A question that we in Gartner’s PPM practice get asked a great deal, about the discipline of portfolio management, goes something like: “I want to get started with portfolio management. Are there just a few, key, points which I can use to focus my approach?” The short answer is: “…yes, with a few qualifiers”. So, here are the “three C’s” for getting started.
The first “C” is for “Capabilities”. Portfolio management success is built upon a number of organizational capabilities; with an assumption that they are present, and fairly mature. You need to understand the state and maturity of your own organization’s capabilities, which contribute to the foundation required for portfolio management as a discipline.
The second “C” is for “Consensus”. The adoption of portfolio management is an organizational change effort. The corollary to this is: the organization must see the value, and agree, collectively, to pursue the adoption of this new discipline. Take the time to explain, communicate, influence, and nag – as needed. If… you cannot gain a sizable group who agree that there is value to the organization in the adoption of portfolio management – put the idea aside (for now!)
Finally, the third “C” is for “Consulting”. Ah, I can see some of you cringing! In this instance I am using this term within the context of: advice, past success and success “assets”; and, expertise. An organization or individual with a past track record of aiding organizations to successfully adopt portfolio management can reduce your risk, locate (and help you to side-step) potential pitfalls, and provide a “tailored” path which “fits” your needs and organizational culture.
The “3 Cs” are NOT all that you need to know about portfolio management adoption. However, they can offer a sound beginning to building your own vision and approach to take up this important discipline.