Apply LPM to your strategy, even if you use waterfall or hybrid methodologies for your projects

Honestly in my experience, any disciplined controls over project backlogs that keeps them prioritized and moving through the portfolio pipeline at a pace that is sustainable by the organization would be a vast improvement for many businesses. Lean Portfolio Management (LPM) would mature any basic controls and take your business to another level. LPM is typically associated with an agile approach to business operations in support of a value stream or streams in a scaled agile organization. But LPM can help your organization, even if you still use a waterfall methodology for your projects.

LPM can help a waterfall organization in several ways, by promoting a more agile and responsive approach to project and portfolio management. Here are some specific ways that LPM can benefit a waterfall organization:

  • Improving visibility and alignment: LPM provides a framework for better visibility and alignment across the entire portfolio of projects. By establishing a clear set of goals and objectives, and regularly tracking progress against these targets, LPM can help ensure that all projects are aligned with business priorities and are contributing to the organization’s overall strategy.
  • Enhancing flexibility and responsiveness: LPM encourages a more flexible and adaptive approach to project management, with a focus on rapid feedback and continuous improvement. This can help a waterfall organization respond more quickly to changing market conditions and customer needs and adjust project priorities and resource allocations as needed.
  • Streamlining processes and reducing waste: LPM emphasizes the elimination of waste and inefficiencies in the project management process. By focusing on value stream mapping and process optimization, LPM can help a waterfall organization streamline its project management processes, reduce costs, and improve overall efficiency.
  • Encouraging collaboration and cross-functional teams: LPM encourages the formation of cross-functional teams that work collaboratively to deliver value to customers. But if your organization is still in a traditional, siloed structure, and that’s not going to change anytime soon, the other aspects of LPM are still valuable.

Overall, Lean Portfolio Management can help a waterfall organization by promoting a more agile and responsive approach to project and portfolio management. By emphasizing continuous improvement, process optimization, and cross-functional collaboration, LPM can help a waterfall organization become more efficient, effective, and adaptable in the face of changing business conditions. That is, if the C-suite can agree. More on that in my next post.