From Concept to Cash : Do You Need To Fix Your End To End Delivery Pipe
A Guide for Executive Leaders in Agile Lean Portfolio Management
The Agile Lean Portfolio Management (LPM) approach has emerged as the lighthouse for many
In the ever-evolving business landscape, executive leaders are often at the helm, steering their organizations through the dynamic waters of change. Recently, the Agile Lean Portfolio Management (LPM) approach has emerged as the lighthouse for many, guiding them from the conceptualization of ideas to the rewarding shores of financial results.
Agile LPM is not just about hastily moving from 'concept to cash'; it's an artful blend of understanding demand and supply within an organization and optimizing the flow between them. The journey starts upstream with an idea, a spark that needs to be shaped and nurtured. But the real challenge lies in delivering that idea downstream effectively, transforming it into a tangible outcome that adds value to the business.
However, tensions often exist between the business side (demand) and the delivery side (supply). The business may view delivery as slow and costly, while delivery might see the business as indecisive or unclear in their objectives. This dichotomy can result in a vicious cycle of inefficiency, where ideas meander through the process, getting reshaped numerous times, leading to delays and cost overruns.
To break free from this cycle, organizations need to focus on key areas:
Understand Your Capacity
Knowing the capacity of your delivery pipeline is critical. Without this knowledge, balancing supply and demand becomes guesswork.
Improve Your Estimation
Rely on empirical evidence from past projects to make more accurate estimations for new ones. This allows for better planning and resource allocation.
Manage the Demand Funnel
Limit the time spent discussing countless options. Prioritize and focus on the most impactful ideas to ensure efficient use of the delivery pipeline.
Clarify and Collaborate Upstream
Position business relationship managers (BRMs) to work closely with the business side, helping to clarify requirements and manage expectations before reaching the delivery stage.
Plan Across Different Horizons
Adopt a planning cycle that recognizes different delivery horizons – some initiatives will be short-term, and others will require a longer runway. This flexibility is key to managing resources and expectations.
Now, let's reflect on the five takeaways from this discussion that can help executive leaders make the most of their Agile LPM efforts:
Capacity is King: Know your limits to play your strengths.
Evidence over Estimation: Let past data drive future decisions.
Prioritize Ruthlessly: Focus on what truly matters to maximize output.
Bridge the Gap Early: Integrate BRMs to align business and delivery sooner.
Flexible Planning: Adapt your strategy to the pace of your projects.
These strategies are not just theories but practical, actionable approaches that have been shaped through experiences across various industries. As leaders, it is essential to foster a culture where these practices are not only understood but embraced and implemented.
In the spirit of continuous improvement and agility, these practices are not set in stone but are meant to evolve as you apply them to your unique organizational context. They are stepping stones to creating an environment where ideas can flow smoothly from inception to realization, ensuring that your time, effort, and resources are invested wisely.
Want to know more and get some training in this?
My ICAgile Lean Portfolio Management courses for 2024 are now available. Click here for details.
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