Is Everyone Fighting for Resources?
6 Steps to Better Portfolio Management
1. Have a standing cross-organizational portfolio team:
A Portfolio Analysis and Recommendation Team – ‘PART’ with a structure, process, cadence, measures, metrics and portfolio goals will create an efficient and credible environment for portfolio issues to be managed. The PART Team must know the overall business strategy and work to deliver the strategy by establishing functional department strategies and product-line strategies.
2. Develop and define product-line strategies:
With organization and management input, define product-line strategies within the portfolios so they are clear to the organization and the cross-organizational project teams. Without this critical information the teams will not be aligned on ‘where to play and how to win’ at each point of the functional strategies. Create leverage for your product lines by developing them with a product-line platform approach.
Here is a link to a white paper discussing the value and benefit of product-line strategies, written by Paul O’Connor of The Adept Group.
The PART (portfolio team) analyzes portfolio scenarios based on cross-organizational data. It optimizes and rationalizes the opportunities. The PART then makes portfolio recommendations on execution paths forward to business decision makers.
3. Create product line roadmaps:
Using the product-line strategies, and targets for innovation and development, create and align around product-line roadmaps that create a framework of ‘critical-to-roadmap’, events, milestones, technology development or procurement, to track portfolio execution, metrics, and progress. If you need some help on how to create smart effective product line strategies and product-line roadmaps, there are many workshops, white papers, webinars, and conferences.
4. Optimize the portfolio:
Collect the right data to create and analyze portfolio scenarios, identify gaps, and make recommendations to decision makers on resource allocation, based on data not emotion.
Try software support like Sopheon Accolade,
5. Allocate resources:
Track and allocate resources by project and by total portfolio. Make decisions one level above where the resources are shared, so that each decision does not turn into a boxing match. Software can identify resource constraints and help to prioritize the reallocation of resources to those critical-to-strategy products and projects.
6. Analyze the risk:
Analyze the risk to your projects and assess the risk of your total portfolio so that you can add resources, kill, hold, speed up slow, down and add more projects to meet the goals the business has set.
If your portfolio team is not recommending some projects slow down, while others get killed, or be replaced by projects with more impact, then you may not have a strategy or critical roadmap activities identified.
If your team doesn’t have a framework such as product-line strategies and product-line roadmaps then it will not be able to optimize the allocation of resources and recommend the most strategic and impactful path forward for the development effort. You will be slower and less efficient than you could be otherwise, or worse slower and less efficient than the competition!
Stop wasting time and energy fighting for resources and get behind a common roadmap and execution plan. Use these six steps to create a data-based approach to the management of your product portfolio, new product development and innovation.
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