Lean into the Changing World of Work

Patrick Tickle, Chief Product Officer, Planview
Patrick Tickle, Chief Product Officer, Planview

Patrick Tickle, Chief Product Officer, Planview

Connecting strategy to the delivery of work is the cornerstone of Planview. It’s not just getting work done but, more importantly, getting the right work done that’s the center of what our customers strive to accomplish every day.

For many years, Project Portfolio Management (PPM) was the solution for this challenge; allowing organizations to plan and fund their strategies from the portfolio to the teams.With its undisputable importance, PPM continues to be a critical discipline in almost every organization. Traditional PPM has two components that fulfill the strategy to delivery promise – portfolio management for the strategy aspect and projects for the delivery side. And while PPM is still thriving, it’s clear there’s change in the air.

So, what’s changing in the world of strategy and delivery?

Let’s start with the strategy part of the equation. Portfolio management is the key concept here, not project portfolio management. Projects were traditionally the primary delivery elements of the portfolio, but that’s no longer the case. Portfolios now include a wide range of work types – including Agile, Lean, unstructured collaborative work, in addition to traditional projects. That’s simply the nature of how many organizations operate today. There are many tools and methods to bring teams together and get work done, and organizations are embracing them all – and, portfolio management is evolving to support these heterogeneous portfolios.

The context of strategy is also changing.Strategy used to refer to driving alignment butgetting aligned is not what today’s high-performing organizations are focused on. They’re focusedon strategy and delivering value fast. Successful organization focus on tangible outcomes not just high-level objectives. Meaning, organizations are stepping back from the siloed project view of delivery and evaluating the parts of the business that can be grouped together to deliver value that achieves a particular outcome. This is a rewire for most organizations but avery good one that can have a huge impact.

  ‚Äč“Lean into the Changing World of Work” is shorthand for the next chapter of organizational operations and strategy, where Lean Portfolio Management and multiple ways of working and delivering work come together
   

In the world of delivery, big changes are happening, as well. As markets disrupt, enterprises are undergoing Lean and Agile transformations beyond their software development and IT departments to increase flexibility, predictability, and speed. Again, another indicator that organizations are thinking outside of the traditional project construct: they’re grouping teams and teams of teams into value streams or product areas. Regardless of the type of team, organizations want their teams to be more productive, deliver valuable work faster, and have visibility into the work driving key business goals. Many organizations are leveraging Lean principles, Kanban, and Kanban tools to visualize the work in process across various teams, ensuring everyone is workingtoward the prioritized business outcomes. Kanban boards and Lean metrics support continuous delivery initiatives, eliminating waste and improving delivery processes and speed.

These evolutionsare bringing new ways of managing to organizations everywhere. “Running Lean” is a common phrase I hear from our customers all over the world. Becoming a Lean Enterprise and leveraging Lean Startup principles, are examples of this shift in mindset. I believe that Lean Portfolio Management, coupled with the visual management capabilities within enterprise Kanban solutions, are rapidly emerging as the future of portfolio management and team delivery, ushering in the next chapter of connecting strategy to delivery.

So, “Lean into the Changing World of Work” is shorthand for the next chapter of organizational operations and strategy, where Lean Portfolio Management and multiple ways of working and delivering work come together – but, ultimately, striving for better ways to connect strategy to delivery. Transformation in any organization is hard work; teams and leaders need to have the inspiration and capabilities to make it happen. There’s an urgency about this change. We must be proactive, and we, as business leaders, all need to Lean into this next chapter to help organizations everywhere grow and thrive.

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