Disciplined Agile

Portfolio Management Workflow – External

Portfolio management is an important part of any organization, playing a key guiding role for many aspects of your overall organizational process. Figure 1 depicts the high-level workflow that portfolio management is involved with, showing the major information flows between the process blades – as always, feedback loops are assumed and not shown.


Figure 1. The external workflow of portfolio management (Click to enlarge)

As you can see in Figure 1, there are several process blades related to portfolio management:

  • Continuous improvement. As with all other activities within your organization, as people perform them they may identify potential improvement suggestions that they or others may be able to take advantage of. Similarly, others may identify potential improvements that can be applied to your portfolio management efforts.
  • Data management. Your portfolio management activities should generate data that can be shared with data management, who then store the data, combine it with other data, and provide valuable intelligence to all areas of the organization. This intelligence/information is in turn used to provide insight and improve decision making.
  • Enterprise Architecture. The enterprise architects will produce roadmaps and models that teams should follow. These roadmaps will be used to help drive prioritization and investment decisions.
  • Finance. The Finance team provides budget and funding for your portfolio.
  • Governance. The governance team will provide guidance for all aspects of your organization, portfolio asset management. This guidance typically focuses on financial and quality goals as well as any regulatory constraints where appropriate.
  • Product Management. Product roadmaps & priorities, funded initiatives. The Product Management team will provide product roadmaps and stakeholder priorities, which will help guide prioritization decisions related to existing endeavors. Portfolio management provides initial vision and an initial tranche of funding for new initiatives.
  • Strategy. The strategy process blade provides the enterprise strategies, high-level ideas for potential initiatives, and desired outcomes and measures of them. This direction will drive the efforts of portfolio management and other activities within your organization.
  • Teams. Endeavors, such as projects, service support, and operational activities are addressed by teams. Portfolio management provides the teams with the initial funding and vision for the endeavor they are embarking upon.

The activities associated with these process blades are often highly related. For example, in some organizations the activities associated with portfolio management and governance are fulfilled by a single group. In other organizations some product management activities are performed by the portfolio management team and some by the enterprise architecture team. Some organizations may choose to have a separate group for each process blade. And your organizational structure will evolve over time as your various teams learn how to work with one another.