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Management of Portfolios (MoP) Foundation and Practitioner Course

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Te Papa Museum

55 Cable St

Te Aro

Wellington, Wellington 6011

New Zealand

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Management of Portfolios (MoP) - Foundation and Practitioner - Classroom Training

Programmes and projects have been the focus of organizations' efforts to manage change for many years. More recently, portfolio management has come to the fore as organizations have become increasingly aware that delivery is only half the battle. Just as important is whether or not the change initiatives are the "right" ones and whether the potential return on investment is achieved. Portfolio management can help with this by ensuring that:-

  • The programmes and projects undertaken are prioritized in terms of their contribution to the organization's Strategic objectives and overall level of risk,
  • This is an active process where programmes and projects are regularly assessed to ensure they are contributing, and will continue to contribute, to the strategic objectives. Portfolio management provides the discipline to ensure that funding and other resources are reallocated appropriately if this is not the case,
  • The portfolio of change initiatives is collectively sufficient to achieve the desired contribution to strategic objectives,
  • Programmes and projects are managed consistently to ensure efficient and effective delivery,
  • Benefits realization is maximized to provide the greatest return (in terms of strategic contribution and efficiency savings) from the investment made.

Management of Portfolios - Management Model

​What is a portfolio and what is portfolio management?​

Portfolios represent the totality of an organization's investment (or segment thereof) in the changes required to achieve its strategic objectives. Portfolio management is a coordinated collection of strategic processes and decisions that together enable a more effective balance of organizational change and business as usual. As such, portfolio management provides senior management with reliable evidence enabling better and more informed investment decisions about:-

  • Where to invest in new initiatives,

  • Whether or not to continue to invest in existing initiatives,

  • How to ensure efficient and effective delivery,

  • How to maximize the return on investment.

​It goes beyond passive monitoring of progress to actively managing the composition and delivery of the portfolio as a whole, as well as ensuring that teams are energized, benefits realization is optimized and that lessons are learned and applied going forward.

Management of Portfolios - Principles

MoP is structured around five flexible principles upon which successful approaches to portfolio management depend. These principles are:-

  • Senior management commitment,

  • Alignment with the organization's governance framework,

  • Alignment with the organization's strategic objectives,

  • The use of a portfolio office (virtual or

  • Otherwise) to Support senior-management decision-making

  • Working within an energized change Culture.​

Management of Portfolios - Cycles
MoP is also structured around twelve portfolio management practices grouped within two cycles:-

  • ​The portfolio definition cycle - understand, categorize, prioritize, balance and plan

  • The portfolio delivery cycle - management control, benefits management, financial management, risk management, stakeholder engagement, organizational governance and resource management.

​When these practices are implemented in a way that complements existing organizational governance structures and processes and is underpinned by a collective teamwork culture in which staff work collaboratively in pursuit of shared goals, the result is improved portfolio prioritization, delivery and benefits realization.

​​This course shows you how portfolio management is most effective when applied to the organization's investment in change as a whole. Consequently, the focus is on the organization's collective investment in programmes and projects (or change initiatives) that contribute to the achievement of Strategic objectives and business priorities.

While portfolio management will be more effective where robust programme and project management (PPM) exists, this is not a prerequisite for the implementation of portfolio management. Questions about strategic alignment, overall capacity and affordability do not need to wait on the achievement of mature levels of delivery capability. Additionally, portfolio management does not replace or seek to micro-manage PPM; rather it seeks to ensure that PPM operates efficiently and effectively at a collective level and is coordinated with strategic, financial and performance management in the interests of the organization as a whole.

Portfolios represent the totality of an organization's investment (or segment thereof) in the changes required to achieve its strategic objectives. Portfolio management is a coordinated collection of strategic processes and decisions that together enable a more effective balance of organizational change and business as usual. As such, portfolio management provides senior management with reliable evidence enabling better and more informed investment decisions about:-

  • Where to invest in new initiatives,

  • Whether or not to continue to invest in existing initiatives,

  • How to ensure efficient and effective delivery,

  • How to maximize the return on investment.

​It goes beyond passive monitoring of progress to actively managing the composition and delivery of the portfolio as a whole, as well as ensuring that teams are energized, benefits realization is optimized and that lessons are learned and applied going forward.

