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29 08, 2018

Manage risks, but don’t eliminate them

By |2018-08-29T20:43:26-08:00August 29th, 2018|Blog|3 Comments

Wait, what? When is it bad to eliminate risks? Many companies we speak with are keen to score their portfolio of initiatives across a number of dimensions like:

  • Strategic fit
  • Market value
  • Development cost
  • Technical risk
  • Commercial risk

So far so good. The process goes awry when teams, seduced by the idea of simplicity, distill all the dimensions into a single score for each project. High strategic fit and market value are “good” and increase the score, while high cost and risk are “bad” and reduce the score.

And therein lies the problem. This single score approach will always reward low-cost, low-risk projects. Likely outcomes of prioritizing by this single score include: (more…)

18 05, 2017

Getting Started: Beginning Portfolio Management (2 of 5)

By |2017-05-23T15:41:58-08:00May 18th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

This is the second post in our series on doing more portfolio management with less project data. You’ll find the whole series here.

Data needed at each level of portfolio management. The only required data are the three items in the orange Beginner box. How much further you go depends on your people, your portfolio, and your goals. See the first post in this series for more information.

Getting Started: Beginning Portfolio Management

If you’re just starting out in portfolio management, the first step is compiling a list of your company’s active projects. This foundation will get you on the right track for basic portfolio management. Simply compiling this master list will lead to portfolio-enhancing conversations with your management team as you identify projects that can be combined, deferred, or shut down altogether.

But building a master list for the first time will require persistence. Don’t send out a spreadsheet and expect a crystal-clear list of all initiatives to arrive in your inbox. Ferreting out every project is deceptively difficult. Some projects are higher profile than others; many companies have a large number of under-the-radar, skunkworks projects, and even zombie projects that have been formally canceled—sometimes more than once—yet somehow refuse to die. You might also encounter more than a few redundant projects. Getting to all this information generally requires a combination of top-down assessments (where you ask each division or department to list its ongoing initiatives) and bottom-up investigative work (where you canvass teams to find out what they are working on day to day). Taken together, the dossiers you build from these two sources will produce a complete picture of what is ongoing at your firm. (more…)

15 05, 2017

Portfolio Management for Everyone: Getting Value and Building Capability (1 of 5)

By |2017-05-23T15:41:58-08:00May 15th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

It’s a familiar refrain from the project and portfolio managers we talk to: “These portfolio views are amazing, but there is no way we have the data to use Enrich Analytics.” We LOVE hearing this, because we can respond with good news: You probably have enough information to leverage our tools and gain big insights into your portfolio’s alignment with strategy, and you might even have enough to prioritize your initiatives. In fact, you can get some value from Enrich’s powerful cloud-based platforms no matter what data you have. This post is the first in a series that summarizes the data you need for basic, intermediate, and advanced portfolio management. The figure below captures the key data sets as you build maturity in using Enrich’s platform and in developing your portfolio analysis process.

Data needed at each level of portfolio management. The only requirements to get started are the three items in the orange Beginner box. How much further you go depends on your people, your portfolio, and your goals.

Everything in the orange Beginner box is essential. You can’t get your portfolio initiative off the ground without those pieces, so start there. Within the Intermediate and Advanced sections, you can pick and choose what suits your needs; the left-most options are the easiest to collect—those on the right are progressively more difficult (but also likely to pay deeper dividends). The Advanced section is divided into two groups, capturing two different kinds of value-based criteria: scores and market/financial metrics. I’ve separated them because some companies are metric-averse, preferring a scoring model, and others rely almost exclusively on metrics. The right answer for a given portfolio depends on the company’s culture, portfolio content, and strategic objectives.

We developed this series of posts as an alternative to the other “how-to-PPM” guides available on the interwebs today, which tend to suggest that all or nothing is the only way. Our goal is to make portfolio management more accessible to more companies by demystifying it—and showing just how little information is really needed to get substantial value from a simple portfolio process. This series focuses on the data required at each step because so much of the resistance we’ve seen to portfolio management involves data acquisition. We hear, over and over again, “Nobody has time to provide it and nobody believes what we’ve compiled.” We think our stepwise approach, by making the process manageable, can help a lot of companies get started. (more…)

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