by Business Analysis,
Part 1: SUMMARY
Stakeholders’ commitment to the project will often heavily influence its success. Stakeholder commitment and availability often results in project delays and reduced clarity around requirements – often increasing risk and impacting cost and overall value.
The main objective of portfolio management is to find a balance between projects, to explore strategic alignment and synergies between them and maximise the use of resources, establishing a comparative analysis in terms of cost, value, time, and risk.
The answer to ensuring stakeholder engagement lies in how the organisation manages its portfolio of projects. The project portfolio management process must cover from how a business case is created to how initiatives are prioritised and how to track their goals. Therefore, it aims to find a balance between existing and necessary resources, limiting the number of simultaneous resource competitive initiatives, and considering defined strategic objectives.
WHY IS THERE ALWAYS THE ASSUMPTION ITEM ABOUT STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT IN AN BUSINESS CASE or INITIATIVE BRIEF?
Business Case, Initiative Brief, EPIC – call it what you will, every one of them has something very similar to this….Assumptions. And the most common assumption of all “Reasonable access to senior stakeholder(s) who can articulate the drivers, validate the business requirements and make decisions…”.
Companies aim to reach the planned results according to the defined strategies. Thus, it is critical that proposed initiatives and investments are aligned with strategic goals. After approval, these initiatives turn into projects planned to be managed with maximum efficiency; however, there a common problem often occurs: the lack of balance between projects and resources (financial and human), that is, the pool of projects, and the portfolio, were not assessed, prioritized, and sequenced correctly. In addition to internal factors, the frequent changes in the business scenario, fierce competition, increasingly shorter product lifecycles, mergers, and acquisitions, outsourcing and off shoring, and new regulations demand constant adjustments from companies.
This is where the problem begins, as these changes need to be reflected in a coordinated way across multiple projects. Priorities often change, but projects are not always re-assessed, or when they change, it’s not done in a consistent and systematic way.
This article aims to demonstrate how to use Agile Portfolio Management effectively to assist companies in the correct management of their multiple initiatives.
Even if the topic seems restricted to a portfolio of projects, the same process applies to product portfolio management or information technology (IT) initiatives, since, in general, investments are managed through projects or programs, i.e., the main objective of portfolio management is to clearly define the new products and services strategy and select a set of initiatives that will help the company progress this strategy. Similarly, IT must manage its portfolio of products and services to facilitate the growth of the organisation, integrating business with IT governance, and making the best decisions regarding system upgrades and new software deployments, to balance the opportunity of investing in projects with the risk.
Follow as we delve deeper into this topic in the next 3 parts.