Updated: Dec 4, 2021
Portfolio management is a coordinated collection of strategic processes and decisions that together enable the most effective balance of organisational programmes and projects. Organisations that do this effectively achieve the right balance between normal day-to-day operations and organisational change. In getting this capacity balance right, the organisation will usually deliver both the annual operating plan and the strategic portfolio.
“Unless the change programme is continually aligned to the organisation’s capacity it will be unable to deliver speedy benefits or value to the organisation”
Portfolio management includes the selection, prioritisation and control of programmes and projects which are aligned with the organisation’s strategy and objectives. The person responsible for portfolio management should ensure the organisation’s leadership team decides which programmes and projects to execute and resource. Execution is the key to a strategy’s success and having enough capacity is crucial to successful delivery. The objective is to align the right programmes and projects with an organisation’s business strategy to achieve a competitive advantage. The selection of the programmes and projects to be executed should follow predefined organisational assessment criteria. They should not be hunch and launch* projects or the pet project of the CEO. Typical assessment criteria include:
Revenue Potential: What are the potential future profits and benefits?
Investment Requirements: How much capital is required?
Strategic Fit: Does this opportunity fit with the organisation’s current strategy?
Implementation Effort: How much effort will this opportunity need, and do we have capacity to execute it?
“Organisation change capacity and employee workload are ignored in change implementation, until they become the reason for failure”
*Hunch and Launch Syndrome: A name given to the process of coming up with a change idea (hunch) and then introducing (launch) it into the organisation without strategic consideration or a plan on how the benefits will be realised. These ideas rarely deliver strategic change or sustainable benefits and are sometimes referred to as ‘pet projects’.
Peter consults, speaks, and writes on the Leadership of Change®.
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