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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