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Unit of study_

PMGT5879: Strategic Portfolio and Program Management

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.


Academic unit Project Management
Unit code PMGT5879
Unit name Strategic Portfolio and Program Management
Session, year
Semester 2, 2020
Attendance mode Online
Location Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Petr Matous,
Lecturer(s) Gerard Peter Mcgarry ,
Harold Lawson Ainsworth,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Participation Discussion forums
10% Multiple weeks n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Assignment group assignment Assignment 1
25% Week 07 n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Assignment group assignment Assignment 2
25% Week 12 n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO3
Assignment Reflective learning report
40% Week 13 n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
group assignment = group assignment ?
  • Assignment 1: Portfolio assignment. 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. 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, students will perform a confidential, online evaluation of your other team members contribution.
  • Reflective learning report: 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.
  • Discussion forums: Participate in 4 on-line forums - first forum weeks 3-4, second weeks 5-6, third weeks 7-8 and fourth weeks 9-10.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website provides information on academic honesty, academic dishonesty, and the resources available to all students.

The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic dishonesty or plagiarism seriously.

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of dishonesty, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 1. Introduction to the unit; 2. Introductory tutorials; 3. Strategy Independent study (12 hr) LO1
Week 02 Portfolio management Independent study (12 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 03 1. Program management; 2. Strategic risk Independent study (12 hr) LO1 LO3 LO5
Week 04 1. Governance and reporting (initial view); 2. Stakeholder and change management (initial view) Independent study (12 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 05 Business cases Independent study (12 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 06 Benefits realisation Independent study (12 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 07 Governance and reporting Independent study (12 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 08 Stakeholder management Independent study (12 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 09 Quality management and assurance Independent study (12 hr) LO4
Week 10 Change Management Independent study (12 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 11 Agile in Portfolio and Program Management Independent study (12 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 12 Review all material Independent study (12 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

Some readings for this unit can be accessed through the Library eReserve, available on Canvas.

  • Michel Thiry, Program Management. Farnham, Surrey, UK, Gower, 2010.
  • Project Management Institute, The Standard for Portfolio Management (Third Edition). Project Management Institute, 2012.
  • Project Management Institute, The Standard for Program Management (Third Edition). Project Management Institute, 2012.
  • Sergio Pellegrinelli, Thinking & Acting like a great programme manager. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University’s graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. understand how portfolio and program management, together with project management, are used to implement organisation strategy
  • LO2. understand how mature portfolio management can assist organisations to obtain improved business value from their investments in programs and projects, by selecting the best mix of these initiatives
  • LO3. understand how program management assists organisations to coordinate projects to implement strategy, and manage organisation change in order to obtain the proposed benefits
  • LO4. understand how projects are delivery-focused, and enablers, but when combined with business, change can create value for the organisation
  • LO5. 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.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
additional material has been added to a number of topics including agile and its impact on Portfolio and Program management


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