Abstract/Description

Does any of following problems sound familiar?
- Too many concurrent projects in the portfolio
- Constant struggle to finish commitments on time
- Continuous fight for teams and people availability
- Frequent project expediting
- Disconnection between portfolio management and work organization on a team level

These are typical issues with portfolio management. However, before jumping into solutions we should ask why the issues are so common. The limited visibility of the current situation is one of the root causes. Lack of information about the impact of new commitments on the organization is another. The decision-making process that results in starting too many new endeavors is on the list too. The session would focus on addressing these root causes and not the symptoms.

Instead of a common strategy of formalizing the processes around portfolio management we can use Portfolio Kanban to evolve our way of working with the portfolio. The approach bases on “start with what you have” principle. This means that it doesn’t provoke resistance. Also small, evolutionary changes are preferred over big-bang changes. On the top of that, using the method doesn’t require extensive effort, which increases the odds of sustaining its adoption in the long run.

I will show how this low-friction approach challenges our thinking of project attractiveness, improves our awareness of value, cost of delay, impact on other commitments and risks that aren’t directly related to the project. These should be the key factors to drive our decisions on starting new endeavors.

This is a crucial change that has to happen to enable the evolution of portfolio management. And Portfolio Kanban is a way to catalyze that change.

The session will cover the theory behind Portfolio Kanban as well as the basics of the method. It will be supported with a series of short exercises that present the typical challenges which we deal with on a portfolio level.

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