Project, Program and Portfolio Management (PPPM) will introduce students to senior management decision-making models. Portfolio management involves prioritisation, risk assessment and deployment of resources across an entire organisation to achieve benefits to the whole-of-business. In contrast, program management identifies benefits and realises outcomes across programs and projects. PPPM concentrates on the development of a realistic picture of an organisation's business and future strategy and how to best use company resources to achieve beneficial results. These resources include adopting standards across an enterprise, developing staff competency through education and training, and implementing reporting regimes to provide senior management with information for sound decision making. Program Management feeds into portfolio decision making by providing accurate and real-time data, quality assurance across programs and projects and ensuring consistent processes are maintained.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Differentiate the concepts of project, program and portfolio management and articulate the key features of each;  
  2. Deconstruct the role and responsibilities of a Program Management Office and extrapolate these to a known or unknown organisational context;  
  3. Critically analyse the role and responsibilities of a Portfolio Services Organisation and exemplify how it relates to the strategic direction of organisations;  
  4. Conceptually map reporting chains and systems within an organisation and relate them to theoretical models of decision-making; and  
  5. Systematically evaluate the return on investment in program and portfolio project management in various contexts.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Report Individual Report (1000 words) 15%
Case Study Individual Case Study (1500 words) 20%
Case Study Group Case Study (1500 words per student plus 5 minutes presentation per each student) 25%
Examination Examination (2 hours) 40%

Required reading

Further reading material will be provided by the instructor in class or through VU Collaborate.

The Standard for Program Management 4th ed.
Project Management Institute (PMI) (2017)
Project Management Institute (PMI)

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

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