Managing a Portfolio in a Way that Supports and Promotes Organizational Innovation and Agility

Mark ArntzTue, 07/31/2018 - 15:18

Organizational alignment is the key to achieving better performance with organizational assets.  Are you spending on things that align with your organizational objectives?  Are you spreading yourself thin on things that are not part of your core competencies?  Without alignment, the best strategic plans will never be realized.  Business/IT alignment is also a crucial component of this alignment. 

Alignment is critical, but it is not enough.  Fit-for-purpose work needs to flow to the customer…fast.  Inventory represents investment, not end value.  Too much Work-in-Progress…work does not flow!!!

Managing Portfolio

The goal in portfolio management is to first, generate ideas (no judgments about good or bad), then select the best ideas (now you're judging) that will generate value to the customer, at a cadence that will enable smooth flow and fast delivery, to maximize ROI.  Flow is key.  To enable flow, the cadence most often must be reduced.  Otherwise you get into a traffic jam and the work grinds to a slow crawl. 

To enable flow you make things smaller, limit the work-in-progress, you create focus, and you work on the production engine to make it run as efficiently as possible. 

It doesn’t help to produce more stuff, if you can’t release it to your customer.  So, you need to work on the production engine from end-to-end.  Wherever possible you implement easy-buttons.  Just push the button and it happens.  Push the button and the product gets built.  Push the button and it gets tested.  Push the button and the product is deployed.  Automation is key.  Eliminating the possibility of human error is the product of automation.  When human error is eliminated, the IT control freaks can ease up on their controls.

Our classes at ASPE cover this in several classes.  You need to learn Agile, DevOps, Agile Portfolio and Program Management, Kanban and Scrum.  SAFe will help you scale to the enterprise.  These classes and others will help you put the pieces together that will help you accomplish your objectives.  You can’t expect to flip a switch and work miracles.  It doesn’t happen over night.  But if you don’t start, you won’t get there.  It’s one foot in front of the other, step by step you will closer with each step.  Your competition is nipping at your heels so you better get started.