IT Leaders Want To Know: How’s Your IT Portfolio Doing?

by drjim on June 17, 2010

Stop Nickel & Dimeing Your IT Assets

Stop Nickel & Dimeing Your IT Assets

As an IT Leader it can be all to easy to become focused on just what your immediate team is working on in terms of projects and goals. The problem with this is that doing this allows you to take your eyes off of what’s really important: the success of the company. There’s got to be a way for you to do your IT job while still helping the overall company move forward…

Let’s Play The Investment Game

Although we live in the world of technology, we work for firms that are firmly rooted in the world of business. This means that they need to keep track of where their money is going. The hope is that the company spends its limited funds in a way that allows it to grow faster and do more than other firms.
IT Leaders can help the company keep track of what it has and what it is working on by creating and supporting portfolio and project management (PPM) tasks. If done correctly, this can allow the company to know what it has and then use it to achieve its current business objectives.
This way of looking at what the various IT teams are doing is very much like managing financial portfolios.

How It Works

In the simplest terms, PPM allows IT Leaders to match business needs with the IT activities that are being undertaken to solve them. By combining multiple IT assets into a single portfolio IT Leaders are able to understand the payback of a single project in relation to other projects that are going on at the same time.
The first step in creating a PPM system requires you to group your company’s assets and activities into various portfolios. Possible portfolios include:

  • Technology Assets: this portfolio will include such items as your firm’s business applications as well as both it’s hardware and data.
  • Non-financial Assets: : this portfolio contains those non-tangible assets like staff, intellectual property, and proprietary business processes.
  • Project-Level: : this portfolio is a collection of all of the IT projects that are both currently under way and those that are under consideration.
  • Enterprise Projects: : this portfolio includes all of the tools that are used within the company in order to conduct business and to remain competitive.
  • Program-Level: : this portfolio is unlike the project portfolio in that it contains the groups of projects that are related to each other – each project provides one part of a much larger solution.
  • Service Delivery: : this portfolio contains all of the non-project tasks that the company has to do in order to ensure customer satisfaction.

What All Of This Means For You

IT Leaders realize that in order for their careers to continue on an upward path, the company as a whole has to be successful. They have an important role to play in the company’s success.
One way that IT Leaders can contribute is by grouping the company’s assets and activities into various portfolios. This allows them to be tracked and compared to each other.
A company is a business and therefore it will ultimately succeed based on how it spends its money and the return that it can get from its investments. IT Leaders who make it easier for the company to determine how things are going will always be successful.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Knowledge

Question For You: Who in the company would be the right person to work with if you wanted to set up a portfolio tracking system?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

If you were a bank manager and all of sudden one day armed and masked criminals walked in through the bank’s front door and demanded money, what would you do? I can think of a whole bunch of possible options, many of them suggested by countless action movies. The key point here is that you sure wouldn’t just sit there and do nothing. So why, as cyber criminals target your company’s IT infrastructure, are you just sitting there today?

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