How To Prioritize a Portfolio Using Innovation GamesPresentation Transcript
How To Prioritize a Project Portfolio Using Innovation Games®
Agenda What do you have? A portfolio to prioritize. What do you want? A prioritized portfolio. How will you do this? This deck will show you! Why should you care? Because this approach produces better results faster. And it’s fun. Is it real? Case studies from Cisco, HP, and VeriSign included. When can I get started? Right now. Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Essential Summary We prioritize your projects by engaging your global team in online tournaments. You have more projects to do than you can afford. We reduce execution risk by ensuring that you have checked your resources against your priorities. … … … … And yeah, the process is seriously fun… so keep reading!
What You Have: What You Want: A list of potential projects to prioritize. Some must be done “Run the Business” Some are new A fixed budget. A motivated team. A prioritized list of projects. An understanding of which projects can be funded given available resources. This presentation will define a process you can use for strategic portfolio prioritization.
Here is the High-Level Process Organize Your Portfolio Prioritize Your Portfolio Using Innovation Games® Online Tournaments Confirm Resource Requirements UsingInnovation Games® Resource Games Execute on Your Portfolio! We’ll review each of these steps!
Start By Gathering Your Portfolio Start by making a single list of all your potential projects. Some are “Run the Business” (RtB) projects. Some are “New Projects”. Just throw everything into the same list.
Remove The Obvious You probably know right away that some projects just won’t get done. Since we don’t want you wasting time prioritizing projects you know you’re not going todo, file them away so you can examine them again in the future.
Split the Big List Into Two Smaller Lists These are your existing projects. We call these “Run the Business” (RtB) projects. For example, publishing a monthly newsletter is a RtB project. These are potential new projects. You can identify these by playing Innovation Games® like Prune the Product Tree or Speed Boat.
Why Split the Big List? Most corporations want to guarantee that they will allocate some money to new projects. Splitting the list ensures that you’re not letting all of your existing work crowd out all of your new work. The people playing the online prioritization games need the chance to think differently about each group of projects.
Prepare Each Project For The Games Make sure each project has: A short and snappy name. A brief description. An outline of the benefits. An estimated cost. Your estimated cost can be fairly precise (e.g., based on past experience, you might know an RtB project costs $150K). Your estimated cost can be a rough estimate (we recommend “shirt sizes”, like S, M, L, XL). As long as you are consistent in how you price your items you’ll be OK.
How Many Projects Are On Your Lists? If you’re like other companies, chances are good that each of your lists contains 20 to 80+ projects. And you probably can’t afford to do all of them. The next step is to learn how to collaboratively prioritize a list of 12 to 20 items through the Innovation Game® Buy a Feature. We’ll then extend this to many games to prioritize your entire list through a Buy a Feature Tournament!
How to Get a Group of People To Prioritize a List of Projects…And Have Fun Doing It!The Innovation Game® Buy a Feature
Buy a Feature: A Collaborative Prioritization Game! 12-20 items described in terms of benefits and costs 5 to 8 players given limited budget Purchased items represent shared priorities Chat logs shape results A Game To Prioritize Stuff
Portfolio Team To illustrate how Buy a Feature works, let’s imagine you make coffee makers and you want to prioritize a list of potential features (or projects) with your global product planning team.
First, You Will Load Items Into Our System “Shirt Sizes” help you quickly price your features – or you can enter a price directly! A list of features with prices. See any you like?
Next, You’ll Invite Players To Your Game
Players are given a limited virtual budget to buy features. Player bids. Highly desired features are purchased through collaborative negotiation. Players chat during the game providing you with rich insights that shape the projects. Players Collaboratively Purchase Projects E F G H
Analyze Results to Identify the “What and Why” of Important Projects ANALYZE Who purchased what? How much did they bid? Who negotiated with whom? What did they say? How did they shape the projects? E F G H
Play Several Games To Identify Trends We’ve played 35 Coffee Maker games with more than 150 people from around the world. Here are the results. The “red” bar means that in some games players spent MORE money than needed. These results are scaled based on the number of times an item was purchased. All data from the games can be downloaded into Excel for detailed analysis.
And yes, it is FUN Chat log extracts from three games played to prioritize a product backlog.
