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Agile portfolio planning


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An agile and lean approach to managing the project portfolio. How to avoid multitasking. A talk I gave at Oredev 2011.

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Agile portfolio planning

  1. 1. Agile Portfolio Management Johanna RothmanNew: Manage Your Project Portfolio: Increase Your Capacity and Finish More Projects 781-641-4046
  2. 2. How Many of You Like Multitasking Among Several Projects? 2 © 2011 Johanna Rothman
  3. 3. What Are You Supposed to Do First? 3 © 2011 Johanna Rothman
  4. 4. 4 © 2011 Johanna Rothman
  5. 5. What’s the Problem?Too many simultaneous projectsToo much interrupting workTechnical work and multitasking is invisible 5 © 2011 Johanna Rothman
  6. 6. What Some Project Portfolios Look Like 6 © 2011 Johanna Rothman
  7. 7. What These Portfolios Are Missing 7 © 2011 Johanna Rothman
  8. 8. Combination View:Low and Mid Level 8 © 2011 Johanna Rothman
  9. 9. What is the Project Portfolio?Organization of all the projects (and all the work) theorganization is attempting to manage When they start When they end Which one is #1Decide when projects are done--or done enough Decide when to stop, kill, or cancel projects 9 © 2011 Johanna Rothman
  10. 10. So What?The portfolio of work-in-progress tells you what ishappening and when you can change it Similar to a product backlogRequires cross-organizational commitment 10 © 2011 Johanna Rothman
  11. 11. Use the Portfolio to MakeDecisions,Tradeoffs, and Assignments Move between the strategic view to the tactical view Create a rolling wave plan Provide transparency into the organization’s work 11 © 2011 Johanna Rothman
  12. 12. Consider LeanIterate on value, redefining it over and over...You have more choices if you can see demos as theprojects proceedIf you can see the work in progress, you can manage it 12 © 2011 Johanna Rothman
  13. 13. Project Portfolio Flow 13 © 2011 Johanna Rothman
  14. 14. When to Make DecisionsWhen some feature or iteration finishes--project cycles Concept of a MMF, Minimum Marketable FeatureWhen you have enough information about the nextversion of a product--planning cyclesWhen its time to allocate budget and people to a newproject--business cycles 14 © 2011 Johanna Rothman
  15. 15. How to Make DecisionsQualitative questionsQuantitative questionsOnly do work that’s currently valuable 15 © 2011 Johanna Rothman
  16. 16. Qualitative QuestionsShould 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? 16 © 2011 Johanna Rothman
  17. 17. Quantitative QuestionsWhen will we see any monetary return from this project?Whats the expected revenue curve for this project?Whats the expected customer acquisition curve for this project? When will we see retention of current customers from this project?Whats the expected customer growth curve? When will we see reduction in operating costs from this project?Whats the expected operating cost curve?How will this project move the organization forward? 17 © 2011 Johanna Rothman
  18. 18. Doing Work that’s Currently ValuableRank the productsRank the features for a productRequires market knowledge to know when the team hasdone enough 18 © 2011 Johanna Rothman
  19. 19. Three Kinds of ProjectsProjects that keep the lights on--that support theorganizationProjects that grow the businessProjects that create new opportunities 19 © 2011 Johanna Rothman
  20. 20. Why Manage the Project Portfolio?People can only work on one project at a time Project portfolio makes it clear where the time is being allocated—and where the time is not allocatedMakes it possible for the organization to optimize at theorganization level, not at the person level Staff the most important work Not staff the least important work 20 © 2011 Johanna Rothman
  21. 21. 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 21 © 2011 Johanna Rothman
  22. 22. 100% Utilization is for Machines 22 © 2011 Johanna Rothman
  23. 23. It doesn’t matter how many projects you start. What does matter is how many projects you finish. And when. 23 © 2011 Johanna Rothman
  24. 24. References and ResourcesManage Your Project Portfolio: Increase Your Capacity andFinish More Projects, Pragmatic Bookshelf, 2009.Tons more on jrothman.comIf you want to me to stay in touch with you, give me yourcard or fill out a yellow form to sign up for my emailnewsletter, The Pragmatic Manager, 24 © 2011 Johanna Rothman