Note: This unit version is currently under review and is subject to change!

PMGT5879: Strategic Portfolio & Program Management (2019 - Semester 2 Online)

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Unit: PMGT5879: Strategic Portfolio & Program Management (6 CP)
Mode: On-line
On Offer: Yes
Level: Postgraduate
Faculty/School: Project Management
Unit Coordinator/s: Matous, Petr
Session options: Semester 2 Online, Semester 2 Block Mode
Versions for this Unit:
Site(s) for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: None.
Brief Handbook Description: This unit specifically addresses the selection and prioritisation of multiple programmes and projects which have been grouped to support an organisation's strategic portfolio. The allocation of programmes of work within a multi-project environment, governing, controlling and supporting the organisation's strategy, are considered. The aim is to formulate and manage the delivery of the portfolio of strategies using programme management. Students will learn and practice the issues to be considered in selecting an effective organisation portfolio and how to implement a Portfolio Management Framework. Also they will encounter the many conflicting issues facing Program Managers as they seek to implement organisation strategy through programs and learn how to balance these to obtain desired outcomes.
Assumed Knowledge: None.
Lecturer/s: Mr McGarry, Gerard
Ainsworth, Harold
Timetable: PMGT5879 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 E-Learning 3.00 13
2 Independent Study 6.00 13
T&L Activities: The course is conducted on-line with an initial tutorial to familiarise you with the course, with access to lecturers as required.

Attributes listed here represent the key course goals (see Course Map tab) designated for this unit. The list below describes how these attributes are developed through practice in the unit. See Learning Outcomes and Assessment tabs for details of how these attributes are assessed.

Attribute Development Method Attribute Developed
Practice selecting and implementing a portfolio management framework in case study assignments. Project Development (Level 5)
Practice discussing and reflecting on issues affecting the realisation of expected benefits from project and programs. Project Delivery (Level 5)
Practice implementing an organisation strategy in second case study assignment. Project Leadership (Level 5)
Practice in reflective, analytical and persuasive writing in reflective report, online discussion studies, case studies. Project Communication (Level 5)

For explanation of attributes and levels see Project Management Learning Progression Table 2019.

Learning outcomes are the key abilities and knowledge that will be assessed in this unit. They are listed according to the course goal supported by each. See Assessment Tab for details how each outcome is assessed.

Project Development (Level 5)
1. Understand how portfolio and program management, together with project management, are used to implement organization strategy;
2. Understand how mature portfolio management can assist organizations to obtain improved business value from their investments in programs and projects, by selecting the best mix of these initiatives;
Project Leadership (Level 5)
3. Understand how program management assists organizations to coordinate projects to implement strategy, and manage organization change in order to obtain the proposed benefits;
4. Understand how projects are delivery focused and enablers, but when combined with business change can create value for the organization.
Project Delivery (Level 5)
5. Understand how to ensure that benefits are realised from investments in programs and projects, and the role of effective governance and reporting in doing so.
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Assignment 1* Yes 25.00 Week 7 1, 2,
2 Assignment 2 * Yes 25.00 Week 12 1, 3, 4, 5,
3 Reflective Learning Report * No 40.00 Week 13 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
4 Discussion Forums weeks 3 to 10 each for 2 weeks No 10.00 Multiple Weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
Assessment Description: * means this assessment must be repeated or will be replaced with a different assessment if missed due to special consideration

Assignment 1: Portfolio assignment (25%). A brief case (4 pages) is provided for student teams to select a portfolio of investments for the case organisation and write an explanation as to why this selection was made. Also recommend how to implement a Portfolio Management Framework in the case organisation

Assignment 2: Program assignment (25%). A case is provided (5-6 pages) and a series of questions on the development of a partial Program Plan.

At end of the 2 team assignments perform a confidential on-line evaluation of your other team members contribution.

Reflective Learning Report (40%). An individual report on the major lessons learned from the unit and their application to organisational situations. Also a case study analysis and assessment of how organisations can adopt these practices.

To pass the unit it is mandatory to be part of a team and submit 2 team assignments and an individual Reflective Learning Report

Discussion forums (10%). Participate in 4 on-line forums - first forum weeks 3-4, second weeks 5-6, third weeks 7-8 and fourth weeks 9-10.

Late submissions will incur a penalty of 10% per day for up to 7 days starting directly after the cut off time. This means 5% will be deducted even if submitted on the due day but after the cut-off time. After one week, assessments will no longer be marked receive a 0 mark.

IMPORTANT: There may be statistically defensible moderation when combining the marks from each component to ensure consistency of marking between markers, and alignment of final grades with unit outcomes
Assessment Feedback: Provided by email to each student
Grade Type Description
Standards Based Assessment Final grades in this unit are awarded at levels of HD for High Distinction, DI (previously D) for Distinction, CR for Credit, PS (previously P) for Pass and FA (previously F) for Fail as defined by University of Sydney Assessment Policy. Details of the Assessment Policy are available on the Policies website at . Standards for grades in individual assessment tasks and the summative method for obtaining a final mark in the unit will be set out in a marking guide supplied by the unit coordinator.
Policies & Procedures: See the policies page of the faculty website at for information regarding university policies and local provisions and procedures within the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies.
Recommended Reference/s: Note: References are provided for guidance purposes only. Students are advised to consult these books in the university library. Purchase is not required.
Online Course Content: Blackboard site:
Note on Resources: PMI Standard for Portfolio Management -

PMI Standard for Program Management -

Best Management Practice website:

See also course material on Blackboard site.

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar

Week Description
Week 1 Introduction to the unit. Introductory tutorials. Topic 1 - Strategy
Week 2 Topic 2 - Portfolio Management
Week 3 Topic 3 - Program Management and Topic 4 - Strategic risk
Week 4 Topic 7 Governance & reporting (initial view) and Topic 8 - Stakeholder and change management (initial view)
Week 5 Topic 5 - Business cases
Week 6 Topic 6 - Benefits Realisation
Week 7 Topic 7 - Governance and reporting
Assessment Due: Assignment 1*
Week 8 Topic 8 - Stakeholder and change management
Week 9 Topic 9 - Quality management and assurance
Week 10 Review all material
Week 11 no new material
Week 12 no new material
Assessment Due: Assignment 2 *
Week 13 no new material
Assessment Due: Reflective Learning Report *

Course Relations

The following is a list of courses which have added this Unit to their structure.

Course Year(s) Offered
Master of Project and Program Management 2019, 2020
Aeronautical Engineering / Project Management 2012
Aeronautical Engineering (Space) / Project Management 2012
Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering / Project Management 2012
Bachelor of Project Management (Hons) 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Graduate Certificate in Project Management 2012, 2013, 2014
Graduate Certificate in Project and Program Management 2019, 2020
Graduate Diploma in Project Management 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
Master of Project Management 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Master of Project Management 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

Course Goals

This unit contributes to the achievement of the following course goals:

Attribute Practiced Assessed
Project Development (Level 5) Yes 51.25%
Project Leadership (Level 5) Yes 32.5%
Project Delivery (Level 5) Yes 16.25%
Project Communication (Level 5) Yes 0%

These goals are selected from Project Management Learning Progression Table 2019 which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Project Management Learning Progression Table 2019 for details of the attributes and levels to be developed in the course as a whole. Percentage figures alongside each course goal provide a rough indication of their relative weighting in assessment for this unit. Note that not all goals are necessarily part of assessment. Some may be more about practice activity. See Learning outcomes for details of what is assessed in relation to each goal and Assessment for details of how the outcome is assessed. See Attributes for details of practice provided for each goal.