Corporate activity portfolios easily become overburdened by too much product development, too many projects and too much work. Generally, there is no venue or event that triggers a rationalisation of the project portfolio. Even when transformation begins, rationalisation is not necessarily a priority. More work goes into the funnel.
This is actually a silent, overlooked catastrophe for many firms. We have found that at least 30% of a portfolio’s projects do nothing to address corporate goals. They are there because nobody has cleared them out. That means people are working on projects that they know to be of no practical value.
Equally, there are projects that have no direct relationship with corporate goals but might signal that goal setting is lagging the market. Projects can be pushed through by savvy executives who are concerned that the company is now doing enough in a particular field.
Proper portfolio analysis can help clear out waste and amplify the signals for change.
In Flow, we have a number of tools to help. The Executive Portfolio Wall creates a venue for an intelligent dialogue about which projects really matter, and therefore what to prioritise. It also helps identify those emergent signals.
But beyond portfolio analysis, value management can also help the collective to identify and monitor risks and issues, and redesign workflow.
Here’s a situation you might recognise. The workload is backing up and one or two people are suddenly in huge demand. They are followed around the building by people hoping to get the go-ahead for a new piece of work. What’s happening? The project and dependencies matrix has got out of hand and work is stalled all over the shop. That’s what happens when there are too many projects and an unmanageable dependencies matrix. Flow provides answers to those problems. One of its great strengths is keeping work, and value, flowing.