The views expressed in this article are strictly those of Max Wideman.
The contents of the book under review are the copyright property of the author.
Published here January 2020

Introduction | Book Structure | What We Liked
Downside | Summary


At the time of writing this book, Kik observes that there are a number of different terms for project, program and portfolio managements as proposed by different standardization bodies. But none of these captures what the profession really needs from a practical point of view, in order to make proper use of these concepts.

As he says:[22]

"There is a benefit in distinguishing the activity of creating a deliverable (i.e., a project) from that of coordinating the creation and integration of multiple, related deliverables in a manner aligned to a common goal (a program), since each requires its own different level of focus and has specific types of success criteria.

Similarly, the managers of projects or programs are not well placed to determine the relative priority of their endeavors with respect to the other work carried out to achieve the organization's strategy — the domain of portfolio management. However, there is the risk that the separation introduces an arbitrary distinction that limits the project manager's role and reduces the end-to-end flow from strategy to execution."

Kik adds that some thought also needs to be given to a particular non-'P' domain. That is the one that benefits (and suffers) from the 'Ps' but is ultimately the arbiter of success or failure of the 'P' outcomes — namely the operational arm of the organization. That is the part of the organization that actually delivers resulting wealth, typically known as the "Business-as-Usual" (BaU) cohort.[23]

In summary, if the essence of this book's contents can be promoted and implemented by VPMGs,[24] and some general acceptance is reached, then we should be well on our way to a real and recognized profession.

R. Max Wideman
Fellow, PMI

Downside  Downside

22. Chapter 1, p2.
23. Ibid, p2-3.
24. Vice President Project Management Governance — as mentioned earlier.
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