What is Lean Portfolio Management

SAFe Potfolio

Lean Portfolio Management (LPM) shares similar goals with a traditional PPM organization but has some significant differences that can offer some substantial incremental benefits. LPM involves applying a lean agile mindset and a modernized set of practices based on lean principles to the conventional functions of portfolio management. Transforming to Lean Portfolio Management means shifting from annual planning and budgeting cycles with fixed scope expectations to more agile and fluid rolling-wave planning with a more continuous flow of work managed by a Portfolio Kanban system.

In the Scaled Agile Framework, the owners, architects and portfolio management team continuously analyzes the proposed epics that make up the portfolio solution sets. Once each (and the minimum viable product) is reviewed, elaborated, estimated and approved (with a Lean business case) they are added to the portfolio backlog to be scheduled for implementation.

Critical to the success of Lean Portfolio Management is ensuring alignment of the portfolio with the enterprise’s business objectives and strategy – and effective collaboration with the key stakeholders to ensure the right investments are made in the right areas.

Additional differentiating responsibilities of Lean portfolio management include agile approaches to forecasting and budgeting, establishing lean portfolio metrics to manage performance and progress, a more frequent and integrated compliance process, and providing governance and support for continuous improvement of a more decentralized practice with groups like an Agile PMO Lean-Agile Center of Excellence and/or communities of practice.

Version 4.5 of the Scaled Agile Framework has significantly elaborated on the elements of Lean Portfolio Management recognizing the opportunity to provide some new perspectives and enhanced practices to PPM.

To learn more about how to execute these Lean-Agile portfolio management practices and how to implement the Portfolio Kanban system contact us below to arrange a Lean Portfolio Management (LPM) Workshop lead by an experienced SAFe Program Consultant (SPC) with a specialization in LPM.

The SAFe Lean Portfolio Management Workshop is specially designed for a PMO/PPM team to provide an introduction to LPM and prepare them for their role in the LPM function. The workshop is intended to demonstrate and begin to help establish the collaborative team interactions and activities involved in supporting effective portfolio strategy and investment funding, agile program guidance, and lean governance.

Attendees of this workshop will leave with a high-level understanding of LPM, and what they need to do to begin to enable their LPM journey with SAFe.  For more information or to register for an in-house workshop, contact us.

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