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Unify a Mixed Methodology Portfolio

Improve portfolio oversight and agility without going old school command and control.

  • As portfolio manager, you oversee a portfolio made up of projects using different types of planning and execution methodologies – from traditional Waterfall, to Agile, to hybrid approaches and beyond. The discontinuity between reporting metrics and funding models makes a holistic and perpetually actionable view of the portfolio elusive.
  • Agile’s influence is growing within the organization’s project ecosystem. Even projects that don’t formally use Agile methods often adopt agile tendencies, such as mitigating risk with shorter, more iterative development cycles and increasing collaboration with stakeholders. While this has introduced efficiencies at the project level, it has not translated into business agility, with decision makers still largely playing a passive role in terms of steering the portfolio.
  • Senior management still expects traditional commitments and deadlines, not “sprints” and “velocity.” The reluctance of many Agile purists to adhere to traditional timeline, budget, and scope commitments is not making Agile a particularly popular conversation topic among the organization’s decision-making layer.
  • As portfolio manager, it’s your job to unify these two increasingly fragmented worlds into a unified portfolio.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • As Agile’s influence grows and project methodologies morph and proliferate, a more engaged executive layer is required than what we see in a traditional portfolio approach. Portfolio owners have to decide what gets worked on at a regular cadence.
  • What’s the difference? In the old paradigm, nobody stopped the portfolio owners from approving too much. Decisions were based on what should be done, rather than what could get done in a given period, with the resources available.
  • The engaged portfolio succeeds by making sure that the right people work on the right things as much as possible. The portfolio owner plays a key, ongoing role in identifying the work that needs to be done, and the portfolio managers optimize the usage of resources.

Impact and Result

  • Establish universal control points. While the manager of a mixed methodology portfolio doesn’t need to enforce a standardized project methodology, she or he does need to establish universal control points for both intake and reporting at the portfolio level. Use this research to help you define a sustainable process that will work for all types of projects.
  • Scale the approvals process. For a mixed methodology portfolio to work, the organization needs to reconcile different models for approving and starting projects. This blueprint will help you define a right-sized intake process and decision-making paradigm for sprints and project phases alike.
  • Foster ongoing executive engagement. Mixed methodology success is contingent on regular and ongoing executive engagement. Use the tools and templates associated with this blueprint to help get buy-in and commitment upfront, and then to build out portfolio reports and dashboard that will help keep the executive layer informed and engaged long term.

Unify a Mixed Methodology Portfolio Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should consider an Engaged Agile Portfolio approach, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

1. Get portfolio commitments

Assess the current state of the portfolio and ensure that portfolio owners and other stakeholders are onboard before you move forward to develop and implement new portfolio processes.

2. Define your portfolio processes

Wireframe standardized portfolio processes for all project methodologies to follow.

3. Implement your processes

Pilot your new portfolio processes and decision-making paradigm. Then, execute a change impact analysis to inform your communications strategy and implementation plan.

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About Info-Tech

Info-Tech Research Group is the world’s fastest-growing information technology research and advisory company, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals.

We produce unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. We partner closely with IT teams to provide everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your IT problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Speak With An Analyst

Get the help you need in this 3-phase advisory process. You'll receive 9 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation 1: Get portfolio commitments
  • Call 1: Scoping call.
  • Call 2: Analyze the current state of the portfolio.
  • Call 3: Prepare a stakeholder presentation.

Guided Implementation 2: Define your portfolio processes
  • Call 1: Define a portfolio intake workflow.
  • Call 2: Establish a project prioritization process.
  • Call 3: Develop a process to balance sprint supply and demand.
  • Call 4: Define project and portfolio reporting requirements.

Guided Implementation 3: Implement your processes
  • Call 1: Plan an Engage Agile Portfolio Pilot Implementation.
  • Call 2: Review the change impacts of your Engaged Agile Portfolio to help assess sustainability.


Travis Duncan

Barry Cousins


Andrew Cvitanov, Director - PMO and Portfolio Management, DLL Group

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