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Lean Portfolio Management

Mastering large-scale software delivery is not just mastering building things right, it is also mastering building the right things. It’s about maximizing value delivered to customers rather than keeping staff busy. Its about aligning strategy and execution. It’s about sensing and responding quickly in a VUCA world (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous) quickly to new threats and opportunities. This is the economic landscape of Lean Portfolio Management (LPM) - connecting strategy and execution using lean principles.

In this boot camp, you’ll learn how to use lean and agile principles to establish portfolios that are far more than collections of projects; Portfolios that are an expression of the organization’s mission; That focus funding where it does the most good; That enable governance to ensure maximum value for money. You’ll learn how to evaluate all the great ideas for projects, decide where to place your bets, validate the value propositions and focus on-going funding to proven winners. You’ll learn how to achieve the delicate balance between keeping current efforts going and pivoting to new ideas. And you’ll learn to do all of this the Lean way: Avoid Waste. Minimize Work in Progress (WIP). Optimize Batch size. Achieve Flow. Continuously improve. LPM provides the perfect context for Agile development. And it capitalizes on key Agile ideas like Minimum Viable Product (MVP), focus, and iterating.

2 days/16 hours of instruction
Public Classroom Pricing


GSA Price: $1385

Group Rate: $1395

Private Group Pricing

Have a group of 5 or more students? Request special pricing for private group training today.

Part 1: What Problems Does LPM Solve?

  • Align Work to Organization Strategy
  • Use Limited Resources for Maximum Value
  • Increase Decision-making Velocity
  • Adapt to Changing Needs
  • Enable Agile Execution
  • Ensure Value Delivery

Exercise: Brainstorm problems you have that LPM could fix

Part 2: The LPM Framework

  • Build Portfolios of Products (Not Projects)
  • Link Portfolios to Strategy
  • Intake, Fund & Prioritize Work
    • Participatory Budgeting
  • Oversee Work
  • Govern Portfolios
  • Align With Lean Principles
  • Use Lean Startup to Prove Value of Work

Exercise: Contrast LPM vs. the approach we use

Part 3: Establish Portfolios

  • Distill Mission into Strategic Themes
  • Define Objectives for each Strategic Theme
  • Quantify Key Results for each Objective
  • Map Products/Solutions to Strategic Themes
  • Arrange Products/Solutions into one or more Portfolios
  • Define Each Portfolio:
    • Brainstorm the Portfolio Vision
    • Document the Portfolio Canvas (Current State)
    • Agree on the Portfolio Canvas Desired Future State
    • Brainstorm Epics to get us to the Future State
    • Create a Portfolio Kanban
    • Establish Lean Budget Guardrails

Exercise: For your own organization, Map Strategic Themes to Portfolios

Part 4: Triage Incoming Work Ideas

  • Determine: Manage at Portfolio Level?
  • Document as an Epic (Deliverable)
  • Assign an Epic Owner
  • Build the Lean Business Case
    • Solution Alternatives
    • Affected Value Stream(s)
    • Benefit Hypothesis(es)
    • MVP that proves Hypotheses
    • Rough Cost Estimate for MVP
    • Rough Cost Estimate for Entire Epic
  • Approve Epic for Budgeting

Exercise: Write Epics w/Lean Business Cases

Part 5: Budget for the Work

  • Overview of the Budgeting Process
  • Short Funding Cycles
  • Inputs to the Budgeting Process
    • Participatory Budgeting Event
  • Analyze Participatory Budget Results
  • Adjust Value Stream Budgets

Exercise: Plan the Budget Cycle for a Portfolio

Part 6: Minimum Viable Product

  • (When Agile Team has capacity)
  • Pull Approved/Budgeted Epic
  • Plan, Build MVP with Epic Owner
  • Deploy finished MVP, collect data
  • Pivot/Persevere/Stop Decision
  • Persevere: Prioritize w/other work

Exercise: Decompose MVP into Stories

Part 7: Manage the Portfolio

  • Maintain a Unified Portfolio Roadmap
  • Coordinate work across Value Streams
    • For Business Benefits
      • for Technical Reasons
      • for Cadence & Efficiency
      • Ensure Integration often
  • Work with Agile Teams:
    • Decompose Epics into Features & Stories
  • Plan Release & Deployments

Exercise: Identify Coordination opportunities among Value Streams

Part 8: Portfolio Governance

  • Governing the Portfolio
  • Managing Risk, Conflict, Variance
  • Lean Portfolio Metrics
  • Portfolio Performance Metrics
  • Value Stream Metrics
  • Incremental Quality/Security/Compliance

Exercise: Identify Valuable Portfolio Metrics

Part 9: Adopting Lean Portfolio Management

  • Move to a Product Team Structure
  • Fund Value Streams (not Projects)
  • Use Rolling-Wave Plans & Budgets
  • Match Work to Value Stream Capacity
  • Develop Incrementally
  • Prove Hypotheses with MVP First
  • Continuously Improve LPM

Exercise: Map your LPM Journey

Individuals who would benefit from attending this course include:

  • Product Owners
  • Product Managers
  • Project Managers
  • PMO (Project Management Office) members
  • Senior Executives and Managers

  • Explain why the shift to LPM is necessary for Business Agility. Specifically, how:
    • traditional portfolio management can impede sensing and responding to an ever-changing market
    • a lean process of continuous adaptive planning enables quick response to changing market forces 
    • Lean Portfolio Management principles and practices transform an organization’s ability to get ideas to the development engine Just-In-Time to maximize value and efficiency.
  • Understand what Agile Development truly means and how LPM helps your enterprise achieve it 
  • Use the 9 Principles of LPM for Business Agility as a foundation to establish complete portfolios that use lean principles to fulfill your enterprise’s mission
  • Allocate and govern budgets using lean principles to direct funding where it will do the most good
  • Use the portfolio intake process to create stakeholder alignment
  • Write Epics and their associated lean business case
  • Exploit fast learning using the Lean start-up cycle by defining a Minimal Viable Product (MVP)
  • Use a portfolio Kanban to limit Work in Progress, match demand and capacity and enable portfolio flow. 
  • Use LPM Principles and Practices for adopting Lean Portfolio Management

Lean Portfolio Management Schedule

There are currently no scheduled classes for this course. Please contact us if you would like more information or to schedule this course for you or your company.

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