This is an advanced journey that will take you through several workshops to help transform how your organization currently executes your portfolio management processes. The journey is broken down into 5 comprehensive steps over the course of several weeks that will allow you to learn collaboratively while working through your actual backlog of Initiative and Portfolio Epics. Following each 1-day workshop you will have time to get feedback, collect data and prep for the next intensive workshop.
- Step 1 and Step 2 are ‘hands-on learning’ workshops designed to teach you modern ways of planning demand and managing capacity.
- Steps 3 and 4 are focused on setting up and validating your ECC room experiment where future quarterly portfolio planning would occur.
- Step 5 is an actual Big Room Portfolio Quarterly Planning workshop that leverages your learning and the ECC room to plan your next quarter priorities.
Be prepared to learn new and innovative methods for planning, prioritizing, sizing and managing your portfolio of initiatives. We will also learn the agile approach of looking at enterprise capacity by planning around teams, measuring throughput and establishing a pull method from your portfolio backlog. Come with an open mind!
Your company has already adopted Agile methods over a couple of years and looking to Scale and bring maturity to the enterprise portfolio planning and execution processes.
5 steps, several workshops, over the course of 1-2 months
Step 1 – Demand Management – 1 Day
This one day workshop is for Leaders to understand and get visibility into their actual Demand of work across the Enterprise or Portfolio. Participants bring in 10-20 actual Portfolio Epics or Initiatives that they work through during the day. Starting with understanding the vision and context behind each Epic, participants then breakdown Epics into specific objectives and measurable outcomes, determine appropriate value filters to assign business value, collaborate to relatively size the items and utilize “Biggest Bang for the Buck” techniques to prioritize and rank the Enterprise or Portfolio backlog.
- Learn to write good quality Epics with specific outcomes and success criteria
- Gain clarity into the objectives and measures of success
- Learn how to breakdown Epics into smaller deliverables using problem/hypotheses statements
- Understand qualification filters and Business Value scoring
- Learn how to strategically align Epics back to the overall enterprise strategy
- Understand how to apply Agile relative sizing techniques
- Leverage Value, Size, Risk and Dependencies to determine how to rank Epics for optimal value delivery
- Build a roadmap spanning the next several quarters for your Enterprise backlog
- Understand how to prep for the Capacity Management workshop
Leave the session with a list of strategic deliverables that are broken down to quarterly chunks and sized, worded using the hypothesis and outcome statements, have measures for success and business value points assigned and ranked against each other.
- Optional: Build a roadmap for when you would like to see each deliverable/outcome completed
- Session Input: Bring in up to 20 strategic deliverables you want to leverage through this workshop
Step 2 – Capacity Management / Team Design – 2 Days spread out over a couple of weeks
Most enterprises push a lot more work to their teams than their actual capacity to complete work causing many problems among the teams as well as to the customer. This workshop is for Leaders to understand the actual capacity of their organization. Participants will gain visibility into each of their teams, their skills and abilities to complete work. They will learn how to build and stabilize cross-functional delivery teams that can remain focused in order to get work to “done”. Leaders will learn about the role of a Manager, how to handle different classes of work, how to track throughput and other important topics to help optimize their delivery teams. We’ll work through risks, challenges and potential gaps in order pave the way for teams to be successful.
- Learn how Stable Teams operate and how to support them
- Understand Team Structure and Allocation best practices
- Learn how to properly “stand up” new teams
- Learn how to utilize team Skill Walls to properly form the right teams
- Understand the Role of an Manager and how their role changes in an Agile environment
- Utilize the team data to form and stabilize cross-functional delivery teams
- Understand Work-In-Progress (WIP), how to measure and how to use to increase flow
- Determine organizational gaps and create mitigation strategies
- Understand the top challenges, risks and impediments and how to overcome them
- Begin preparations applying these techniques for planning the next quarter of work
Define your future desired role for an Agile managers after learning industry best practices.
- Agree on a roadmap for standing up and stabilizing Agile teams.
Visibly layout on the wall the current as-as teams you have working on your strategic priorities, identify their current allocation, skills, other work they do and team gaps.
- Develop a to-be team design strategy that enables more focused functional teams that are aligned to key value streams or business priorities.
- Identify and prioritize the challenges moving to the new model such as: limited SMEs, multi-tasking across teams, support vs strategic work, skill gaps ..etc
- Optional: Build a strategy for addressing the risks and gaps above
- Session Input: Bring to the session the as-is design of current teams that are directly or indirectly working on the strategic priorities identified for this working session. Include information such as: names, roles, allocation of team members, team skills, type of work they do, current quarter deliverables, gaps)
Step 3 – Full Enterprise Clarity Center (ECC) Setup – 1 Day
This day is spent designing and building the ECC room and boards to provide maximum visibility and transparency into the flow of work at all levels of the Enterprise. Participants will be guided on how to optimize the way they visualize their teams, backlogs, programs and portfolios to facilitate prioritization, dependency management, issue resolution and tough decision making.
- Understand the objectives and purpose of ECC rooms
- Learn how to lay out the room and design each element of the room
- Create visual card templates that contain the right information to facilitate discussion
- Understand how to show Program, Portfolio and Enterprise WIP
- Design a program board to show dependencies across teams and initiatives
- Agree how the boards will be managed and how tools will be integrated
Build initial version of the ECC room walls with your Demand (strategic objectives and deliverables), Capacity (delivery teams), KPI wall (key metrics you want visibility into)
- Session Input: Prep needed for pulling and printing the information needed to be displayed on the walls.
Step 4 – ECC Room Validation – Half Day
This day is utilized to bring your Stakeholders, Executives and other key contributors to validate the ECC room, make any potential refinements, understand how to utilize each board and practice planning together. This is where the work now comes together to facilitate better discussions on how the work is flowing and is tracked and measured.
- Gain stakeholder approval for how best to utilize the ECC room
- Understand how the different elements in the room work together and provide visibility
- Practice using the room to facilitate prioritization and planning
The leadership team will understand the ECC room, provide feedback and input into additional data needed for effective quarterly portfolio planning.
- Session Input: Prepare room for leadership review/input.
Step 5 – Big Room Planning – 1.5 Days
This is the pivotal point of our Portfolio Management Journey! We now initiate coordinated and synchronized planning by applying the Portfolio Management techniques the group has learned and utilizing the ECC room to plan out the next quarter of work and build out a high-level roadmap for the next year.
- Collaboratively work together to visualize the flow of work and how work can be pulled by teams
- Utilize the ECC Room to plan out the next quarter of work
- Plan out a high-level roadmap for the next several quarters
Execution of quarterly planning resulting in clarity on leadership vision, desired deliverable and outcomes
- Which team will work on what?
- Final consensus on the plan and clarity on risks for the quarter.
- Session Input: Prepare leadership and teams for planning session.