YOUR PORTFOLIO SHOULD DRIVE EVERYTHING

“I’ve learned that finding great ideas and portfolio management are very different skills. Both are critical” Kevin Byun

A translation layer between organizational leaders' strategies and the tangible actions the rest of the organization needs to take to make these strategies a reality is often missing in an organization.

Most managers would say that they have defined goals, objectives, and policy — but that is not enough!

The problem is that strategy is often so far removed from people’s day-to-day tasks that they just don’t get it. When the leadership eventually realizes this, they try to make it the management levels problem and instruct managers to find a way for employees to understand the strategy.

We propose a different approach — why don’t the board find ways to express strategy so that everyone can understand it?

There is nothing new about the concept of PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT; what is new is that we propose that your portfolio becomes the primary view of what the board wants the rest of the organization to do!

The ORGANISATIONAL PORTFOLIO becomes the primary means of giving direction to the rest of the organization by the board of directors and executive management.

This approach has got another HUGE TANGIBLE BENEFIT; the board can now see how well the rest of the organization is doing concerning the given direction.

It is relatively easy to identify and measure contribution to creating value for customers in the form of PRODUCTS (and services). No, we don’t draw a specific distinction between products and services because of the blurry lines lately.

Products are the unique combination of tangible objects of value (goods) and the way it is made available to customers for consumption; this often includes activities performed to enhance, support (service) to maintain the value proposition offered to the customer or consumer. Agile ADapT™

In a digital world, all products have attributes of both goods and services or use goods in a combination of services. We do not equate goods and products to each other — this was a perversion of the term that occurred somewhere in the mid ‘1990s before everyone understood that goods and services combine to form products.

If we can map the VALUE STREAM or INTERNAL VALUE CHAIN, the involvement of all organizational functions or areas of business becomes pretty evident. As we suggested in VeriSM Unwrapped and Applied, the organizational portfolio should do just that!

The ORGANIZATIONAL PORTFOLIO, therefore, does not only offer us the ability to communicate what the organization needs to do, but it also provides us with the ability to get cohesive feedback on organizational performance!

This article is part of a series exploring the use of Agile ADapT™, a Digital Transformation Method for incumbent organizations struggling to compete in the digital age.

Johann Botha, a digital change provocateur & getITright® CEO. Transform & build organizational agility, & digital-age capabilities. Consultant, speaker & author