Just training a team in agile program or project management methods will not help to solve this problem. In order to reduce lead time, you need to optimize the whole value chain. Not only regarding idea management but also for portfolio management including the teams involved in this process. Lean Portfolio Management helps to shorten the lead time on enterprise level and therefore supports to become an agile organization.
To give you an overview of Lean Portfolio Management, we want to guide you through an example.
A company starts an agile initiative in order to address two major problems:
1. Transparency: Project Teams are working on 10 projects simultaneously, so that they are not able to forecast accurately.
2. Lead time: The lead time from Idea creation to roll out needs approximately 1,5 years in average. This results in the lack of opportunities to their competitors, thus they created their idea faster.
At first, we want to face the issue of transparency. One of the factors for having self-organized teams is to have prioritized goals as well as a high transparency, so that the team can pull the work and decide when to start new work. To sum this up: stop starting, start finishing.
Due to “Little’s Law” lead time in a system increases with the amount of work teams acting simultaneously. Hence, the number of projects which are started need to be limited.
We suggest facing these issues by a prioritized Portfolio Backlog.