Accept Software Resource Library
PPM is Dead - Long live Portfolio
I have not had this much fun in years! We are in the midst of a pivotal shift in how companies manage their product portfolios and a new approach is emerging that finally links rapid top-down executive modeling with detailed bottom-up planning.
The company and product executives I meet with all agree that the old Project Portfolio Management (PPM) approaches are dead. The fact that they are only 10-15 years old show how fast things have changed.
Accelerated product lifecycles, competitive pressures, and the lack of margins of error are bringing product portfolio to the forefront and forcing companies to rethink how they do it.
Problems with the "old" approach that I keep hearing from companies:
- PPM tools require an inordinate amount of detailed data (tasks and schedules) to be defined for each item to be considered in a portfolio-even those that will not be funded. We cannot afford this level of upfront analysis.
- Executives use spreadsheets and PowerPoint's to define their plans and strategy. Teams use project management or other tools to track their tasks. The two are totally disconnected and there is no way to ensure alignment and quickly adjust operational plans to changes in strategy.
- The bottom line: people are not focused on the products and initiatives that produce the most value for their organization; and companies are slow to respond to changing conditions.
How is the next generation of portfolio management shaping up? This is where it gets really exciting because we are finally starting to see approaches that by linking strategy to execution give a company true strategic agility. Here is the new approach in broad strokes:
- Executives rapidly model their portfolio around company objectives and within constraints of resources and risk. This is done with high-level assumptions on the business case for each initiative.
- Only initiatives and products that pass the initial modeling test are broken down in detailed plans. And detailed plans are based on prioritized requirements, not just schedules.
- Bottom line: unified visibility across stakeholders on what the company is working on and why; and ability to rapidly adjust to changing conditions with the confidence that no impacted areas are missed.
What an opportunity to be a change agent and drive this type of transformation in your organization!