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There should be a mechanism to ensure that the information and data collected in this report are aggregated, fed back to decision makers and process owners, and acted upon to improve the IT portfolio management process. For instance, the criteria may need to be rethought, the weights recalibrated, or the balancing exercise readjusted to better meet business and strategic objectives. Not to overstate, but communication plays a vital role in this effort. The assessment and execution report should include this specific information:
• An assessment of the portfolio’s effectiveness in meeting original objectives as defined in the game plan
• An identification of ways to modify or improve the IT portfolio management process to better maximize results and minimize risks
• An identification of benefits that have been achieved, an assessment of whether they match projected benefits, and a determination of reasons for any discrepancies
• An evaluation of whether original assumptions used to justify the portfolio and investments were valid
• A comparison of actual costs incurred against projected costs
• A determination of how well the IT portfolio and investments met time schedules and implementation dates
• Management and user perspectives on the IT portfolio and investments
274 CHAPTER 5 BUILDING THE IT PORTFOLIO
• An evaluation of the issues, changes, and modifications that still require attention
• Benchmarked competitors and unrelated companies.
It is important to document and archive all decisions, changes, actions, and results that occur throughout the stages and activities. Also included are changes made to the business case or analyses that are created or revised during the process, as well as recommendations to change and improve the process.
The IT portfolio management process and the stages and activities presented in this chapter should always be assessed and evaluated for continuous improvement. This is not a static process. Management within companies should always challenge and question the current processes by asking:
• Are the current IT portfolio management processes, criteria, weighting, steps, and activities in line with the company’s needs?
• How can the processes be modified to better meet these needs?
• Are the right members and the right mixture present at decision-making investment review and evaluation meetings?
• Are the right triggers and performance measurements in place for event notification and monitoring of project and existing operational investments?
• Are the time frames for the stages and activities taking too long and serving as blockers to effectively execute the process?
• Are there reoccurring problems that continue to manifest in the process? Are corrective actions being taken to address both the symptom and the core problem?
1. Edmund M. Ziegler, ISBM Net Product Development Consortium Meeting, DuPont Consulting Solutions, March 2001.
2. Frank Joseph Matejcik, “TM 665 Project Planning & Control,” South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.
3. Eric Burke, “Portfolio Analysis, Key Metrics, and Techniques for Analyzing the Portfolio,” Portfolio Knowledge.
4. Treacy, M. and Wiersma, F., The Discipline of Market Leaders: Choose Your Customers, Narrow Your Focus, Dominates Your Market, Perseus Book Group, Jan. 1997.
5. Helen Pukszta, “The New IT Mindset,” Cotter Consortium Executive Report, Vol. 4, No. 12, 2001.
6. U.S. General Accounting Office, “Assessing Risks and Returns: A Guide for Evaluating Federal Agencies’ IT Investment Decision-Making,” Accounting and Information Management Division, February 1997.
7. Robert G. Cooper, Scott J. Edgett, and Elko J. Kleinschmidt, Portfolio Management for New Products, 2nd edition, Perseus Publishing, 2001.
8. Eric Burke, “Getting Started with Portfolio Management,” Portfolio Knowledge.
9. Harry Alton Lee, Director, U.S. Department of Treasury, Enterprise Solutions, 2004.
10. Bruce Miller, “Portfolio Management: Linking Corporate Strategy to Project Priority and Selection,” PM Solutions.
11. Mari Poyhonen, “On Attribute Weighting in Value Trees,” Helsinki University of Technology, 1998.
12. Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton, The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Strategy into Action, Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1996.
13. Robert G. Cooper, Scott J. Edgett, and Elko J. Kleinschmidt, Portfolio Management for New Products, 2nd edition, Perseus Publishing, 2001.
14. Management Guru, www.mgmtguru.com/mgt499/TN9_5.htm.
16. United Management Technologies (UMT), www.umt.com.
18. U.S. General Accounting Office, “Assessing Risks and Returns: A Guide for Evaluating Federal Agencies’ IT Investment Decision Making,” Accounting and Information Management Division, February 1997.
19. A significant amount of content from this section was adapted from U.S. General Accounting Office, “Assessing Risks and Returns: A Guide for Evaluating Federal Agencies’ IT Investment Decision Making,” Accounting and Information Management Division, February 1997.