Management of Portfolios - Energy Sources

I​t is also important to emphasize that:-

  • This does not necessarily mean significant additional spend or bureaucracy - portfolio management should pay its way from improved coordination of existing functions and processes, more effective delivery, more efficient resource management and enhanced benefits realization

  • Improved coordination of existing functions and processes,

  • More effective delivery,

  • More efficient resource management,

  • Enhanced benefits realization.

  • Additional IT solutions are not a necessary requirement. Such solutions can certainly add value, particularly in large portfolios, but process and governance come first.

  • Sophisticated approaches are not always superior to simpler, "lite' techniques such as those outlined in this guide (including those that make use of the Pareto or 80:20 rule).

  • Appropriate solutions will ultimately vary from organization to organization, reflecting factors such as their culture, governance and strategic objectives. Scalability is thus a key attribute of effective approaches to portfolio management - applying the principles and 'fit for purpose' practices in a manner that is tailored to the specific local circumstances and existing processes. The examples included in this course illustrate how organizations have adapted the principles and practices outlined to suit their circumstances.

  • Implementation of portfolio management can be effectively handled in a staged or phased manner starting with areas of greatest need, and quick wins (cheap, easy and achievable initiatives) can help demonstrate the value of a portfolio management approach.​

Whatever an organization's current level of maturity, the course will provide advice and insights to assist the design of an appropriate roadmap reflecting accepted good practice and the experience of those who have already successfully adopted portfolio management.

Advantages of MoP to your Organisation

The potential benefits are real and significant - research from the public and private sectors, in the UK and abroad, has identified that organizations which adopt a portfolio management approach can realize benefits in terms of:-

  • More of the 'right' programmes and projects being undertaken,
  • Removal of redundant, duplicate and poorly performing programmes and projects,
  • More effective implementation of programmes and projects via consistent approaches and improved dependency management,
  • More efficient resource utilization,
  • Better management of risk at a collective level,
  • Greater benefits realization and return on investment,
  • Enhanced transparency, accountability and corporate governance,
  • Improved engagement and Communication between senior management and staff.​

This last point is significant-portfolio management facilitates collaborative working in pursuit of the organization's strategic objectives. In so doing, portfolio management ensures that limited funds and other constrained resources are allocated to optimize strategic impact and then coordinates delivery and maintains strategic alignment. Finally, portfolio management is concerned with ensuring that the organization realizes the full potential benefits from its investments, and that lessons learned are applied to new investments.

MoP Application in Aotearoa/ New Zealand

Paul has an active consulting practice in Portfolio Management. Recognising MoP was developed in jurisdictions with many times the population of New Zealand Paul is conscious that MoP is right-sized while retaining the core principles and messages. Paul also includes key additional messages around organisations needing to ensure that they only take on work they are capable of and that they balance work according to their capability.

Paul's training is threaded with real life examples, tools and techniques which are uniquely focused to the challenges of running portfolios in Aoteroa/New Zealand.

Not Just Formula Delivery

Project Results achieves excellent exam results, but the primary focus is on being able to apply the approach to the real world after course completion. To achieve this, we provide absolutely the best trainers available, with in-depth experience of real world application and active consulting practices.​

​Our course developer Geoff Rankins is Australasia’s leading expert in MoP Geoff has helped establish major portfolios, such as a telecommunications infrastructure replacement portfolio, using an MoP management framework. He has rescued troubled portfolios in areas such as Defence OHS and drug con

Geoff Rankins is committed to helping organisations improve their approach to planning and delivering portfolios, programmes and projects (P3), associated organisational change, supporting organisational groups and methods, and business case development and maintenance. Geoff assists organisations to improve their P3 management maturity, and individuals to develop their professional capabilities, through maturity assessment, development of integrated management methods, training, executive briefing, coaching, consulting, process improvement and hands-on design, delivery and rescue of P3 initiatives.

