Eight Critical Portfolio Management Processes

The Portfolio Management process blade describes how a disciplined agile IT organization goes about identifying, organizing, and governing their various IT endeavors.  IT endeavors include solution delivery projects, product development teams, business experiments (along the lines of a lean startup strategy), and even the operations of existing IT-based solutions.  This article is organized into the following topics:

  • Process
  • Workflow with other IT teams
  • Related process blades


The following diagram overviews the potential activities associated with disciplined agile portfolio management.

There are eight critical process factors to consider:

  1. Identify potential value.  Working closely with your product management team (if you have one), your portfolio management team will identify potential new ideas and products to develop.  You will do this through monitoring the business environment to see what your competitors are doing, through obtaining feedback from your existing customers, and by envisioning the future needs of your customers through agile modeling and brainstorming sessions.

  2. Explore potential endeavors.  The portfolio management team will invest time in understanding a potential endeavor.  They may choose to consider the business case for the endeavor, perhaps creating high-level guesses at the potential market potential or return on investment (ROI) of the endeavor.  The team may also consider alternative approaches to the endeavor and may even choose to run a focus group or small experiment to better understand it.

  3. Prioritize potential endeavors.  Because few organizations have unlimited budgets to work from you will need to prioritize potential endeavors and then invest in the ones that are most important to you.  There are several factors to consider when prioritizing, including: business value (disciplined agile IT departments strive to maximize the value that they provide to the overall organization); business risk (risk and value often go hand-in-hand, although sometimes you`ll find some endeavors are too risky to consider right now); due date (some endeavors are driven by government regulation or by promises made to important customers); and dependency.

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Tags: Organisatie
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