Thinking portfolio launched the social responsibility program Young Talent for Finnish universities on May 3, 2019. As part of the program, Thinking Portfolio provides a standard project portfolio free of charge for educational use.

Nobody expected the upcoming covid-19 crisis in the spring of 2019, but it was clear to us that companies needed faster responsiveness combined with holistic management. We wanted to commit ourselves in increasing the skills and understanding of portfolio management for entry-level project professionals.

Turku University of Applied Sciences is already a familiar partner to us. We have participated in the Project Breakfast event organized by Turku University of Applied Sciences, and our experts have held seminars on portfolio management and program management to the participants of the Turku University of Applied Sciences advanced studies courses in Project Management.

In early 2020, we were offered a unique opportunity to compile a project portfolio suitable for project management studies together with the Turku University of Applied Sciences Master School project team. We eagerly seized the opportunity, and the actual work was commenced in March 2020. As this was the first Young Talent portfolio for us as well, the operating models and the content of the portfolio were modified as part of the project. The most crucial output for us was, of course, a standardized project portfolio data model that is ideal for both portfolio and project management. The project team also completed the primary user and operating instructions.

From Young Talent to Portfolio Master Talent

The collaboration with the project team was enthusiastic on both sides and we kept challenging each other.

In the beginning, it soon became apparent that this is something different than Young Talent we had initially thought. To describe it better, we decided to rename our program the Thinking Portfolio Master Talent. Students are all working professionals in project management – typically in the role of a project manager, for example.

Our application consultant implemented the jointly defined changes to the portfolio, and the project team performed acceptance testing. The schedule was tight, but the goal was reached, although the timetable looked next to impossible at the beginning! We worked on the portfolio every couple of weeks, and at the end of May, it was complete.

It will be interesting to see which college will take up the challenge next and how the Thinking Portfolio’s Master Talent program will evolve – maybe to new portfolio types!

Interested in our Thinking Portfolio Master Talent -program? Contact Us!

Katri Harju
Portfolio Service Advisor (producer, Thinking Portfolio Master Talent program)
Puhelin 040 706 4354

Turku University of Applied Sciences project group’s view: A magical result with an impossible schedule

Two months to develop a project portfolio suitable for Turku University of Applied Sciences’ Master School project management studies! – Sounds easy?

The five top notch professionals of the project group “Magiat Millat” took up the challenge and rolled up their sleeves. At Turku University of Applied Sciences’ Master School, project management is studied with real-life projects, and a customized portfolio solution was needed. As part of its Young Talent program, Thinking Portfolio offered Turku University of Applied Sciences project portfolio for educational use. The project group dived deep into the portfolio, researching and testing the properties and functionalities of the portfolio. The team compiled a full Excel sheet of the diverse requirements and challenges of the project management study module for implementation in the Thinking Portfolio. Esa and Katri from Thinking Portfolio did not balk, and without question, they began working closely with the five to find solutions to the requirements. That is how the collaboration started – pro bono.

“Turku University of Applied Sciences’ Master School project management training aims above all to develop the skills needed in practical working life projects. Portfolio management tools are already commonplace in many workplaces. I think it is important that the Turku University of Applied Sciences learning environment allows us to offer our students the opportunity to learn important working life skills in portfolio management.”

Teppo Neuvonen
Turku AMK / Master School

Efficient and intuitive tool as a response to the Master School’s need and desire to manage student projects

With Thinking Portfolio tool, the information content of projects can be conveniently found in one place and converted into PDF reports. What a relief it is compared to the previous approach as there is no more searching for and editing ‘templates.’ The tool helps and guides students to focus more on project management and content itself, while the tool provides teachers a general overview of projects. For example, the system offers a lot of opportunities for beginners and advanced students alike to collaborate on project management studies, which provides an excellent opportunity for peer learning.

The first step in the Young Talent program has now been taken. With the implementation of a project portfolio, experience accumulates, and ‘hunger grows’ – that’s how it always goes. The project group already know that the system offers broader opportunities for educational institutions in portfolio management. We are looking forward to how our collaboration will develop – it certainly has gotten off to a great start!