Managing the Project Portfolio: An Agile and Lean Approach

8,169 views

Published on

Managing the project portfolio has never been easy, and it's more necessary than ever. These are the slides from my talk at Much Ado About Agile in Vancouver, Oct 2009. Not everything I said is on the slides, because these are notes from my talk.

Published in: Business, Technology

Managing the Project Portfolio: An Agile and Lean Approach

  1. 1. Manage Your Project Portfolio: An Agile and Lean Approach Manage Your Project Portfolio: An Agile and Lean Approach Johanna Rothman New: Manage Your Project Portfolio: Increase Your Capacity and Finish More Projects www.jrothman.com jr@jrothman.com 781-641-4046 What’s the Problem? •  Too many simultaneous projects •  Too much interrupting work •  Technical work and multitasking is invisible to management © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com jr@jrothman.com 2 © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com 781-641-4046 jr@jrothman.com 1
  2. 2. Manage Your Project Portfolio: An Agile and Lean Approach What Are You Supposed to Do First? © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com jr@jrothman.com 3 What Some Project Portfolios Look Like © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com jr@jrothman.com 4 © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com 781-641-4046 jr@jrothman.com 2
  3. 3. Manage Your Project Portfolio: An Agile and Lean Approach What These Portfolios Are Missing © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com jr@jrothman.com 5 Combination View: Low and Mid Level © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com jr@jrothman.com 6 © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com 781-641-4046 jr@jrothman.com 3
  4. 4. Manage Your Project Portfolio: An Agile and Lean Approach What is the Project Portfolio? •  Organization of all the projects (and all the work) the organization is attempting to manage –  When they start –  When they end –  Which one is #1 •  Decide when projects are done--or done enough –  Decide when to stop, kill, or cancel projects © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com jr@jrothman.com 7 So What? •  The portfolio of work-in-progress tells you what is happening and when you can change it –  Similar to a sprint backlog © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com jr@jrothman.com 8 © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com 781-641-4046 jr@jrothman.com 4
  5. 5. Manage Your Project Portfolio: An Agile and Lean Approach Use the Portfolio to Make Decisions, Tradeoffs, and Assignments •  Move between the strategic view to the tactical view •  Create a rolling wave plan •  Provide transparency into the organization’s work © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com jr@jrothman.com 9 Consider Lean •  Think in terms of value. Producers create value, but customers define it. •  Know how you create value. What is your value stream? •  Create process flow to make problems more transparent. The team delivers small chunks and fixes problems as they arise. •  Use pull systems to avoid overproduction. •  Level out the workload to eliminate multitasking. •  Stop when there is a quality problem. •  Use visual control so no problems are hidden. © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com jr@jrothman.com 10 © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com 781-641-4046 jr@jrothman.com 5
  6. 6. Manage Your Project Portfolio: An Agile and Lean Approach When to Make Decisions •  When a project finishes (the project cycles) •  When you have enough information about the next version of a product (the planning cycles) •  When it's time to allocate budget and people to a new project (the business cycles) © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com jr@jrothman.com 11 How to Make Decisions •  Qualitative questions •  Quantitative questions •  Only do work that’s currently valuable © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com jr@jrothman.com 12 © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com 781-641-4046 jr@jrothman.com 6
  7. 7. Manage Your Project Portfolio: An Agile and Lean Approach Qualitative Questions •  Should we do this project at all? •  How does this project fit in with all the others? •  What is the strategic reason for this project? •  Is there a tactical gain from completing this project? •  To make this project successful, are we ready to adequately fund it? •  To make this project successful, are we ready to adequately staff it? •  Do we know what success looks like for this project? •  Is there waste associated with the lack of this project? © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com jr@jrothman.com 13 Quantitative Questions •  When will we see any monetary return from this project? •  What's the expected revenue curve for this project? •  What's the expected customer acquisition curve for this project? •  When will we see retention of current customers from this project? •  What's the expected customer growth curve? •  When will we see reduction in operating costs from this project? •  What's the expected operating cost curve? •  How will this project move the organization forward? © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com jr@jrothman.com 14 © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com 781-641-4046 jr@jrothman.com 7
