Use software portfolio management to keep on top of your projects

by Don Lowe

February 14, 2019

Have you struggled with projects losing focus and structure and not being able to be in control? The teams are no longer delivering on time and costs are getting out of hand. You don't know what to do or who to turn to. Every consultant that you talk to has a multitude of solutions that they're eager to sell to you.

The solution might be right under your nose.

​Software portfolio management

​Software portfolio management is a framework that is easy to use. It employs the best management practices to prioritise and manage projects, programmes and continuous enhancements.

Every business wants to optimise their return on investment. ​However, in order to make informed decisions​ the decision makers need to have access to the right information at the right time. Portfolio management helps with exactly that. You can use portfolio management to facilitate effective deliveries and focus on the right change initiatives. It also helps you ensure that what you are doing is cost efficient and aligned with your company’s strategic objectives.

​How to do it with your current team

  • 1
    ​Make an inventory of all your current projects/continuous enhancement jobs and map them to your current strategic objectives.
  • 2
    ​Identify the value of each project/continuous enhancement job on your to-do list. Ask yourself: "What do we want to achieve?" Each item in your portfolio should contribute to either your strategic goal(s) or a departmental need. If they do not do any of these then you can drop them from the to-do list. 
Forbytes software portfolio management illustrations programmer to do list
  • 3
    ​Assess which people and resources are available to do the work. Then decide when to do the work.
  • 4
    Identify what mix of projects and resources will help deliver the changes that you need to get the best value. Do this based on the people and resources that are available.
  • 5
    Refine step 4 and prioritise the combination of projects/continuous enhancements that optimise business value together.

​Having completed the above steps, you will now be in a position to make informed decisions about what should be done to your long list of projects and continuous enhancements. 

​The benefits for you are:

  • ​More efficient utilisation of peoples' time and resources.
  • ​More efficient use of available finances.
  • ​Improved awareness of the combined risks. By being aware and taking a systems approach to risk, it is likely that individual risks will be handled at the right level. 

We actively encourage you to adopt portfolio management into your organisation. It’s a framework that helps improve communication between stakeholders and improves transparency throughout the organisation. You will soon see the benefits of everybody being accountable and responsible for their piece of the cake.

If you need further assistance or have questions regarding software portfolio management don't hesitate to get in touch.