Do you value control or control value?
Diagnose an organization: Ask an architect if his organization does portfolio planning. Sure he says: yes. Continue to ask, what kind of portfolio planning? When he becomes speechless with glassy look in his eyes, you’re sure he doesn’t work with a modern organization. Are you?
Traditionally with portfolio planning is meant: project portfolio planning.
Big change programs comprised of multiple projects to be executed dispersed over the entire organization; accompanied with governance boards for delegation and escalation, needed for pushing the planned change throughout the organization, operating against all who are reluctant.
Sure, this conflicting image about project portfolio planning does not suit your organization. Probably there is more engagement around, more support, more fostering. But still, at the core, the kind of portfolio planning is project portfolio planning.
What is another kind of portfolio planning that is applicable?
Consider enterprises. About what do they comprise of?
Projects? Leading to project portfolio management? We have covered that one. Continue exploring.
People? Leading to people portfolio management? This might be at agencies, but surely doesn’t apply to all organizations.
What I like to go to are systems. System portfolio management. Your enterprise is a portfolio of systems in all its related forms like business capabilities, information systems, infrastructural appliances. The systems are the assets your enterprise builds from. Better to have asset portfolio management in place.
But which kind of portfolio management dominates? Project portfolio management or Asset (system) portfolio management?
What do you like to dominate? It’s a choice.
Do you like change to dominate your enterprise? Go for the project variant!
Do you like continuity to dominate your enterprise? Go for the asset variant!
But, opposing the asset variant, what about business circumstances? They are changing constantly. We have to manage that change. We have to dominate by projects. – is a line of reasoning you might follow.
What is a business? You can adopt the perspective: a business is a sustainable discipline operating in circumstances of change. Your focus on the assets of the discipline makes that discipline sustainable. Therefore asset portfolio management is more applicable.
Still opposing, what about changing systems? You need to have projects for that!
Do you? Can’t you use systems in forms of processes or disciplines for that too? There is no need for big sized project program types of change in your enterprise. There is an alternative.
Make the change of systems part of the total responsibility of a system. Apply asset lifecycle management.
Note what sustainability means. Sustainability is ‘in itself recurring renovation’. Developments and operations of systems belong together. Setup your asset portfolio management starting from that viewpoint.
The danger with solely hanging onto project portfolio management, especially in times of trouble is control appeasement, since governance is at the core of this discipline.
What about asset portfolio management in times of trouble? At the core of this discipline is value creation. (For what else do you have your assets for?) Isn’t that something you want in times of trouble?
Enterprise Game Planning rests on asset portfolio planning more than on project portfolio planning, simply because enterprise emergence arises from enterprise assets working in synergy together.
This blog post is one of the significant differences between the practices of project planning and Enterprise Game Planning. You can find more differences on my blog by clicking here.
Sustain in progress,