Looking back over Anibal's last Email, we see that we may have missed an important point. Anibal said:
"The way we work here is that we are a standardized central finance team and one of the functions is to support Project Managers, to adhere to the group finance policies and processes."
Perhaps Anibal is referring to a responsibility imposed on the corporate central finance team to get Project Managers to adhere to a set of common finance policies and processes. In other words, common procedures across all active projects that will enable effective and comparative reporting across a whole set of projects, i.e. one or more project portfolios. If this is the case, then this is an issue of establishing a common project governance structure that enables realistic and comparative reporting over a variety of projects.
A common project governance structure means that corporate management imposes a common set of control gates, or stage gates, over the life span of every project from initiation to product delivery. This set of gates is imposed to an extent that satisfies the control needs of the organization. These gates should be relatively limited and represent major milestones common to the majority of projects, and beyond which each project enters a new phase with significant new expenditures.
Figure2: Project portfolio management control over the project-product life cycle
In short, we are now talking about project portfolio management as distinct from individual project management - a whole different level of management above the project manager.
2. Reproduced from Issacon #1004c11 Page 7