Program Portfolio Management (PPM)

The highest level of management which is involved in establishing strategies for budgeting, management and governance within each Scaled Agile Framework portfolio is done in Program Portfolio Management (PPM). There is no designated department to carry out the PPM function. In fact, a business owner or executive, within a Scaled Agile Framework portfolio, who has the best understanding of the business or technology, has the responsibility for executing their strategy. These responsibilities are to be followed for the success of every Scaled Agile Framework portfolio. The key responsibilities for every Program Portfolio Management are:

  • Strategy and Investment Funding – Setting the budget and planning the strategy for the Value Stream
  • Program Management – Leads the execution of the strategy set to deliver the business benefit
  • Governance – Reporting and measuring the performance that is done assuring that it complies with the strategy devised

Program portfolio management recognizes a value stream, proposes a strategy for its success and then invests in it. A value stream is a series of steps within an Agile Release Train that is responsible for providing tangible value to the customer. The individual responsible for overseeing and ensuring the fulfillment of the objectives of the portfolio is the Program Portfolio Manager. Any title can be assigned to the individual in the portfolio; there is no naming convention that has to be followed.

1. Strategy and Investment Funding

The value stream is identified; the budget is allocated and the strategy for its direction is planned. Every value stream has its own budget which is updated twice annually. The business owners constantly review the budget and collaborate with the PPM manager assuring that the budget does not exceed. In order to manage the output and maintaining a continuous flow of work, the Portfolio Kanban aids in prioritizing the Portfolio Backlog Epic. This also assists in the inception of business cases by the Epic Owners. These become the basis of comprehension and analysis which in turn provides better results.

2. Program Management

Program Management accelerates the process of prosperous development and growth. Adhering to being Agile, the teams are self-organized and managed by themselves and the planning is done with a decentralized PI Planning routine. The agile estimating and thorough breakdown of business cases, using story points, provides insight. Combined together, these practices give a consistent flow of work and provide simplicity along the way to give continuous value to the customers.

3. Governance

Effective feedback and validation is essential on a portfolio level. Governance ensures constant feedback and validation for incremental development and budget does not exceed. It also assures if the requirements of security, quality and standards along with the agile milestones were achieved.

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