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The increasing use of project and programs by organizations in Australia to achieve business strategy has led to the need to understand project portfolio management . In this study, project portfolio management is referred as portfolio management and it is recognised as one discipline within organizational governance and capability. To investigate the governance structures and the roles, responsibilities and practices of portfolio managers, a sequential mixed method approach under a realism paradigm is used. This paper presents the first stage qualitative study, using an inductive interview based approach with six portfolio managers for six organizations in Australia. The results from the qualitative study are used to validate the research model developed on the basis of previous research and develop the constructs for the concept of portfolio context and the roles, responsibilities and practices of portfolio managers in the research model for the next stage, a quantitative study.