If all the proposed work above is scattered across tools and not captured in one place, there would be no way to ensure you are getting the right work done, setting the right priorities, and leveraging the appropriate resources for the most important deliverables.
In many organizations, strategic planning is done in silos. Each department or business unit captures initiatives or needs throughout the year, and then pulls them all together for annual planning. We help many organizations through this planning process and more often than not, we learn quickly that the following issues are blockers to success:
- Each department has their own planning process and a separate list of initiatives
- Many departments initiatives overlap with each other and will have shared dependencies
- The same exact work exists in multiple departments and teams but are not planned together, creating duplicate work and resources
- The organization’s goals that are priority for all, end up taking a back seat due to poor planning and prioritization by disconnected teams focused on their individual teams’ goals
- There are no standards for annual and/or quarterly planning that brings all groups together to focus on the common goals set at the organization level
- No central place to see all work across the organization
In order to prevent blockers, rework, and non-critical work getting prioritized over business-critical initiatives, organizations need to consider the following:
- Creating a central hub for proposed work regardless of its entry point or team proposing the work
- Governance must be established to define the team or board that will be ranking the items within the proposed work portfolio, ensuring they align with the organization’s goals, and approving or denying the project requests
- Key drivers should be defined that are important to the business and will help the approval team prioritize and rank/score the portfolio
- A workflow should be established and automated to approve/reject the project requests/proposals
- Once the portfolio is prioritized and selected, there must be a planning process established that involves key leaders from every department/BU so that the work can be properly assigned and distributed across the organization, including all dependencies and constraints
If your organization can get through the strategic planning process while adhering to the best practices and standards above – you will be one step closer to performing like an Agile organization. When all teams are aligned, it’s much easier to shift quickly when necessary and realign plans to address new requirements.
Now that you have the process down, let’s take a look at the tools you can use to support it. When looking for a tool to assist with your strategic planning, consider the following capabilities:
- Idea capture and voting
- Process alignment and automation (including intake and approvals)
- KPI customized for the business
- Requirements capture
- Resource estimation
- Cost estimation
- Portfolio visibility
- Portfolio dashboards and reporting
- Preconfigured strategic planning templates
- Integration with execution level tools when necessary
Strategic portfolio planning is a critical process that provides the roadmap for an organization’s future. Having the right tools and structure in place is necessary to ensure your business can deliver and stay ahead of the competition.
Contact us to learn more about strategic planning.