Organizations that need to fulfill on-going customer requests (either internal or external) all need a way to prioritize and schedule work that is too large to be done by the help desk. Gartner’s recent adoption of adaptive project management has freed the organization to look at future work in three streams. Work designed to support current operations and current customers can naturally flow through the demand management system and the product roadmap, while work that is new and strategic can flow through the strategic portfolio management system.
According to Gartner, 61% of IT, spending is “run the business” related. Organizations need the right tool to help them decide how much they want to spend on “run” without letting the urgent override the important.
With the changes that organizations are seeing every day, it helps to have a system that will support end-users in communicating what enhancements and changes they need to keep doing their jobs. By definition, this process will always create more demand than can be fulfilled. Organizations need a system that will allow a holistic view of what’s being requested and why so that they can rationalize demand rather than just prioritize it to the end of an infinite queue.
In Agile organizations, Product Owners or Product Managers are responsible for rationalizing demand. Using a roadmap to plan virtual “releases” of software allows an organization to set funding limits while leaving the development organization to deliver using the method of their choice.
The secret to making optimal investment decisions is to understand what the work is intended to achieve. Is it a productivity improvement, a way to directly increase revenue, a new way to enhance customer experience, or some other important agenda? Once work is correctly classified, it’s possible to decide how much time (people) and money should be invested in a work category using such tools as Tempus’ portfolio planner and what-if analytics. Portfolio Planner allows users to conduct project prioritization with multi-criteria scoring, evaluate existing or new portfolios under resource constraints, and identify what can or cannot fit into their portfolio in their desired timeframe.
For work that is larger and more involved than a single Agile team can handle, it will be necessary to do some planning and to find the right people to do the work
Agile project management advocates simplifying planning as much as is appropriate. While this means the days of 4000-line Gantt charts might be in the past, it doesn’t mean that Gantt charts aren’t still required. Use sheets for simple plans and Gantt charts (with dependencies) where they are needed.
The single most common question in the project world is always “when will it be done.”
Agility requires things happening as quickly as possible, which means hiccups along the way need to be dealt with in a timely manner. Now that more people are working from home, it’s even more important to have meaningful real-time reporting to aid in decision making and problem resolution. And if those reports don’t require project team members to prepare more reports, so much the better.
No organization has enough money or people to do everything they would like to do. This requires deciding on some clear basis and then looking backward to see if the original goal was achieved and whether, with hind-sight, it was the right goal in the first place. Outcome and benefits tracking is designed to aid in this process.
Like everything else, outcome and benefit tracking should not be overly involved or overly cumbersome. Leading indicators are almost always the best since the quicker some indication of outcome is recognized, the sooner adjustments can be made if necessary.