Agile Portfolio Management

What is it?

Whereas traditional portfolio management – the process of choosing which projects and programs to invest in amid limited resources – is typically associated with an annual budgeting process, is not very adaptable to changing business priorities and is often circumvented by pet projects, Agile Portfolio Management takes the Agile principles that have improved project execution and applies them to the top-down assessment of portfolio investments. Concepts like iterative development, continuous improvement, prioritizing a dynamic backlog, etc., when applied to portfolio management can deliver a host of compelling benefits.

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Why do you need it?

Traditional approaches to portfolio management have exposed several common pain points felt by most PMOs and portfolio managers, which inhibit their effectiveness:


The High Cost of Making the Wrong Investments

Without effective portfolio management and capacity planning, “organizations tend to overestimate the amount of capacity available in their resource pool and overcommit resources for pending projects and programs.” Doing so “can actually extend the end date of a four-month project to as much as a year” (Resource Capacity Planning for PPM Leaders, Gartner, February 2018).

The Need to Deliver Faster

A recent Gartner survey found that the #1 driver for adopting more Agile methods of portfolio management is a desire to deliver strategic projects faster. The report goes on to say, “Business teams’ frustration with slow delivery by the IT department is a powerful motivator” (Survey Analysis: IT Is Moving Quickly From Projects to Products, Gartner, October 2018).

The Urgency to Create Business Value

In the past, technology investments or other company-wide projects could be made based solely on the technical merits or functional requirements of a particular solution, with delivering a project on time and on budget being a measuring stick of benefit unto itself. Those days are gone. Today, strategic projects and programs must be couched in the value they deliver to the business.

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How does KeyedIn help?

KeyedIn Projects can help organizations embrace Agile Portfolio Management by enabling three key capabilities that form the foundation of this innovative approach:


Managing and Delivering Products Instead of Projects

In simplest terms, a project is accomplished by completing a set of tasks within a specified period of time. A product on the other hand, is delivered as customers receive specific, quantifiable and ongoing business value from the initiative.


Centralize Project Portfolio Management Regardless of Methodology

Most organizations feature pockets of project activity – all drawing on a limited group of resources – throughout the company, with no standard work methodology: some teams leverage Agile methods, others traditional Waterfall, and still others, a hybrid of the two. KeyedIn closes that visibility gap by allowing customers to bring all projects, regardless of the specific project type and approval workflow, into a single portfolio, allowing timely and effective decision-making.


Practice Concepts of Continuous Improvement

When time-bound, task-based projects are replaced with products that deliver ongoing value, PMOs can begin to practice principles of continuous improvement. For example, using native KeyedIn reporting, PMOs can measure the length of time a project/product concept remains in each stage of the approval process, or which skill sets are required to complete each product type, and then adjust when inefficiencies are identified.

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