Reblogged: A People Leadership Agenda for an Effective Portfolio Culture

rally logoThis was posted today on the Rally blog. If you don’t already follow Rally’s leading software development industry coaches and executives, I recommend it. Enjoy.

When Rally asked if I would bring my Agile leadership and culture-building tools to the portfolio space, I asked a question of my own: What are the greatest pain points in portfolio management around people, culture, and leadership?

Here’s what I heard:

  • Lack of shared clarity and alignment about value and priority (or lack thereof)
  • WIP: optimizing the organization’s work in process for its capacity (or not)
  • Too much emphasis on starting projects and not nearly enough on finishing what’s started
  • A scarcity mindset leads to sub-optimization and lose/lose behaviors and creates cracks in the portfolio process
  • “My Team” versus “Our Company”: failure to invest responsibility and effort into building teams that can stretch to new goals
  • Optimizing around IT costs rather than around ROI
  • People not being able to let go and move on when their project is de-prioritized
  • Debate and polarized thinking where dialog and listening are needed
  • Not invented (right) here, aka, “Your metrics don’t fit here because they’d change how we do things”
  • Empirical data vs. intuitive habits: getting past our emotion, politics, and authority so we can make data-driven decisions
  • Special projects protected by executives with portfolio immunity undermine the notion of community

RP graphicWhat strikes me about this list is that none of these bullets is a stand-alone issue. They all integrate into one significant hairball. I’m interested to know, perhaps by way of your comments below, how representative this list is of the pain points you see?

This leads me to the next question: What does personal and shared responsibility, according to The Responsibility Process,™ have to do with addressing this hairball?

Let’s find out. Join Rally Chief Technologist Zach Nies and me for the November 12 webinar, “Leading Agile Change: Empirical Leadership,” where we’ll examine three keys for leading people to an effective and productive culture around your portfolio.




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