Lean Portfolio Management Blog Series Part 1: An Overview


An overview on shifting from “imitation LPM” to “real LPM.”


Lean Portfolio Management (LPM) is supposed to be a world-changing paradigm shift that promises to boost productivity, time to market, quality, customer satisfaction, revenue, and a host of other vital business metrics. It’s supposed to be the key to a leaner, more agile organization primed to innovate effortlessly and outperform its competition at every turn.

But, for most organizations who have tried to establish LPM, that’s just not how it goes.

Is LPM broken, or is there something missing in the way these organizations are approaching LPM that makes the difference? Well, the short answer is the latter, but the reality is more nuanced than that. We’ll scratch the surface in this blog post.

The promise of LPM

By fundamentally reorganizing work into value streams with clear solutions at their ends, organizations have the opportunity to streamline and optimize outdated and inefficient portfolio management processes. The LPM methodology dovetails perfectly with other scaled agile processes and supports agility at the enterprise level.

Agility offers numerous benefits:

  • Faster – Get new solutions to market faster and increase the cadence for updates, new features, improvements, and support.
  • Leaner – Accomplish more with less by relying on cross-functional teams fully invested in delivering a high-quality solution/product for the customer.
  • Smaller – Starting with the MVP and working through feature updates on a sprint cadence means bets are kept small, and risk is minimized.
  • Testable – For the same reasons, everything released to the market is testable. When something isn’t working, an agile system supports pivots at every level.