Strategic Portfolio Investment Management
To apply the principles of business agile principles to a strategic portfolio organizations will first need to make conscious decisions about where they are going, how they are getting there and once they have started the journey how they are going to make sure they are still on the right path.
In theory, any portfolio management process can provide this roadmap. In practice, we find that organizations have a nasty habit of committing to their strategic plan with their fingers crossed behind their backs. It isn’t that the strategy isn’t important. It’s just that there’s an unspoken agreement that when push comes to shove the needs of the day to day operations will always be more important than the future facing strategy.
The only way to truly avoid this trap is by clearly deciding in advance how much money should go toward which class of activity (operations, innovation or digital transformation). No plan ever stays static but with discipline dollars and people can stay focused on at least the category of work the organization planned to fund. Additionally, no prudent organization starts more work than they can finish in a timely fashion. Taking a scattershot approach to portfolio funding essentially diminishes the value of every dollar spent. Some efforts will succeed, but the majority will simply be “less than successful.”
Over the years we’ve spoken with hundreds of companies about their portfolio process, and we think it is safe to say that the failure of portfolio management in most organizations has one cause. It is the failure to make decisions, based on good analytics, at the right time.
The workflow above shows a fairly simple approach to making sure that decisions are made at the right time, with all the right people involved and with as much pertinent data as possible. Once implemented this approach ensures that at least the initial decision process on what to do leaves the project and program teams in a position to have the time and the funds to do the job right.
If a reliable, fast and effective portfolio process sounds like something your organization has been trying to put into practices for years, then please contact us. We can help you build a strategic portfolio investment approach in short order.