Portfolio Question #8

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What are the constraints to delivering the projects in the portfolio?

After ensuring that the portfolio is appropriately constructed and aligned to strategy, the portfolio management committee must ensure that the initiatives in the pipeline can be delivered.

To increase value throughput, we must identify and optimize around constraints.  Every innovation portfolio is constrained in some fashion; sometimes it is budget, other times it is the availability of technology. Over the past few years, the most common constraint has been skilled resources.

Identifying and eliminating bottlenecks caused by resource constraints is a constant battle. Bottlenecks move and different skill set pools may be overloaded at different times of the year. Leading organizations proactively manage these constraints and use priorities to ensure that the most important work gets done regardless of budget or resource shortfalls.

Using simple productivity measures like expected commercial value per unit of constrained resource at both the portfolio and individual project level can give you a yardstick to measure trends, progress and performance on constraint optimization.

Ignoring this question and expecting the portfolio to be delivered without an analysis of constraints will lead to disappointment.