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Maintain an Organized Portfolio

Align portfolio management practices with COBIT (APO05: Manage Portfolio).

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A disorganized portfolio of programs and projects results in:

  • High-priority projects being delayed or postponed for the sake of lower priority projects.
  • More projects being included in the portfolio than can be executed with existing budgets or human resources, leading to poor project performance, unsatisfied stakeholders, and disengaged project managers/workers.
  • An inability to deliver the projects and benefits needed to drive the business’ strategic and operational goals forward.

Maintaining an organized portfolio leads to:

  • A portfolio that contains projects/programs that are strategically aligned and within existing financial and human resource constraints.
  • Improved portfolio visibility and improved portfolio decision making.
  • More effective delivery of benefits for the organization as a whole, increased stakeholder satisfaction, and improved project manager/worker engagement due to more reasonable workloads.

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Case Studies and Deliverables

Portfolio Management Case Study for Mid-Sized Education Organization

A leading University making the transition toward becoming a Research Institution had a consistent record of growth which created a supply and demand imbalance between their resources and outputs. This imbalance was exacerbated by flat budgets for IT, which were expected to continue for the foreseeable future. IT needed to take a new approach to mitigate these issues.

Portfolio Management SOP for Retail Company

Fueled by growth, IT faced some large strategic issues and did not have the time to spend on operational initiatives. The organization needed to build a process that looked at the overall portfolio that took both strategic and operational projects into account.

Portfolio Management Case Study of Mid-Sized Credit Union

The IT spending of a medium-sized credit union with 20 IT staff was inversely proportional to the strategic priorities of the company at large. Aligning spending with strategic goals, and getting the right IT skills and change and project management processes to deliver on alignment, was required to mitigate the pain. The credit union engaged Info-Tech to help them reprioritize its IT project portfolio and assess the supporting processes and skills required as a starting point to better business alignment.

Portfolio Management Case Study of a Large Museum

The Board of Directors and Chief Curator at a well-respected museum on the US east coast saw the need for IT to develop better Project oversight. As each new museum exhibit involved some IT capability, IT had to better manage its resources to supply both new (even last-minute) functionality as well as make progress against legacy maintenance issues. A new PMO director was hired just two weeks before Info-Tech arrived on-site, the workshop being timed to help the new PMO director launch the PPM function. In just one week, Info-Tech helped the museum move its IT PPM process and tool creation forward a “light year.”

Module 1: Assess Portfolio Mix and Portfolio Process Current State

The Purpose

  • Analyze the current mix of the portfolio to determine how to better organize it according to organizational goals and constraints.
  • Assess which PPM processes need to be enhanced to better organize the portfolio.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • An analysis of the existing portfolio of projects (highlighting areas of concern).
  • An analysis of the maturity of current PPM processes and their ability to support the maintenance of an organized portfolio.

Activities: Outputs:
1.1 Pre-work: Prepare a complete project list.
1.2 Define existing portfolio categories, criteria, and targets.
1.3 Analyze the current portfolio mix.
  • Analysis of the current portfolio mix
1.4 Identify areas of concern with current portfolio mix.
1.5 Review the six COBIT sub-processes for portfolio management (APO05.01-06).
1.6 Assess the degree to which these sub-processes have been currently achieved at the organization.
1.7 Assess the degree to which portfolio-supporting IT governance and management processes exist.
1.8 Perform a gap analysis.
  • Assessment of COBIT alignment and gap analysis.

Module 2: Define Portfolio Target Mix, Criteria, and Roadmap

The Purpose

  • Define clear and usable portfolio criteria.
  • Record/design portfolio management processes that will support the consistent use of portfolio criteria at all stages of the project lifecycle.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Clearly defined and usable portfolio criteria.
  • A portfolio management framework that supports the consistent use of the portfolio criteria across all stages of the project lifecycle.

Activities: Outputs:
2.1 Identify determinants of the portfolio mix, criteria, and constraints.
  • Portfolio criteria
2.2 Define the target mix, portfolio criteria, and portfolio metrics.
  • Portfolio metrics for intake, monitoring, closure, termination, reprioritization, and benefits tracking
2.3 Identify sources of funding and resourcing.
2.4 Review and record the portfolio criteria based upon the goals and constraints.
2.5 Create a PPM improvement roadmap.
  • Portfolio Management Improvement Roadmap

Module 3: Design Improved Portfolio Sub-Processes

The Purpose

  • Ensure that the portfolio criteria are used to guide decision making at each stage of the project lifecycle when making decisions about which projects to include or remove from the portfolio.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Processes that support decision making based upon the portfolio criteria.
  • Processes that ensure the portfolio remains consistently organized according to the portfolio criteria.

Activities: Outputs:
3.1 Ensure that the metrics used for each sub-process are based upon the standard portfolio criteria.
3.2 Establish the roles, accountabilities, and responsibilities for each sub-process needing improvement.
  • A RACI chart for each sub-process
3.3 Outline the workflow for each sub-process needing improvement.
  • A workflow for each sub-process

Module 4: Change Impact Analysis and Stakeholder Engagement Plan

The Purpose

  • Ensure that the portfolio management improvement initiatives are sustainably adopted in the long term.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Stakeholder engagement.
  • Sustainable long-term adoption of the improved portfolio management practices.

Activities: Outputs:
4.1 Conduct a change impact analysis.
  • Change Impact Analysis
4.2 Create a stakeholder engagement plan.
  • Stakeholder Engagement Plan
  • Completed Portfolio Management SOP
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