Portfolio Management comprises managing decisions across disciplines:
Governance and Decision-Making
- How should you determine the collective budget for all of your programs? Do you use a top-down or a bottom-up approach?
- How do you prioritize projects? How do prioritize revenue vs. risk? How do you prioritize strategic projects with long-term gains vs. quick tactical benefits?
- Who gets to decide prioritization? Who needs to be involved with key decisions? When do you escalate issues (and to whom)? How do you scale decision-making without loss of control?
Estimation and Planning
- How do you build estimate the time and cost it will take to do something you have never done before?
- How do balance the need for fixed dates with flexibility required the unknowns of everyday life?
- How do you pull this together—at scale across all of your projects—to plan allocation of resources for the month, quarter and year—and keep everything in budget
Measurement and Reporting
- How often should you assemble and review a report on your portfolio? Do weekly reviews create excessive overhead? Do monthly ones let issues, budgets, and timelines get to far out of control?
- Are your metrics forward-looking or do they only report on the past?
- How do you differentiate between what Green, Yellow and Red really mean? How do you get people to measure risk and status consistently? How to determine the health of one portfolio vs. another?
- How do you all this without creating undue work and overhead?
For over a decade, our team has been helping a variety of organizations answer these questions for portfolios with total annual budgets ranging from $3 million to $600 million. We have developed three proprietary tools that help companies do this with consistency, objectivity and minimal work:
- Cell-based (a.k.a. Decision-based or Agile) Governance model pushes decision-making to downward to empowered line managers (while creating open channels for expedited escalation and triage)
- Forward-looking Portfolio Dashboard model that provides forward indicators into portfolio health, letting detect risks early and head off problems before they occur
- Training, Tools and templates to do this at scale, without incurring large work overhead—and without the need to invest in expensive software or reporting tools.
We would be happy to help you train your staff in these methods, set up their operation and facilitate your use for Agile Portfolio Management