Landon Oy Operative Minded Consulting

It is surprising how many companies could, and should, improve on their development portfolio management.
Many companies do not even use the concept too well explaining that there are “not many products”. But there perhaps should be?

Bad decisions are costly - doing the wrong product or wrong features is costly and burns a lot of your time - customers get frustrated and you give your an edge for your competitors.

Additionally, if you do not have a working portfolio management, the decision what to implement lies often in the Agile team.
As you know if there is no better guidance the person implementing will do the decisions and trade-offs.
Be sure you have the decision making at the right place.

Best companies have transferred their viewpoint from project portfolios to ”planning portfolios”
One creates the future portfolio of products and their key content as plans.
Number of products and their key contents should be defined by the best timing to the markets and the most valuable feature content.
Projects start faster, as their ”soul” has been defined already and project kick starts forward.

Natural pre-requisitions for this to work:
  • Projects and programs should keep their timetables (as good as possible)
  • Launch quality should be secured at the launch time.
  • Product launch windows and contents come from strategies – those steer your portfolio

All these can be improved, and various medicine exist to get the them better.

As it is in practice unrealistic to have projects that keep 100.0% well their timetables, and as customer needs, and competitive landscape changes based on competitor actions, one should have excellent decision mechanisms in place to keep the portfolio and plans in shape - you should have defined your meeting gearboxes. These decision making forums that review the plans, and resolve conflicts, approve the plans for the next 12-48 months (depending on the industry) Implementing this gives you competitive edge - we believe.