Moderm IT Portfolio Management Workshop

Reaching the end of putting together first of several Modern IT Portfolio Workshops. Will bench check next week :-) . Have a fairly good assessment of major competitive Frameworks from Microsoft, IBM, etc. As expected each these looks at Portfolio Management as a Zero Sum Gain stack ranking algorithm in isolation. However, that was the goal behind developing those methodologies so “they could grab the low hanging fruit”. Next week’s research and development efforts are to further develop COBIT 5′s “Enterprise Governance of IT“ concepts and create the alignment workshop materials. This weekend I’ll get back to diagraming the overall master process, document the interfaces between the processes, artifacts, and outcomes. I’m using a similar structure to the Strategy and Market Planning process documentation I used before to create that practice. The major difference this time will I’ll most likely use SharePoint and/or MS Access as the implementation vehicle. Had considered Azure over the past several years, however, my resources are limited and since separating from Microsoft recently I don’t have the funding / resources to build there. I’ve a friend who left Microsoft years ago who has his own company and platform that may be a potential, but it looks to be a learning curve I’ll have to go through on my own to use it.

Modern IT Portfolio Management Methodology

I’ve divided Modern IT Portfolio Management into four major activity groups. Each group has methods associated with it as well as linkage to corporate functions. This will enable the process to be integrated into how a corporation really works rather than a blistered on event to the IT budget allocation process as so many of these Portfolio Management methodologies are used for. An example the Prioritization Group takes into account Corporate Values, Goals and Priorities, Enterprise Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery, and Risk Management. This differs from standard approaches in that instead of evaluating “new technology” investments, tis method evaluates the entire portfolio. The goal is evaluation of ALL investments as these relate to the Enterprise’s mission and determine one of three several actions: Divest, Hold/Maintain, or Invest –its back to the roots of Markowitz’s original treatise on Portfolio Management. Additionally, where this methodology is differentiating from the rest of the market is the items managed in the portfolio. The asset classes (Markowitz) go beyond the simple Software and Hardware (physical assets) into abstract assets that could be considered derivatives and other complex investment vehicles.

The downtime away from supporting the Microsoft Communities has been trying, I really liked helping the field: It was great to hear back from those on the front lines; “thanks that really helped” or “take a look what I achieved with the materials you pointed me to” or “my customer is really is really pleased with the results I got using your approach”. Getting feedback like that is addictive it makes you want to help more. However, after a month away I’m at peace with myself and focused on this and others lines of Enterprise Design R&D. I’ll still take on a few people to mentor each year, but not to the scale I was building unless I determine to start my own consulting firm. I had considered that several years ago, thinking joining another startup firm to help it develop would allow me the same experience and freedom. However, the direction the partners were taking verses the stated goal were decidedly different. Still in touch with those partners and despite some challenges the company is doing fine in its new reconstituted form which I’m happy about. I wanted to see them succeed, as I want to see other small businesses do. There is something really cool about a small business. I think I may be the personalization aspect to it.

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