What Your Change Portfolio Says About Your Enterprise

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For Portfolio Managers, one of the many skills that come with experience is the ability to read an enterprise’s Change Portfolio. Aside from the individual projects, the portfolio reveals – for example – whether changes are goals-driven or projects-driven; how the enterprise chooses, manages and values investments; the enterprise’s agility as an investor in change; the culture for innovation and investment; and the extent to which the enterprise is knowingly investing in transformational changes.

Chris Potts, Mentor, Trainer and Author, Dominic Barrow; [email protected]
Chris will be presenting the courses; ‘Leadership Strategies for Enterprise Architects: Choosing the Interventions that Maximize Success‘ 27-28 November 2018 in London
and ‘Advanced Portfolio Management: From Projects-Driven to Goals-Driven Investment in Change‘ 29-30 November 2018 in London
This article was previously published here.

Using this ability, Portfolio Managers can offer extremely valuable insights into the enterprise’s strategy and maturity as an investor in change, and how to enhance the portfolio’s performance. Mind you, those insights may also be uncomfortable, especially if people are unaware of how much better they could be at investing in change. Being able to read a portfolio must be coupled with well-developed influencing skills.

What is the Portfolio Manager looking for in the portfolio, to develop these insights? Here are a few examples:

– Goals-driven or projects-driven: in portfolio spreadsheets, presentation slides and performance reports, is the story about the probability of achieving investment goals, or about the delivery status of projects?

– Choosing, managing and valuing investments: does the enterprise use identical criteria for framing and valuing ideas, choosing changes to invest in, monitoring their performance, and evaluating the actual outcomes achieved?

– Agility as an investor: how long into the future is investment already allocated to projects, rather than being allocated to the portfolio and provisionally prioritised by goal?

– Innovation and investment culture: is there one end-to-end portfolio encompassing ideas, innovations, projects, changes, and the outcomes they create?

– Transformational changes: can we easily tell from the portfolio which changes are transforming the enterprise’s architecture, and which are creating more value from the existing architecture?

Ultimately, the enterprise’s leaders will value their Portfolio Managers for their ability to turn influential insights, like these and others, into positive results. Being able to see and explain the difference between a projects-driven and goals-driven portfolio is indeed valuable, provided the Portfolio Manager also knows how to transform the former into the latter – given the specific context in which they are working and the challenges they might face. Beyond insight, success depends on the Portfolio Manager’s facilitation skills, cultural awareness, creativity and ambition.

The mark of a great investment in Portfolio Management is the extent to which, in time, the story your portfolio reveals about your enterprise advances in the direction you decide, and you see the results in the overall performance of the changes you invest in. It is, as far as I have witnessed in over 20 years of working with people worldwide, a never-ending journey.

Watch this one-minute video to see what your portfolio can say about your enterprise: https://youtu.be/8O__eSrOS38

Get trained in Advanced Portfolio Management: http://www.dominicbarrow.com/advanced-portfolio-management.html

Chris works worldwide with Executives, Enterprise Architects and Portfolio Managers, on strategies for Enterprise Investment – co-ordinating Enterprise Architecture and Portfolio Management, to achieve organisational excellence at investing in change. He has chaired world-class Enterprise Architecture conferences and delivered EA-related guest lectures at universities in New York, London, and Copenhagen. Chris is also the author of a trilogy of business novels – “FruITion”, RecrEAtion” and “DefrICtion”- that explore through story-telling the past, present and future value of investing in Enterprise Architects.

Copyright Chris Potts, Mentor, Trainer and Author, Dominic Barrow

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