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Agile Portfolio Management

Portfolio management is the selection, prioritisation and control of an organisation’s programmes and projects, in line with its strategic objectives and capacity to deliver. The goal is to balance the implementation of change initiatives and the maintenance of business-as-usual, while optimising return on investment.

Agile portfolio management helps to deliver the best value for clients for their investment. Agile means  continuously delivering value – whether for a product, project or program.

Going through feedbacks, portfolio managers regularly review projects and check on how they align with strategic initiatives. To identify small experiments to evaluate projects or improve the delivery of a given product or service, portfolio managers actively engage in discussions with project managers or different team leaders. Which allows them to obtain feedbacks and make more precise decisions.

Moreover, instead of preparing highly detailed project roadmaps to apply for budgets, Agile portfolio management entails planning on multiple levels and cascading power downwards. In turn, financial resources are allocated towards experiments and value streams within the organization rather than separate projects.

“A traditional project manager focuses on following the plan with minimal changes, whereas an agile leader focuses on adapting successfully to inevitable changes.” Jim Highsmith, Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Products

Agile approach to portfolio management differs from the traditional one by putting more emphasis on decentralizing control and setting up flexible plans that embrace uncertainty. Agile organizations focus on maintaining transparency, continuously experimenting to determine whether a project is valuable, as well as aligning strategy with execution.

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