Injecting the Lean Startup mindset into Enterprise Porfolio Management

Ensuring you are delivering the highest value to your customers in quick iterative cycles is a tenant of Lean and Agile. But as organizations grow it becomes more complicated to allocate budget and build a portfolio that includes innovative transform initiatives as well as initiatives to address your technical debt and enhance your existing solutions. A single rank ordered backlog based on value may be too simplistic. Instead, enterprise businesses can use a framework that was popularized by Gartner to build a well balanced portfolio of initiatives for each value stream using the following three categories :

  • Run: Carry out essential enterprise activities that do not connect directly to a particular customer segment (or, to put it another way, to a particular revenue stream)
  • Grow: Enhance business performance in established markets serving established customer segments with established value propositions
  • Transform: Enter new markets with new value propositions for new customer segments

Most businesses have no issues building a backlog of Run and Grow initiatives but wisely spending the budget allocated to Transform is another matter. Applying a lean startup approach to managing this part of the portfolio can lead organizations to establish investment boards to oversee the evolution and iterative investment in transform initiatives. This is a group of senior stakeholders - both technical and non-technical - that meet regularly to evaluate the results of discovery / design sprints, discuss the goals for the next iteration and ultimately fund or kill the initiative. It functions as the enterprise equivalent of venture capital.


Outline/Structure of the Case Study

1. Discuss traditional portfolio management processes and drawbacks

2. Review Run-Grow-Transform framework and how this adds another dimension to traditional portfolio management

3. Provide real world experience from Hobsons on applying the Run-Grow-Transform framework and why we struggle defining, justifying and managing the Transform part of the portfolio.

3. Discuss the lean startup approach to managing investments in Transform initiatives.

Learning Outcome

* Audience should walk away understanding the Run-Grow-Transform framework for portfolio development

* Audience should walk away understanding how to apply lean startup investment principles to Innovative Transform initiatives

Target Audience

Business Leaders, Portfolio Managers, Product Managers

schedule Submitted 2 years ago

  • Naeem Hussain

    Naeem Hussain / Brian Barr - Don't just strategize, execute! Operationalizing your portfolio vision.

    45 Mins

    Most organizations spend an enormous amount of energy on creating strategies to meet their objectives. Many firms face challenges in executing the strategy and here are some of the challenges with managing a portfolio:

    1. Making investment decisions for the portfolio of projects supporting the strategy
    2. Determining funding needs for MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
    3. Determining project priorities
    4. Determining project Go-No Go "toll" gates in a lean agile portfolio
    5. Tracking of project, programs, release dates
    6. Budget vs. actuals.
    7. Managing multiple projects
    8. Managing release dates and "payload"
    9. Determining team capacity
    10. Determining schedule impacts

    This talk is designed to share:

    1. A summary of portfolio theory
    2. How to manage agile and non-agile projects in the portfolio
    3. How to create a roadmap for transformation
    4. Example of a fully implemented project portfolio for agile and non-agile projects using a tool