Resetting the relationship between local and national government. Read our Local Government White Paper

Manage the portfolio, programme and projects

Governance and control is the ability to manage transformation activities in a structured way that creates the conditions for successful delivery. Managing the portfolio, programme and projects is essential to this.

What is portfolio, programme, and project management?

The ability to plan, schedule and drive the delivery of related activities to deliver a specific strategic outcome, or outcomes, across multiple projects and programmes (portfolio management), multiple projects or workstreams (programme management), or multiple task areas (project management)

Essential for:

  • All types of transformation.


  • Relevant project and programme methodologies including Agile, Scrum, Waterfall, based on the type of transformation.
  • Understanding of when to apply each.


Able to:

  • Think strategically: Aligning portfolio, programme and projects to the council’s overall objectives to ensure transformation outcomes are achieved.
  • Prioritise: Projects, programmes and activities based on importance and impact, taking into account sequencing constraints and managing dependencies.
  • Apply the appropriate delivery methods: To optimise the conditions for success.
  • Problem solve: Using critical thinking skills to understand complex problems, identify root cause issues and create solutions.
  • Be organised: Ensuring line of sight over key activities and maintaining a methodical, logical and transparent approach to work.
  • Involve stakeholders: To enable joint decision making and the engagement of stakeholders throughout the duration of the transformation.
  • Build effective teams: With relevant multi-disciplinary skillsets to match the needs of the project or programme activity. 
  • Collaborate and communicate: Continuously with stakeholders as part of multi-disciplinary teams to convey ideas, share insights, prioritise work, manage issues, elicit feedback, and maintain transparency.
  • Consider resource needs: Including planning relevant roles and defining and implementing the processes for Waterfall delivery, and for Agile including user story capture and validation, backlog refinement, sprint planning, stand ups and retrospectives, managing flow etc.
  • Build relationships: Establish, nurture and maintain positive relationships to achieve transformation outcomes.
  • Negotiate: In the interest of sequencing work effectively and applying appropriate governance to it.
  • Manage risks: Within the defined risk framework to ensure delivery remains within organisational risk appetite.
  • Estimate, plan and manage time: Including working to timescales and gates, or in time boxed sprints.
  • Use the relevant tools: To support portfolio, programme and project management and collaboration, backlog management and project oversight.
  • Manage resources: Ensuring the effective planning, allocation, and use of resources to achieve desired transformation outcomes.
  • Resolve conflicts: Working with stakeholders to resolve conflicting ideas and priorities and to reach agreement and work productively.
  • Apply metrics: Such as velocity, lead time and cycle time to measure team performance and improve the pace and quality of delivery over time.


  • Accountable
  • Collaborative
  • Empathetic
  • Resilient
  • Adaptable
  • Controlled
  • Committed to continuous learning

Related roles

  • Portfolio Manager
  • Programme Director
  • Programme Manager
  • Project Manager

Governance and control maturity index

The index attached sets out the typical governance and control characteristics demonstrated by councils at each stage of their transformation maturity.