Geoff is a registered MoP Practitioner and Trainer. Being a registered trainer in PRINCE2® , Managing Successful Programmes®, Management of Portfolios® , Management of Value® , Management of Risk® , Portfolio, Programme and Projects Offices® ​, Agile Project Manager, PRINCE2 Agile ,Change Management, Managing Benefits, and Better Business Cases he is able to give an integrated view to all of his training. He is a certified Gateway Reviewer and a certified P3M3 assessor. His depth of understanding of such a broad range of methods has allowed him to understand the overlaps and mismatches, and reconcile these methods for optimal results. He understands the deficiencies in each method, and how to adopt and tailor guidance from other methods to create a vertically integrated P3 management approach. Geoff also conducts training in business analysis and business modelling.

Geoff divides his time between training, consulting, coaching and supporting other training organisation. Geoff's clients have included Australian Federal, State and Local Government organisations, ASX 50 companies, Universities, Tier 1 and Tier 2 consulting firms, and not-for-profit organisations.

Geoff has worked in Federal and State Government departments, ASX 50 organisations, and Tier 1 consulting firms. His experience covers ICT, public administration, Defence, Police, transportation, mining, FMCG, financial services, telecommunications. He applies this broad experience across many industries and areas to enrich his training course delivery and the courseware he develops for use by other training organisations. His courseware is used across Australia, New Zealand, Africa, south-east and east Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.

​Geoff has a Bachelor degree with Honours in Physics and Mathematics, a Master of Applied Science degree with majors in artificial intelligence and management of software development, and an MBA focussed on technology management. He has been an Adjunct Teaching Fellow of the Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship, delivering courses in eBusiness Design. For more details see Geoff Rankins Australasian Expert Trainer and Consultant​

Paul Sutton is committed to helping organisations improve their business case, project, programme and portfolio management capability. To do this Paul has been working with a wide range of organisations developing capability through training, coaching, consulting, process improvement and hands-on delivery.

Paul combines in-depth process knowledge with 20 years of pragmatic hands-on experience in both business case development and project, programme and portfolio management. Paul has a broad picture focus combined with strong analytical thinking. He is an excellent communicator in both oral and written forms. He is also a very dynamic and engaging presenter. As a result he is able to give practical application to a huge range of questions and scenarios.

Paul is a Registered PRINCE2® , Managing Successful Programmes®, PRINCE2 Agile and Better Business Cases trainer. He also holds the PMP (Project Management Professional) certification from PMI (Project Management Institute) and is a Gateway Reviewer

For the past five years Paul has been on the organising committee for the PRINCE2 Users Group. This industry group is intended as an ideas sharing and capability building forum for the users of BBC, PRINCE2, MSP, MoP and other UK government approaches. Paul is also an active member of PMI. For more details see ​Paul Sutton Expert Trainer and Consultant

MoP Course Format

Our MoP courses and trainers are certified by AXELOS. This certification covers the MoP content as well as preparation for the Foundation and Practitioner exams.

The course is broken into two components. MoP Foundation and MoP Practitioner. The Foundation course gives you a complete overview of the method and exercises in application. Passing the exam will give you the Foundation qualification. The Practitioner course prepares you for the exam. The exam tests your application of MoP and upon passing the exam you can call yourself a "Registered MoP Practitioner​".

​The classroom MoP Foundation course is 3 days long and MoP Practitioner another day. This makes a total of 4 days if you want to do both Foundation and Practitioner.

Foundation Structure

Once you register for the course you are sent the “Management of Portfolios” manual and pre-course exercises. At least 10 hours work prior to the course is highly recommended. This pre-course work is one of the key reasons for or high success rates.

The Foundation component gives you the full MoP curriculum and is delivered through presentations, discussions, exercises and exam practice. The course is intensive, running from 8:30 to 5:00 with a recommended additional 2 hours of exam practice each evening.

As outlined above the course consists of presentations, discussions, small group exercises. We also have our own exam style questions and there are two sample exams supplied by APMG. We also have crosswords for those that like these along with an extensive range of templates and exemplars. We provide you with copies of all the course material and quick reference guides. The exercises are scenario based which not only prepares you for the the exam but also real world application of MoP.

For more information on what is included please click on our Project Results Best Practice Courseware page.

Foundation Exam​

At the end of the 3rd day participants sit a 40 minute Foundation exam, following which you are given your preliminary result (subject to confirmation by APMG). The exam is closed book and with 50 questions each worth one mark. You must correctly answer 50% to pass.

