Fixing Portfolio Management


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One of areas of constant struggle for many organizations is managing portfolio. Too many concurrent endeavors, commitments made without available capabilities, lack of discussion about expected value and cost of delay, disconnection between portfolio management and work organization on team level, constant expediting, highly insufficient or inaccurate information... If any of these sounds familiar it indicates common issues on portfolio level.

Interestingly enough, in these areas improvements are rare and traditional models surprisingly prevalent even in organizations that adopt agility across development teams. At the same time very frequently low-hanging fruits can be harvested at PMO level after introducing fairly simple improvements.

In this session I will describe how Portfolio Kanban can be used to steer evolution not only at PMO level but across an organization and show how it can be orchestrated with introduction of Lean and Agile on team level.

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Fixing Portfolio Management

  1. 1. Fixing Portfolio Management Pawel Brodzinski @pawelbrodzinski
  2. 2. Hi, I’m Pawel Lunar Logic Blog Twitter @pawelbrodzinski
  3. 3. Why portfolio?
  4. 4. A system of local optima is not an optimal system at all; it is a very suboptimal system Eli Goldratt
  5. 5. Processing the waste more effectively is cheaper, neater, faster waste Stephen Parry
  6. 6. More than a single project per team?
  7. 7. Cost of context switching Source: Gerald Weinberg, Quality Software Management: Vol. 1 System Thinking
  8. 8. Zeigarnik Effect Tendency to experience intrusive thought about an objective left incomplete Source: S. Greist-Bousquet, N. Shiffman: The effect of task interruption and closure on perceived duration
  9. 9. Teams that worked only on a single project were significantly better in terms of defects density Larry Maccherone
  10. 10. Time to market
  11. 11. What if there’s just too many of them?
  12. 12. My first experience was this: 113 ongoing projects for 25 developers Klaus Leopold
  13. 13. Why does it happen?
  14. 14. Lack of visibility
  15. 15. Excel frenzy
  16. 16. WYSIATI What You See Is All There Is Source: Daniel Kahneman: Thinking Fast and Slow
  17. 17. Cost-driven decisions
  18. 18. If you fall for estimation as your way of valuing projects in the portfolio, you are doomed to fail. Johanna Rothman
  19. 19. Where is value?
  20. 20. Portfolio Kanban
  21. 21. Focus on one level of work
  22. 22. Can you call it Kanban?
  23. 23. Start with what you have Agree for evolutionary change Respect current situation Encourage leadership on all levels
  24. 24. Visualize Limit WIP Manage flow Make policies explicit Implement feedbak loops Improve collaboratively, evolve experimentally
  25. 25. Visualize Limit WIP Manage flow Make policies explicit Implement feedbak loops Improve collaboratively, evolve experimentally
  26. 26. Variability!
  27. 27. WIP Limits by conversation
  28. 28. How does it help?
  29. 29.
  30. 30.
  31. 31. Informed decisions
  32. 32. Shifting discussion from cost and income to value and cost of delay
  33. 33. Key driver to evolution of portfolio management
  34. 34. There is more
  35. 35. Backlog is a list of unvalidated product options Ellen Gottesdiener
  36. 36. Projects and products are (unvalidated) options too
  37. 37. Real Options
  38. 38. Options have value Options expire Never commit early unless you know why Source: Olav Maassen, Chris Matts, Chris Geary: Real Options
  39. 39. Best poker players don’t play many games; they play the games that they can win Todd Little
  40. 40.
  41. 41.
  42. 42.
  43. 43.
  44. 44. Common problems with portfolio management
  45. 45. Visualization helps to understand the current situation and informs discussion on starting new projects
  46. 46. WIP limits (by conversation) address the problem of too many concurrent projects and steer discussion about value
  47. 47. Constraints introduced by the method shift focus from cost and income to value and incentivize saying no
  48. 48. Portfolio Kanban is not about choosing the work you do; it’s about choosing the work you don’t do
  49. 49. Mind shift from looking through the attractiveness glasses to looking through capabilities glasses
  50. 50. Inspirations: Eli Goldratt Stephen Parry (@leanvoices) Don Reinertsen (@dreinertsen) David Anderson (@djaa_dja) Mike Burrows (@asplake) Klaus Leopold (@klausleopold) David Joyce (@dpjoyce) Chris Matts (@papachrismatts) Olav Maassen (@olavmaassen) Ellen Gottesdiener (@ellengott) Jabe Bloom (@cyetain) Troy Magennis (@t_magennis) Johanna Rothman (@johannarothman) Benjamin Mitchell (@benjaminm) Larry Maccherone (@lmaccherone) Gerald Weinberg (@jerryweinberg) Karl Scotland (@kjscotland) Andy Carmichael (@andycarmich) Mary Gorman (@mbgorman)
  51. 51. Thank you Pawel Brodzinski @pawelbrodzinski