Portfolio Management Wall of Fame

Only a few years ago Portfolio Management felt like banging your head against a wall, fast forward just five years and whilst there is still some head banging going on I now see lots of people doing some great things in this field. So I’ve decided to start a Portfolio Management Wall of Fame (the “Wall” being this blog) which will spotlight people who are hitting the nail on the head with Portfolio Management, and in so doing are helping to take Portfolio Management forward.

So without further ado, I’m very excited to announce that the first person to make it onto this most distinguished “Portfolio Wall of Fame” is no other than the Right Honorable Margaret Hodge MBE MP – the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee.

I have chosen Mrs Hodge because of her enlightened comments during the recent Public Accounts Committee meeting, during which, the New Chief Exec of the UK’s Major Projects Authority (John Manzoni) did a top job in giving evidence about the major projects in the UK. (see the transcript here – page 20)

Mrs Hodge “I just do not understand why value for money is not an integral part of the way in which you assess your projects”.

Mr Manzoni: “Mainly, I think in truth, we at the MPA do not have all the expertise to do that, I think it is done in the spending teams, actually. I think that is where it is done.

Mrs Hodge: “No’ it isn’t, because in the spending – it is one of the frustrations in this committee- what happens from Treasury is you get allocated a sum of money and as long as you live within that they do not give a toss, really, what happens within that envelope”

The reason I loved Mrs Hodge at this moment is not just because she said “do not give a toss”, but she is spot on with that question. As I have said in a number of blogs, any organisation that cannot show me a return on invest for their overall portfolio of projects, does not have a portfolio at all, they simply have a shopping list of project that they have bought.

Furthermore, regular readers will know I’m a massive fan of the Major Projects Authority in the UK and the Treasury, so whilst I’m not working with them directly my dream is that in his new role, Mr Manzoni will use Mrs Hodge’s comments and take the following steps with the largest portfolio / shopping list of projects in the United Kingdom:

Step 1) Review all business cases in the Major Projects Portfolio, start to define and validate all ‘benefits’ that are identified in them.  (I know this is a very difficult piece of work but, given that the business cases have already been through the approvals process and signed off by Treasury they should be pretty well written right?)

Step 2) Take those benefits and start to group them into standard benefit categories i.e. financial benefits, efficiency benefits, citizen value benefits and risk reduction benefits.

Step 3) Using the outcomes of step one and two, start to create “return on investment” graphs that together will show the overall loving that the UK should receive based on the investment in the Major Projects Authority’s Portfolio. (as I have previously suggested in this blog called Thumbs Up Major Projects Authority)

I am aware that I have described a difficult piece of work, but anything that is worth doing is never going to be easy, right?

If you would like to congratulate Lady Margaret on her induction onto the Portfolio Management Wall of Fame, you can send her a tweet at @margarethodge

Three cheers for Mrs Hodge, Hip Hip…


If you would like to nominate a person or organization to be inducted onto the Portfolio Management Wall of Fame – email hi@MrPortfolioManagement.com

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