Best Practices for Strategic Portfolio Management
The best way to ensure that your company is making the most of its resources and achieving its strategic objectives is to implement a robust portfolio management process. Here are some key best practices to keep in mind:
1. Establish a clear and consistent annual collection, assessment, prioritization, and selection process.
One of the most important aspects of effective portfolio management is establishing a clear and consistent process for annual collection, assessment, prioritization, and selection. This process should be designed to ensure that the company is making the most of its resources and achieving its strategic objectives. Some key considerations include:
- Documenting organizational strategies and linking proposed initiatives to those strategies
- Identifying people, processes, technologies, and datasets relevant to each initiative
- Estimating costs and benefits of initiatives over time using consistent assumptions across the business
- Clearly communicating which initiatives have moved forward and transparently sharing insights about the selection process
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2. Make sure that senior-level representatives from all areas of the business are involved in the decision-making process.
In order to make sound decisions about which initiatives should move forward, it’s important that senior-level representatives from all areas of the business are involved in the decision-making process. This allows for a diversity of perspectives and enables the organization to make the most of its resources. When making decisions about portfolio management, it’s important to consider the following:
- Areas of the business affected by proposed initiatives
- Newly-created departments that should be included in the future-state processes
- Capacity for taking on additional initiatives with current workload, especially where technology is involved
- Identification of capable, influential champions with the requisite leadership skills
One of the most important aspects of effective portfolio management is establishing a clear and consistent process for annual collection, assessment, prioritization, and selection.
3. Monitor initiative effectiveness on an ongoing basis and make adjustments as needed.
In order to ensure that the company is making the most of its resources and achieving its strategic objectives, it’s important to monitor initiative effectiveness on an ongoing basis and make adjustments as needed. This allows for course corrections and helps to ensure that the organization is staying on track. Some key considerations when monitoring initiative effectiveness include:
- Evaluating progress against original goals and objectives
- Assessing whether benefits are being realized as anticipated
- Identifying any unintended consequences of initiatives
- Comparing actual results against projected outcomes
- Established cadence with which the senior-level selection team to increase accountability
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4. Conduct a midyear re-alignment process to allow for course correction of in-flight initiatives.
A midyear re-alignment process is important for ensuring that in-flight initiatives are on track and achieving the desired results. This process can involve reviewing the goals of each initiative, assessing whether they are still achievable, and making any necessary changes to ensure that the initiative remains relevant and valuable.
Utilize this process to identify projects that are performing better than expected and allocate additional resources to it to further enhance the opportunity. Similarly, utilize this process to identify projects that are far behind where they would reasonably be expected to be and move resources away.
Following these best practices is a great way to develop a habit of innovation in your business. In addition, it espouses fairness through a clear and consistent project selection process, fosters leadership through development of project champions, and promotes accountability by tracking progress throughout the project lifecycle.