  8. 8. Manage Your Project Portfolio: An Agile and Lean Approach Doing Work that’s Currently Valuable •  Rank the products •  Rank the features for a product •  Requires market knowledge to know when the team has done enough © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com jr@jrothman.com 15 Collaboration: The Difficult Part •  Collaboration: to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com jr@jrothman.com 16 © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com 781-641-4046 jr@jrothman.com 8
  9. 9. Manage Your Project Portfolio: An Agile and Lean Approach Discussion •  How have you worked across the organization? How have you been successful? •  What has been less than successful? •  What have you tried where you can’t tell? © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com jr@jrothman.com 17 Build Trust: Prerequisites •  Deliver what you promise to deliver •  Be consistent in your actions and reactions •  Make integrity a cornerstone of your work •  Be willing to discuss, influence, and negotiate. Don't get stuck on your position •  Trust in yourself and your colleagues •  From Solomon, Building Trust in Business, Politics, Relationships, and Life © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com jr@jrothman.com 18 © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com 781-641-4046 jr@jrothman.com 9
  10. 10. Manage Your Project Portfolio: An Agile and Lean Approach Build Trust for Project Portfolio Management •  Identify your goal •  How will you deliver consistently © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com jr@jrothman.com 19 Consider How Your Mission Drives Your Portfolio Decisions •  Your mission, which is what drives you (and your group) to succeed •  Missions guide principles and positions –  A principle is: a guide to your values that helps you make decisions –  A position is: a decision that you will not change © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com jr@jrothman.com 20 © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com 781-641-4046 jr@jrothman.com 10
  11. 11. Manage Your Project Portfolio: An Agile and Lean Approach Portfolio Evaluation Meeting •  Evaluate each project (should we do it at all?) •  Rank each project •  Commit/kill/transform •  Publish project portfolio © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com jr@jrothman.com 21 Ways to Rank (Show Value) •  Points •  Single-elimination •  Double-elimination (a form of pair-wise comparison) © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com jr@jrothman.com 22 © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com 781-641-4046 jr@jrothman.com 11
  12. 12. Manage Your Project Portfolio: An Agile and Lean Approach Why Manage the Project Portfolio? •  Project staff can only work on one project at a time –  Some people can only work on one task at a time –  Many people like to have several related tasks to trade off among –  Multi-project context switching is a huge waste of time •  Project portfolio makes it clear where the time is being allocated— and where the time is not allocated •  Managing the portfolio makes it possible to staff the most important work and not staff the least important work © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com jr@jrothman.com 23 Why Does Agile/Lean Work? •  Agile helps: –  Finishing running, tested features –  Have release-able product periodically (every timebox) •  Lean helps –  Creating a culture of not having a lot of work in process   Instead, finish things and move on to the next one © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com jr@jrothman.com 24 © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com 781-641-4046 jr@jrothman.com 12
  13. 13. Manage Your Project Portfolio: An Agile and Lean Approach It’s Not Easy •  But it’s necessary if you want to be successful © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com jr@jrothman.com 25 References and Resources •  Manage Your Project Portfolio: Increase Your Capacity and Finish More Projects, Pragmatic Bookshelf, 2009. •  Manage It! Your Guide to Modern, Pragmatic Project Management, Pragmatic Bookshelf, 2007. •  Rothman, Johanna and Esther Derby. Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management, Pragmatic Bookshelf, 2005. •  Managing Product Development blog: jrothman.com/blog/mpd •  If you want to me to stay in contact with you, give me your card or fill out a yellow form to sign up for my email newsletter, The Pragmatic Manager, jrothman.com/pragmaticmanager/ © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com jr@jrothman.com 26 © 2009 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com 781-641-4046 jr@jrothman.com 13

×