Developing an achievable change portfolio and roadmap

The warning signs are all too familiar; too many active programmes, not enough resources, unrealistic pressure to deliver and a never-ending pipeline of ‘urgent’ new requests. If you recognise these, then you may have a large-scale change portfolio that is out of control. 



Breaking the circle of ‘who shouts loudest’  


The simple reality is that not all projects are created equal. In the eyes of many sponsors, theirs is the most important. So, how do you break this cycle of senior executives demanding their ‘pet projects’ take priority? And how do you ensure you deliver what is most important to the business and what you have the resource capacity to support? The answer is to implement a set of rules and governance which takes away emotion and moves the decision making to fact-based analysis. In effect, to implement and embed an effective portfolio definition and roadmap process.  



Focus the portfolio on areas of highest priority  


To be successful, portfolio management can require an organisation to establish a new governance framework; new decision-making processes; new teams (often virtual) and new communications to ensure the drivers and mechanics are cascaded in full. Whilst setting this up and embedding it across the organisations sounds simple enough, it can be a challenge which requires a change in thinking of how investment decisions are made and how in-flight projects’ performance is tracked. 


Whilst setting this up and embedding it across the organisation sounds simple enough, it can be a challenge which requires a change in thinking of how investment decisions are made and how in-flight project performance is tracked.  


Six steps can help you to achieve this:  


  1. Get the executive team to champion and support portfolio management. It needs to be a part of an organisation’s DNA 
  2. Separate your governance of investment decisions from portfolio and programme oversight 
  3. Capture demand from across your business, not just from those who shout loudest 
  4. Qualify demand to weed out ‘pet projects’ that add little value to the business 
  5. Prioritise and rank the portfolio against a set of criteria that enables delivery of the business strategy 
  6. Invest in in-demand programmes that score and rank highly. Stop programmes that are ranked low. This may seem obvious, but many programmes do not get stopped once started.


Build the delivery roadmap  


With a clear portfolio of change initiatives defined, attention needs to turn to how you effectively deliver this. The development of a high-level change roadmap with sequenced, prioritised programmes that you want to invest in will help with this.  


There are four essential elements to this roadmap:  


  1. The key milestones that need to be met to deliver the business outcomes and benefits from the programmes within the portfolio 
  2. The estimated resource effort to deliver the identified change programmes 
  3. The mapping of key dependencies to inform sequencing within the roadmap 
  4. The plan that sets out the schedule and phasing of the changes. 


The change roadmap will give you a baseline view of how you will deliver your portfolio which can then be tracked, managed and adjusted over time to ensure you remain in control. 



Do you need change expertise?  


At Project One, we help and support many of our customers to define and set-up their change portfolios and develop their change delivery roadmaps. These are critical components to successful change and ones which lay the vital foundations for success. Our team of Change Experts have years of experience in helping our customers through every step of their journey. If you would like to discuss your challenges and how we can help, please get in touch. 

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