An Approach to Integrated IT Portfolio Analysis #ppm
In a previous blog post called “Gartner's New MQ for Integrated IT Portfolio Analysis Apps” (Part 1 of this 3 part series) we discussed the new market space and magic quadrant Gartner has defined for “Integrated IT Portfolio Analysis Applications”. The aim of this emerging software category is to help IT departments and CIOs make better decisions in support of business objectives and goals. The approach to doing this is to provide CIOs and IT leadership with integrated and top-down views of the various “activities” (for lack of a better term) and their inter-relationships and interdependencies”. These activities include projects, applications, resources, strategies, programs and products, as well as other “moving parts” like enterprise architecture, various portfolio views, methodologies and processes (e.g., Agile, Prince II, ALM, IT service management, asset management), and so on.
We noted that Gartner does a good job of articulating the objectives of this application space. And, it lays out the challenges in terms of providing a strategic an integrated view of all the decision inputs (i.e., the various moving parts described above). However, it stops short of offering any kind of model or framework to begin to think about the problem. Rather, it leaves that up to the solution providers, offering only that the only common denominator is that they provide the “emerging container” in which to do this.
We promised in this post to provide a simple approach to this morass and a peek into our application “container” for integrated IT portfolio analysis. So here goes.
Think of the world of IT “activities” in three buckets: Strategies, Resources and Work. Each needs to be architected as a stand-alone “activity” or set of processes and supporting technology that doesn’t depend on the others to be functional and useful.
Strategies start with business priorities and objectives at the root of a hierarchy which breaks down into program, product or process and portfolio components and views. If you can’t align any of these entities with a strategic priority either directly or indirectly through a layer defined by another one of these entities, you have to question whether or not it’s one of those moving parts you care about.
The point is that most of the IT activity morass can be organized in the strategy portfolio and the rest of what is important has to do with the resources and work portfolios.
Now think of these portfolios as a Venn diagram where the key inter-relationships and interdependencies are represented by intersections of these portfolios (i.e., where the three rings overlap). Solutions which address these integration points represent the essence of the “Integrated IT Portfolio Analysis” opportunity defined by Gartner. The same approach can be taken for Enterprise Project Portflio Management (EPPM) as we just outlined for IT Portfolio Management.
In our next blog post (Part 3 of this 3 part series) we will explore these integration points in more detail and how they represent the keys to helping IT departments make better top-down decisions in support of business objectives and goals in both Enterprise PPM and IT PPM environments.