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Agile Portfolio management – Agile management part 6

Agile Portfolio Management can be that change agent we are looking for making the organisational transformation towards agile!

Do your organization make frequent project portfolio decisions based conformance to schedule and budget rather than value based decisions?

Project are blessed with a product backlog which we prioritized, but is the company portfolio divided into “small” independed projects (epics) and put onto a company backlog prioritized? Not in many companies, why not? Because it demands a change on the organisational way of thinking! Well this change can be the catalyze for transforming the organisation into a agile focused organisation.

At e-conomic we did have a portfolio backlog which was re-prioritized every 14 days by the Top Management of the company. This is an easy and extremely effective way to implement the organisational change from the traditional way of thinking in companies to a more agile organisation that support the rapid changes and demands from the customers.

Some basic rules must be established

  • No project could be more that 3 months
  • A project has a team with max 5 developer and 2 other roles on the team which define the size of 3 months projects.
  • Criteria for priority has to be clear and transparent (and communicated)
  • It’s important to have some common metrics of each item on the backlog like expected cost, ROI, dependencies, window of opportunities, where the item is in the workflow like is it being prototype ready for feedback soon? This data is placed nicely in a data sheet so it’s easy to view. 
Now one way to secure a proper priority of any backlog is to give each person empowered like 100 points. The point can be divided to many backlog items or given to just a few or in the extreme only given to one item. Then when all persons empowered has given their points you add them together and release a new backlog list for discussion at the next Top management meeting. 
The way the Top Management here is working with the portfolio is soon expected to be the same way that every projects backlog is being worked.
An agile change agent has been implemented – Now many things will be possible to change on a organisation level which properly is the hardest and last thing that changes in a company.

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Agile Portfolio Management.

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