Chapter 3. Introduction to Portfolio Management

Introduction to Portfolio Management

Strategy-Focused Organizations use the Balanced Scorecard to place strategy at the center of their management processes.

 --Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton, The Strategy-Focused Organization[1]

Strategic portfolio management is a central responsibility of business-savvy information-development managers who operate mature organizations and take responsibility for the efficiency and quality of their work. Managing the portfolio strategically means setting priorities on the projects that your organization undertakes. It means deciding what can be done well and what should not be done at all. It means ensuring that the work done by your staff is worth doing and adds value to the larger organization and to the customers. It means honing processes, so that they emphasize activities that produce value and eliminate activities that might be fun but just waste everyone’s time and energy. It means having a staff that is well-trained and enthusiastic about doing the right work well, rather than doing the wrong work well.

For many information-development managers in less mature organizations, the work their information developers do is assigned by other parts of the organization. Assignments come in from product developers or service providers. The project content is defined by the “customers,” who specify that they want a particular set of ...

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