We Use a Tournament For Large Numbers of Projects Game 1 15 Projects Game 3 Winners of games 1 & 2 Game 2 16 Projects … … … … Game 5 Game 5 16 Projects 46 projects… Example: Suppose you had 46 projects. We would run a 5 game tournament. Since each game will have 7 players, you’ve just engaged 35 people!
To Increase ConfidenceRun Several Tournaments Each Tournament produces a unique result based on the employees invited to play each game. Patterns always emerge! This is an example inspired by real projects for a F500 company! Mobility Engagement is the obvious winner! Three Tournaments will engage more than 100 of your global employees!
Tournament Results & Benefits What: A prioritized list projects. Why: The reasons behind the priorities. Who: Instead of asking a few leaders to make the decision, our approach leverages the wisdom of your “employee crowd”. Engagement: Instead of a few long and boring meetings, you play many one hour games. Buy-In: Employees’ engagement creates tremendous buy-in and fast execution.
Leaders Still Lead – Even When Results Might Be Surprising This is how the VeriSign employees prioritized their list. The VeriSign leadership team felt a project that didn’t win ANY games was important. Solution? The VeriSign leadership team chose to pursue the project they felt was important. To maintain buy-in, they implemented a careful education plan that explained why this project was ultimately chosen.
Resource Allocation Through Buy a FeaturePriorities Aren’t Enough.Execution Matters.
Do You Have the Resources? Even with a prioritized list, you may not have enough resources to fund all desired projects. Insufficiently funded projects fail to realize their potential and frustrate teams. Solution? Run ANOTHER set of Buy a Feature games, this time using resource requirements and resource capacity as the game currency.
Start By Defining Your Strategic Allocation Model This is your total budget. Allocate by percentages. This is the portion of the budget that will be allocated to existing “Run the Business” projects. This example allocates 70% of the budget to RtB. 70% This is the portion of the budget that will be allocated to “new” projects. We find that companies typically allocate between 20% - 50% of their budget to “new” projects. 30%
Allocate Budgets Based On The Model Actual Budget Dollars Assume a $6M budget. RtB = $6M * 70% = $4.2M New = $6M * 30% = $1.8M Person-Days 20 engineers work 220 days/year. 20 * 220 = 4400 person-days RtB = 4400 * 70% = 3080pd New= 4400 * 30% = 1320pd Now you have a sense of your organizational capacity and how it should be roughly allocated.
Resource Allocation For New Projects Develop a realistic cost (not shirt sizes): New Project A 370 pd -- or -- $222,000 New Project B 560 pd -- or -- $336,000 Put the projects into a Buy a Feature game. Give each player their portion of the capacity. Total “new project” capacity is $1.8M. If you have 8 players, each gets $225K. Play the game. Analyze the results.Which projects are fully funded? Which are partially funded? Can it be simplified? Should you fight for more resources? Should you take on fewer projects but execute them better?
Which Currency is Best? You can use any currency for the resource allocation game: person-hours, story-points, estimated project costs, etc. The requirements are: The projects must be reflective of actual cost. The resources given to players must be reflective of organizational capacity. Don’t play a game claiming you have a $45M project budget when you really only have $30M!
Phase 1: Innovation Games® Tournament Establishes Priorities Phase 2: Confirm Resource Allocations Game 1 17 Projects Game 3 Winners of games 1 & 2 34 Projects Game 2 17 Projects Putting Everything Together In 1 Slide One final game is played with the top items to confirm resource allocations. … … … … … … … …
Now you have a prioritized list – AND the confidence that you have the resources to get things done!
Each online game has 6 to 8 players and takes about one hour.
Winning projects are “promoted” into the next round.
Results? The prioritized projects AND the reasons behind the priorities!
The Essential Summary We prioritize your projects by engaging your global team in online tournaments. You have more projects to do than you can afford. We reduce execution risk by ensuring that you have checked your resources against your priorities. … … … … And yeah, the process is seriously fun…
Case Study: Cisco Collaboration Business Technologies (CBT)
Case Study: HP.com FutureWorks Team
Case Study: VeriSign Global Customer Support
Want To Learn More? Visit us at: www.innovationgames.com. Contact us at email@example.com. Call us at (408) 529-0319. Share this deck.