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Giulio Quaggiotto: Accelerating Impact of Project Portfolios - Notes from the frontier of [ir]relevance

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Giulio Quaggiotto (https://twitter.com/gquaggiotto) from the UNDP gave a presentation on Accelerating Impact of Project Portfolios - Notes from the frontier of [ir]relevance in Sitra Lab's (http://sitra.fi/lab) Innovation Portfolio Sensemaking and Management workshop on 28.1.2020 (https://www.sitra.fi/en/events/workshop-innovation-portfolio-sensemaking-and-management/).

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Giulio Quaggiotto: Accelerating Impact of Project Portfolios - Notes from the frontier of [ir]relevance

  1. 1. Change with greater purpose Accelerating impact of project portfolios Notes from the frontier of [ir]relevance @gquaggiotto AP Regional Innovation Center
  2. 2. About me
  3. 3. Delhi: 286 μg/m3 for PM10 WHO: 20 μg/m3 for PM10 A tale of 2 Asias
  4. 4. Relevance gap The challenge of relevance
  5. 5. The plaster syndrome Source: adapted from Cassie Robinson
  6. 6. The limits of quantitative in a VUCA world
  7. 7. The second half of the chessboard
  8. 8. The limits of foresight
  9. 9. Accelerator Labs are in one third of the world’s countries ▪ Algeria ▪ Angola ▪ Argentina ▪ Azerbaijan ▪ Benin ▪ Bosnia and Herzegovina ▪ Burkina Faso ▪ Cambodia ▪ Caribbean (Based in Barbados) ▪ Cape Verde ▪ Central African Republic ▪ Chad ▪ Colombia ▪ Congo ▪ Democratic Republic of Congo ▪ Dominican Republic ▪ Ecuador ▪ Eswatini ▪ Ethiopia ▪ Ghana ▪ India ▪ Iraq ▪ Jordan ▪ Kenya ▪ Lao PDR ▪ Lebanon ▪ Lesotho ▪ Libya ▪ Malawi ▪ Malaysia ▪ Mali ▪ Mexico ▪ Morocco ▪ Namibia ▪ Nepal ▪ Niger ▪ Pacific (Based in Fiji) ▪ Pakistan ▪ Palestine (PAPP) ▪ Paraguay ▪ Philippines ▪ Rwanda ▪ Serbia ▪ Sierra Leone ▪ Somalia ▪ South Africa ▪ South Sudan ▪ Sudan ▪ Tanzania ▪ The Gambia With thanks to the State of Qatar (Qatar Fund for Development) and the Federal Republic of Germany for their generous contributions. ▪ Timor Leste ▪ Togo ▪ Tunisia ▪ Turkey ▪ Uganda ▪ Ukraine ▪ Uzbekistan ▪ Vietnam ▪ Zambia ▪ Zimbabwe
  10. 10. Come work with us We will digitize our processes and reduce the time for citizens to get a driving license by 30% We will redesign mobility so that we will no longer use cars, depend on fossil fuels and we’ll provide healthier life for everyone
  11. 11. Competing on the rate of learning
  12. 12. Where to start?
  13. 13. Accelerating learning NEW INTENT INTENT DO STUFF NEW INTENT REFLECT Source: adapted from Chora
  14. 14. Stuff happens… … so what?
  15. 15. While UNDP is still valued, its relevance and influence has declined. A key challenge UNDP will need to address if it is to preserve its relevance and influence is the progressive fragmentation of its support. Over a period where both delivery and staffing resources has declined, the number of projects in the country office’s portfolio has continued to increase. The combination of a declining budget and pressures from many different agencies and geographical regions means that the UNDP programme includes many very small programmes that operate in widely scattered locations. It could be argued that many of these are too small to be relevant or useful. Many provide only limited short term benefits and do not have a plausible approach to generating real learning and influence beyond project boundaries.
  16. 16. Engaging with the mothership
  17. 17. A health test
  18. 18. 2 questions • Why this particular set of projects at this point in time? • Are these projects relevant and coherent to the type of problems that governments are facing?
  19. 19. Portfolio: given curse, or something to be actively shaped?
  20. 20. “A set of connected interventions that learn from each other” - T. Mitchell
  21. 21. Transitioning to a new system DELIVERY LEARNING Source: Berkana Center
  22. 22. Mindsets
  23. 23. In systems thinking, we define the ideal future state (the goal) and try to get there, which only works when you have a high level of predictability. In complexity, we describe the present and see what is possible to change, defining a direction, not a destination, setting ourselves on a discovery journey. D. Snowden
  24. 24. Don’t think like Linnaeus
  25. 25. Existing portfolios New portfolios Hypothesis: 2 pressure points
  26. 26. Do you want to accelerate the impact of your portfolio?
  27. 27. Extracting intelligence from ongoing portfolios
  28. 28. MVP
  29. 29. Effectively manage portfolios A new social dynamic Iterative A muscle to be trained Non obvious capabilities (abstraction, pattern recognition, rethoric)
  30. 30. A long term journey
  31. 31. Investing in people
  32. 32. Developing a community, knowledge base
  33. 33. Working outloud
  34. 34. Finding the right entry points Country planning New management Program reviews Office retreats
  35. 35. “Change happens one person at a time, and for their reasons, not yours” E. Semple
  36. 36. A2i Accumulation effects? Mexico Indonesia Malawi Serbia Zimbabwe Mongolia Montenegro Philippines Vietnam Malaysia Thailand Pulse Lab UN Secreteriat Pacific
  37. 37. Accumulation effects? • Integration into core business processes (e.g. country programming) • Shift in regional funding to “big pivots” • Shift in HQ innovation funding to “deep demonstrations” • New corporate transformation strategy centered on “new competencies for system transformation” and set up of a strategic intelligence unit • One-to-one calls between the big boss in NY and regional managers
  38. 38. Still a long way to go 1.Policy coherence for governments 2.Development of a “non-obvious” module 3.Revisiting financing mechanisms (portfolios/system transformation vs projects) 4.Revisiting partnership modalities (transactional vs. relational) 5.From project implementer to orchestrator (mission driven)
  39. 39. R&D for 2020 – spatial representation of systemic risks
  40. 40. Existing portfolios New portfolios Hypothesis: 2 pressure points
  41. 41. The need for pivots
  42. 42. Early insights
  43. 43. If we want more strategic innovation…
  44. 44. Opportunities & tough nuts to crack • New donor/gov’t proposition – joint investments in accelerated learning, coherence • New types of skills (abstraction, strategic arguments, etc) • Change is a feature, not a bug. Design for that • The design thinking curse/ scalability • Structural short-termism (e.g. rotations, incentives)
  45. 45. Change with greater purpose Thank you @gquaggiotto AP Regional Innovation Center

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