Portfolio Management and what we can learn from The Tour de France, the annual cycling race.

The peloton rides during the sixth stage of the 96th Tour de France cycling race between Gerona and BarcelonaSaturday July 5th ,the 101th edition will start. Look at this picture, do you know who all those cyclists riding together are? In MoP terms we are looking at the first practice of the Portfolio Definition cycle: Understand. But To see all cyclists doesn’t mean it’s easy to see who is who and who will be selected to be part of the race. Let’s break up the group in different teams or looking at MoP practice categorize to make life easier of senior management to understand the make up of their portfolio.

image2Having teams is not enough, probably their are to many cyclists in the team to be part of the race. We have to prioritize using the strategy; are we going for individual stage winners or for the overall winner (yellow jersey) are we focussing on the polka dot jersey (worn by the King of the Mountains) or do we select sprinters to win the green jersey (is given to the rider who has picked up the most points during the Tour). So we have to select the right cyclists from each team to fulfil their strategy.

image3In MoP terms we are looking at prioritization to select the right projects. See what happens if we have to many cyclists. How many will still manage to achieve their goals. Think about your portfolio if you have too many projects. Probably less will finish on time and if you reduce your portfolio and choose the right ones the chance that more projects will be finished on time is much bigger.image4

And do you know what cyclists do every evening? They study the map to understand what they have to do, where will be mountains, where are difficult points, where do they see possibilities to jump away. In other words how can we manage a portfolio without a portfolio plan?

image5It’s nice to have a roadmap, a plan, but do we know how we are progressing? Who is number one, who lost some places, are we still on time to meet our objectives (the yellow jersey, or are are we focussing on the polka dot jersey). In the tour we will get a new ranking report after every stage, do you get periodical progress reports about your portfolio delivery?image6

Together with Klaas Hermans, a colleague of mine, we developed the second release of the MoP Quick Reference Card. Feel free to download and share your comments, remarks etc. See: Management of portfolio QRC re-draw v2 42
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See also: Portfolio management in pictures

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