PMI’s PMBOK 5th Edition Project, Program and Portfolio

Project is a temporary endeavor to produce a product, service or result. Example: an operations systems for the freight forwarding division of a company.

Program is a group of projects that together may work towards the same objectives. Example: the previous project, plus a system to manage the rail transportation business unit, a system to digitalize any image into the company repository, and a mobile app for truck drivers. All of them are related between them, are for the same customer.

Portfolio is a group of programs and single projects, not related to each other. All the projects executed by a software factory company for all its customers.

In short: a portfolio can have several programs and projects, a program can have several projects, and a project is just a project.

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