Conteneo Blog

7+1 Principles And Five Frameworks for Agile Portfolio Prioritization

Posted by Luke Hohmann on Mar 16, 2017 11:32:25 PM

Some of the best insights come when you're teaching advanced classes. In November of 2016, in a master class on Agile Portfolio Prioritization I co-taught with Certified Collaboration Instructor Raphael Goumot, we developed and shared a whole host of insights that were worthy of sharing. 

Seven + One Principles of Prioritization

  1. Build alignment on goals and strategic objectives before prioritizing.
  2. Engage strategic prioritization before tactical prioritization.
  3. Make sure you understand the time horizon of "strategic" (e.g., Is one year strategic or 10?).
  4. Distinguish between "Run the Business" projects and "New Work" or "Innovative Work".
  5. Distinguish between "Reserving Resources" and "Allocating Resources" (e.g., I might reserve $2M/Quarter for an initiative but only allocate the money one quarter at a time based on performance).
  6. Use Conteneo's software platforms to include key decision makers and stakeholders in the process. Cast a big net!
  7. Think carefully about the attributes you will use in the prioritization process.

And one more bonus principle:

  1. Make sure you know the the reprioritization time horizon (annual? or quarterly? or other?).

Five Frameworks for Priorization

  1. Building alignment on goals and priorities through Knowsy®
  2. Developing strategic roadmaps through Prune the Future.
  3. Prioritizing budgets and allocating resources through Fund a Project (also known as Buy a Feature).
  4. Identifying attributes for prioritization and prioritize benefits through 20/20 Vision.
  5. Understanding value-effort tradeoffs through Planning Walls.

Understand Variations in Resource Allocation

Resource allocation is central to effective prioritization - because priorities without resource to get them done are just ideas with no reality. Here are three variations for allocating resources

  1. Budget Games, in which participants fund new projects by cutting existing projects.
  2. Participatory Budgeting, in which participants allocate limited funds to key projects.
  3. Zero-Based Budgeting, in which all projects start out as unfunded and participants allocate an existing budget into same or new projects.

We've used all of these in client projects. 

Want more insights? I elaborate on these in my book How to Prioritize Your Project Portfolio.

Topics: Agile, Innovation, Strategy, portfolio management, portfolio prioritization

Subscribe to Email Updates