Introducing IT portfolio management

The central IT team at a large Government Department was aware that across the complex organisation many departments had the budget to launch their own local IT projects, which often duplicated or conflicted with other such projects.

The need was for a central way of knowing about and influencing the large number of such projects being started and underway, and they decided to implement an IT Portfolio Management process, to give them visibility and control over this group of projects.

They called in a large Consultancy, and I was appointed to develop the new Portfolio Management business process and tools, whilst colleagues built a spreadsheet showing all the currently under-way IT projects, and some planned future ones. This list showed clearly the duplicate or unnecessary projects already underway locally and was a revelation to the central IT team, so they began to highlight the duplications to the relevant department and function heads, in the hope of combining or stopping some of the wasteful projects.

Once the Portfolio Management process was developed and authorised, I then implemented it within a large function within the organisation as a pilot to test and refine the process, and to help spread the message about the need for the central IT team to be fully involved in the planning, prioritisation and approval of any new project.

The pilot went well and proved the value of the new process and re-enforced the key oversight and control role of the central IT function. The process was then rolled out to the rest of the organisation in a phased manner, which helped the overall IT function to develop towards being a world class function.

John Bridges
Consultant at RedQuadrant

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Recognising ‘the script’

In business the one thing we rely on most is people, whether it’s staff, colleagues, stakeholders or clients. If they are stressed, fed up, feeling overwhelmed or unable to speak up it’s incredibly hard to engage them in change.

Whilst delivering workshops one thing has become abundantly clear to me. Everyone has a negative voice in their heads. It is never true. And it affects every area of your life, including work.

Whether it’s limiting beliefs about how much you can achieve, nervousness at selling yourself in interviews, feeling unable to challenge others or finding negative stakeholders difficult to handle, what I’ve come to realise it’s rarely the situation that causes the angst. It’s always that nagging voice!
If you’ve ever heard these responses to a new initiative – “Things will never change”, “Yes but…”, “It’ll never work”- then you’ll know exactly what I mean!

We call this ‘the script’ because it contains information gathered throughout life and when we listen to it it’s like we’re reading from a script rather than choosing how we would like to think, feel and act.

By learning to recognise the script we are able to see situations more clearly, choose better responses, and stop holding ourselves back.

In the workplace this can look like not feeling hurt by a colleague’s grumpy response, putting ourselves forward for an opportunity, enjoying our work, increased resilience, taking part in workplace initiatives, giving support to colleagues and being more open to change.

Even by teaching these concepts to one or two staff members I have seen the ripple effect as their renewed sense of purpose rubs off on others. Also, having common terminology makes communication easier. I’ve heard people say, “the script is saying…” which is much easier to say than “I’m feeling…”.

So, as you go about the rest of your day, see if you can recognise the script in any of your internal chatter and ask yourself, “Is that true? Would I choose that?” And be aware that those around you might be getting a hard time from the script too.

Kathryn Reay RedQuadrant Consultant