers allow us to do detailed analyses with representative findings that will be valuable to the whole SIG and the profession in general.

The PfM SIG would appreciate any comments or feedback you have on our newsletter - let us know whether it was useful, and what you would like to see in future editions. Email portfoliosig@apm.org.uk

Alternatively you can add your views to our 2014 membership survey which can be found here

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