Aims of the Foundation Course

​The Foundation course is intensive but over the 3 days you will be given a complete understanding of the method. At the end you will sit the Foundation exam, demonstrating your understanding.

The Foundation training will allow delegates to understand the:-

  • Scope and objectives of portfolio management and how it differs from programme and project management,

  • Principles upon which successful portfolio management is based,

  • Approaches to implementation, the factors to consider in maintaining progress, and how to assess the success of portfolio management,

  • Purposes of the portfolio management definition and delivery cycles and their component practices, and relevant techniques applicable to each practice,

  • Purpose and key content of the major portfolio documents,

  • Scope of key portfolio management roles.

Foundation Course Coverage​

​The Foundation training will cover:-

  • What is portfolio management?,
  • Value management and its the strategic and organisational context,
  • Portfolio management principles,
  • Portfolio management cycles,
  • Portfolio definition practices,
  • Portfolio delivery practices,
  • Portfolio management documents,
  • Portfolio management roles and responsibilities,
  • Preparation for the Foundation Examination.

Who should attend Foundation

This course is aimed at those involved in a range of formal and informal portfolio management roles encompassing investment decision making, project and programme delivery, and benefits realisation. It is relevant to all those involved in the selection and delivery of business change initiatives including: members of Management Boards and Directors of Change; Senior Responsible Owners (SROs); portfolio, programme, project, business change and benefits managers; and business case writers and project appraisers.

Foundation Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites for the course but as stated above we do recommend you complete the pre-course work.​

Practitioner Structure

​​You will be given the Practitioner courseware at the end of the Foundation course or upon registration (if you have already completed Foundation). You can then get straight onto practicing the APMG sample exam, which is homework for the first night.

The course is 1 day long with the 3 hour Practitioner exam at the end of the day. In the morning we revise the key concepts of MoP and their application. We also look at the exam and provide you with techniques for obtaining the best result.

Practitioner Exam

​The Practitioner Exam is a 3 hour open book, scenario based, multiple choice exam. It is open book with you being able to use the MoP manual. There are 80 questions each worth one mark. You must correctly answer 40 (50%) or more marks to pass. The exam is marked by APMG in Australia and participants receive their result in 1-2 weeks.

Aims of the Practitioner Course

The 1 day Practitioner course builds on your Foundation understanding and demonstrates your ability to apply MoP in different environments as well as to adapt it to specific scenarios.

Who should attend Practitioner

Practitioner is the qualification which organisations are seeking in professional portfolio managers, those consulting in the portfolio environment and those involved in organisational process.

Practitioner Prerequisites

​APMG requires that candidates for the Practitioner Exam must have previously passed the Foundation Examination and with our excellent pass rates you shouldn't have a problem with this.

​The other good news is that if you are not ready for Practitioner you can complete Foundation now and Practitioner at some later stage. You can also book Foundation in one course and come back and do Practitioner another. We don't charge you any extra to do it this way. To learn more about the relative merits of this click on All at once or split and also our No penalty pricing.

MoP Registered Practitioners are required to be re-registered within 3-5 years of their original certification. This re-registration comprises a 1-hour examination set at the same standard as the Practitioner examination.

For more details see our
Pass rates and certification page.​


Are there ID requirements ?

Yes to sit the exam you must provide recognised photo ID for verification purposes.

What are my transport/parking options for getting to and from the event?

It is at Te-Papa so about 15 minuites walk from the railway station or 5 minuites from buses passing through the CBD. A special participant rate car parking rate (of around $10-00) is available to our course participants at Te Papa as well.

What can I bring into the event?

The pre-course work we send you. Everything else is provided including excellent catering and refreshments throughout the day.

How can I contact the organiser with any questions?

Just e-mail Ady on

What's the refund policy?

With 14 days notice you can withdraw for a full refund or a 50% refund up until the business day before the course. We will also consider rescheduling you for no cost. Contact us for more details.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

No. We will remember you.

Can I update my registration information?

Yes just contact us.

Is it ok if the name on my ticket or registration doesn't match the person who attends?

We usually substitute at no cost but you need to advise us first.

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Te Papa Museum

55 Cable St

Te Aro

Wellington, Wellington 6011

New Zealand

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