What is Management of Portfolios (MoP)?

Share on:
what is management of portfolios mop

‘Portfolio management’ is the process of constructing a collection of projects and programs that support a company’s strategic objectives. Portfolio managers and teams will also work to support these changes in a way that optimizes stakeholder and customer value. It is a high-level approach to transformation, one that focuses on the execution and value of the change itself rather than individual initiatives.

‘Management of Portfolios (MoP)’ is a portfolio management framework. Originally published in 2011 by the UK Cabinet Office, it offers leading techniques for planning, implementing, and changing portfolios, as well as assisting with the adoption of change management.

By utilizing MoP, an organization can make change-related decisions with confidence. Stakeholders will know what changes an organization should pursue and how – not just immediately but also in the long term.

In this article, we explore everything you need to know about Management of Portfolios (MoP)!

How does MoP work?

The MoP framework works by offering principles, practices, and techniques for guiding organizational change while also balancing it with ‘business as usual’. It is centered on finding and advising on the best projects and programs for a portfolio and helping organizations optimize the resulting changes. In studying the framework, candidates can become specialists in understanding, prioritizing, and planning portfolios without disrupting daily operations.

All efforts driven by MoP are intended to answer three questions:

  • Are we doing the right things?
  • Are we doing these things right?
  • Are we realizing the full benefits?

As we mentioned previously, it does not focus on the management of individual projects and programs. However, it aligns extremely well with PRINCE2 and Managing Successful Programmes (MSP), which can help practitioners to create holistic and synchronized change structures. 

The framework separates the task into two portfolio management cycles:

  • Portfolio Definition Cycle – This cycle is based on decision-making. Information is generated to help guide stakeholders in making decisions that support strategic priorities. The two outputs are the portfolio strategy and the delivery plan. The former is focused on what the portfolio will deliver, while the latter goes into detail on what milestones, costs, risks, roles, and other factors will be required to achieve these goals. In short, the Portfolio Definition Cycle is intended to ensure projects and programs are fully aligned with the organization’s strategy.
  • Portfolio Delivery Cycle – This cycle focuses on the implementation of projects and programs defined in the portfolio strategy and portfolio delivery plan. At this point, project teams will begin handling resources, risks, and dependencies. An aggregate will be assigned to them at a portfolio level to ensure projects are successfully carried out.

MoP also uses five portfolio management principles:

  • Senior management commitment – As members of senior management are the primary beneficiaries of organizational change, portfolio managers should focus on gaining and maintaining their full commitment.
  • Governance alignment – All work within an organization must be aligned with strategic objectives, business needs, shareholder requirements, regulations, and so on. All portfolio management efforts should work within this governance structure. Frameworks like MoP also contribute structural elements that can help guide the company as a whole.
  • Strategy alignment – Governance and portfolio management efforts must ultimately focus on achieving the organization’s strategic goals. At least one benefit of any proposed initiative should make gains with at least one strategic objective. 
  • Portfolio office – All portfolio management activities are carried out and maintained via a portfolio office. Its size will depend on the organization and the scale of its vision. It can also be both physical and virtual and can feature dedicated and shared responsibilities.
  • Energized change culture – By creating and sustaining an energized change culture, a company can boost the commitment of portfolio teams and help them achieve targets with greater energy and enthusiasm. This is often vital for achieving optimized results.

MoP also defines the key stakeholder roles for portfolio management:

  • Portfolio Direction Group (PDG)
  • Portfolio Progress Group (PPG)
  • Portfolio Director (PD)
  • Portfolio Manager
  • Portfolio Benefits Manager
  • Project and Programme Managers (PPMs)

Finally, the framework identifies a number of key documents for carrying out portfolio management:

  • Portfolio Strategy
  • Portfolio Delivery Plan
  • Portfolio Benefits Realization Plan
  • Portfolio Dashboard
  • Portfolio Resource Schedule
  • Portfolio Financial Plan
  • Portfolio Management Framework
  • Portfolio Benefits Management Framework
  • Portfolio Stakeholder Engagement Plan

By applying all of this as part of a single portfolio office, MoP practitioners can:

  • Identify the best investment opportunities for stakeholders
  • Consider the scope and objectives of a portfolio to select appropriate projects and programs
  • Take different approaches to implementation depending on the context
  • Measure and judge the success of portfolio management initiatives
  • Advise stakeholders on portfolio-related decisions as well as how to start and sustain change
  • Understand the purpose, practices, and techniques of the Definition and Delivery Cycles
  • Identify and create major portfolio documents
  • Understand the scope of portfolio management roles

Who should study MoP?

Studying the framework is ideal for anyone formally or informally involved in portfolio management roles. This can include anyone linked to investment decision-making, project and program delivery, and benefits realization.

While the framework is primarily used by senior management, studying it is worthwhile for a variety of roles, including:

  • Directors of change
  • Management board members
  • Senior responsible owners
  • Project appraisers
  • Business case writers
  • Project managers
  • Program managers
  • Portfolio managers
  • Business change managers
  • Benefits managers

How can MoP certification help my business?

When it comes to large-scale business transformation and strategic change, portfolio management is an invaluable practice. It takes strategic goals and helps translate them into actionable strategies while also ensuring stakeholders are willing to lend their support.

MoP can benefit businesses by:

  • Optimizing the portfolio management process
  • Maximizing the ROIs for strategic change, as well as the individual projects and programs contained within
  • Serving as a permanent guide for effective portfolio management
  • Boosting the efficiency of strategic change while lowering costs
  • Equipping portfolio, program, and project managers with the techniques and tools they need to carry out their work
  • Clarifying different options for stakeholders and helping them make the best decisions possible

How can studying MoP help my career?

For prospective and experienced portfolio managers and team members, studying MoP can be an excellent way to enhance their capabilities and help them unlock new roles and responsibilities.

Successful practitioners can perform a number of valuable tasks:

  • Create effective business cases to gain approval for portfolio management
  • Plan and carry out portfolio management implementation
  • Select and adapt principles, practices, and techniques of the MoP framework to suit the organization’s market, structure, and environment
  • Analyze solutions within specific contexts
  • Evaluate MoP documents and role descriptions

As an AXELOS framework, MoP is widely used by organizations in a variety of industries. Getting qualified can help candidates stand out from non-certified colleagues and even raise their chances of achieving significant career growth.

Studying MoP with Good e-Learning

Good e-Learning is an award-winning online training provider. We offer fully accredited training in project, program, and portfolio management, as well as other key disciplines such as enterprise architecture, IT service management, and DevOps. 

Our in-house e-learning specialists work with subject matter experts to deliver courses that not only help candidates prepare for their exams but also teach practical insight to help users apply their training in real-world companies. Each of our courses also comes with a variety of resources to help candidates along, such as instructor-led videos, gamified knowledge checks, and downloadable resources. We even offer FREE exam vouchers for the MoP certification exams.

The Good e-Learning team specializes in corporate training. Our award-winning LMS, the Learning Ecosystem, can be adapted to suit any training program regardless of size. Candidates can access courses from any web-enabled device, and our world-class support team can answer any questions on syllabus content. The LMS also offers dynamic performance data, allowing our support team to take a proactive approach to helping candidates and ensuring you meet your training goals.

Want to find out more? Contact a member of the Good e-Learning team today!

Related course: