Have you ever gone to a concert and heard a band that you didn’t know performing one of your favorite songs? All the notes are correct, and the singers are singing in tune, but the performance is just okay, it does not move you. Then, you go and hear the same song from a different group, and you immediately rise to your feet and started grooving? The difference is talent plus passion and not talent alone, and that is the secret. In this article, I will share what I believe are the five secrets to strategic growth using portfolio management principles which are much like listening to a band that makes you want to groove.
1. Align your organization with its value proposition.
What is your organization’s value proposition? Your value proposition is the promise that you are making to your customers that your products or services will address and meet their needs for the jobs they need to complete, the pains they need to alleviate, and the gains they want to achieve. By understanding your customer’s job requirements, pains and gains you will position your organization to be in a place where you can better develop a portfolio of projects that can meet your customers’ needs and desires.
So, to align your organization’s projects, programs and operational work to address the problems and desires of your ideal customer, you first need to verify that your value proposition is on point. What bundle of products and services are you developing to meet our customer’s needs?
2. Align your portfolio to address your ideal customer’s needs.
If the strategic goals of the organization are to improve customer services and to align with your customer’s journey, then the project portfolio should emulate these goals with investments that will improve your customer service and integrate the customer journey with a streamlined workflow process.
The greatest need that I see as a consultant is for organizations to simplify their project portfolio processes and identify ways to speed up project execution. Implementing an agile project management process or reducing bottlenecks, by implementing the theory of constraints practices, can greatly reduce the time to market within your project execution environment, as well as greatly increase your team velocity and throughput. In today’s environment customers expect to receive solutions that exceed their expectations and are easy to operate. Moreover, we can all thank our smartphones for setting that expectation. What are you doing to determine how to improve your project selection and prioritization processes?
3. Align key performance indicators that measure and track your growth.
According to Jonathan Taylor, Marketing Manager at Klipfolio, “The most effective KPIs marry business objectives with product market fit best practices for picking the right KPIs for your business.” A KPI should show you whether you are having an impact on the business or not. It should answer the question, did we deliver the value that we promised to our customers?
Gerald Leonard, PfMP, PMP, MCTS, CQIA, ITIL, COBIT, is the CEO of Principles of Execution (PofE), a Certified Minority Business Enterprise, Strategic Project Portfolio Management and Culture Change consulting practice with over 20 years of experience working with Federal and State Governments and large multinational corporations. He works with organizations and professionals who want to develop a culture that works, leveraging agile strategies to do more with less and improve your bottom line results. Gerald is the author of “Culture Is The Bass: 7 Principles for Developing A Culture That Works” and an upcoming book, “Symphonic Culture: Unify, Strategize, and Execute Collectively for Optimum Results.” Gerald writes about strategic portfolio management and organizational culture change.