J.D. Meier's Blog

Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

Portfolio Management

Portfolio Management

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How do you manage your portfolio of IT investments?  Do you have a mental model for portfolio management?   Here is an example:

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While there are a lot of ways to manage a portfolio, I find the frame above to be highly effective.  It’s from the Cranfield School of Management in the UK.   It’s a very simple frame:

  • Two dimensions:   Value Today vs. Value Tomorrow
  • Four Quadrants:  High-Potential, Strategic, Key Operational, and Support

The key is to know where your investments are in terms of this map.  A common path for investments is to move through the quadrants in this order:  High-Potential, Strategic, Key Operational, and Support.

Example Investment Ratios
Here is an example of a common investment spread:

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Above the Line
A cutting question to ask about your portfolio management is, “Are you operating above the line?”   This cuts to the chase to answer two key questions:

  1. Are you operating on the top half of the chart?
  2. Are you working on things that create business value for your future?

You can use this frame to look at cloud investments … your current business investments … how you spend your time … etc.   It can be a lens for a life, and a lens for learning … and a way to shape your path forward by flowing more value and staying in the game for the road ahead.

Here is a nice distillation of IT Portfolio Management and how to think about it as it relates to the cloud.