Portfolio ManagementProject Management

PofE 088: Are You More Like A Project or Portfolio Manager?

Project Managers are like a Music Conductor of a small ensemble – they coordinate with all the players to deliver a solid performance.

Portfolio Manager are like a NFL Scout – Reviewing, finding and selecting the right mix of players to give the team a winning chance to make it to the Super Bowl.

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What is your approach to your portfolio? Depending on your mindset, you may be more adept at certain management tasks over others.

The way a business owner approaches their options can make a tremendous difference in the long-term. Gerald Leonard describes two specific mindsets when it comes to pursuing the perfect structure for your business approach. He lists them as portfolio managers and project managers. Both of these roles can have different results, but ultimately it is through the union between the two that professionals are able to achieve the most. By understanding the differences in these two mindsets, anybody has the opportunity to succeed and achieve more.


The Leading Characteristics of the Project Manager

The project manager can be likened to an orchestra conductor. Because their role is to pull the team together, it is easy to imagine the project manager as a professional with a conductor's baton. They must coordinate the surrounding efforts to get the most cohesive desired results.

To be effective project managers, it is critical for all professionals to prioritize goals and begin making checklists, thus ensuring that the team moves toward each item as it appears. Correct management of skills is crucial to the role of a project manager, as this mindset is characterized by prioritizing and following through on the tasks at hand. A skillful project manager will be able to keep track of his or her workforce and make sure that all of those involved are performing as productively as possible.

The Leading Characteristics of the Portfolio Manager

The portfolio manager can be viewed similarly to an NFL scout. This means that the portfolio manager is always on the lookout for new talent to bring onto the team. The portfolio manager assesses the current and long-term needs of the company and brings in the right potential members to provide the team with the necessary advantages.

Portfolio managers must always be on the lookout for the right attributes, not only in the missing pieces in a team but also in common individual characteristics. All members planned for the team should be able to follow instructions well and work together to achieve the wanted results. Ideally, you should be on the lookout for those who can also inspire and encourage your other team members to perform at their best. Conflict management is another crucial part of the team building process, so you should be on the lookout for those who can mediate and work well with others, regardless of deadline and assignment.

If you are interested in learning more about how the right practices can help you succeed, check out my book, "Culture Is The Bass: 7 Principles for Developing A Culture That Works," to see what your options are. Through this approach, it is possible to develop a professional culture that can give you the results you are looking for.

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