Definition

Definition

There are six steps in the portfolio management process:

  1. Foundation
  2. Definition
  3. Selection
  4. Prioritization
  5. Authorization
  6. Activation.

The Definition step is done first.

This is where you define the terms, scope and definition of your portfolio, and gain agreement on your basic portfolio model.

For instance, you need to define information like the following:

The organizations covered. For example, will you include the entire company or just certain organizations?

The type of work included. For example, does your portfolio include projects, support, operations, etc.?

The categorization scheme. This helps you balance your portfolio in areas that are important to you so that you can optimize the overall allocation of resources.

For instance, categories could include work that “supports the business”, “grows the business” and “leads the business”. You could also categorize work as high, medium and low-risk, or perhaps in global versus local categories.

The balance points. For each categorization you define, you would also set some guidelines as to how you think the work should be balanced.

The financial models. When it is time to prioritize the work, you want to make sure that you choose projects that are aligned to your goals and strategies, as well as have the highest value.

It is impossible to compare apples to apples if each project has a financial justification based on different models. You need to understand the financial models that your organization wants to utilize and make sure all projects are justified using those models.

The Definition step may be lengthy the first time you implement PortfolioStep for the Business Planning Process. However, in subsequent planning cycles, you only need to review the prior cycle's Definition.

If the Definition information is still valid (and it may be), then this step will be over very quickly. Usually, however, changes in emphasis will occur that will result in changes to the Definition.

For instance, in one year, you may decide to include only project work in the portfolio. In a subsequent year, you may decide to include all other work categories as well. This might also result in changes to your categorization scheme and will require you to revisit some aspects of this Definition step.

Selection


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