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July 2013
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August 2013

PSGS 016: Book Review: Translating Strategy Into Action

Premise:

The premise of Translating Strategy Into Action is that understanding one's organizations strategic objectives and cascading those objectives throughout the organization into departmental and individual action plans can be a challenging task as the demand for limited resources continuous to increase. Translating strategy must be communicated up and down the organization from the board room to the mail room as well as across the value chain to partners and suppliers. Contained in this book, are practical tools and techniques for the translation and execution of an organization's strategic objectives into actions that produce measurable results. Topics covered in the book focus on the principles of:

  1. Be a student.
  2. Create meaning.
  3. Be honest.
  4. Think capabilities.
  5. Get comfortable with change.

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PSGS 015: Book Review: Strategic Project Portfolio Management

Premise:

Strategic Project Portfolio Management fills a gap in the literature of a project, program and portfolio management books by providing a comprehensive approach to managing IT investments based on Simon Moore’s experience as a Financial Portfolio Manager for Putman Investments and as a Charter Financial Analyst. The book is targeted at an executive audience, with the goal of enabling them to understand how project portfolio management empowers organizations to better map project investments to the overall strategy and goals of the organization.

The premise of the book is that portfolio management is key to enabling an organization to execute by improving the proposal submission and project ideation process. Investment Portfolio Workflow is a key component of portfolio management and should be at the center of an organization’s project portfolio management capability design. Many organizations approach project selection in an ad hoc manner, but high performing organizations achieve results by utilizing portfolio management to select the right projects based on data driven modeling that optimizes the cost of accomplishing their strategic initiatives.

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PSGS 014: Book Review: IT Governance

Premise:

The premise of IT governance is that top-performing organizations have a systematic decision-making framework that enables them to achieve greater bottom-line results to their business goals, value and growth over their competition. Organizations that have implemented in IT governance framework have better clarity around their strategy and the part that IT plays in the implementation of those strategies. They also have better processes for more efficient and effective change management procedures and organizational accountability for tracking project benefits.

The book IT Governance has been a valuable resource in my personal growth as an IT Governance practitioner and portfolio management consultant. Having led IT Governance boards for a number of years at a large international law firm, I’ve found the processes and procedures outlined in the book extremely valuable. 

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PSGS 013: Book Review: IT Portfolio Management Step-By-Step

Premise:

IT Portfolio Management Step-by-Step is a must-have for portfolio management practitioners. The book is grouped into four parts, an overview and background of what’s included in the material, the foundational elements of portfolio management, building a step-by-step plan and implementation guide, and PPM best practices. In the pages of this book, you will find information on the best practice approach for aligning, rationalizing, prioritizing, selecting, optimizing, tracking, monitoring and managing your organization's IT portfolio investments. The book also covers the three primary areas of IT portfolio management which are the development of processes and frameworks, the implications of tools for data collection, costs, risks, benefits, requirement analysis, and business drivers alignment. You will also discover information on corporate investments and a common taxonomy and governance approach for communicating principles, policies, and guidelines to enable a consistent cadence for your portfolio process.

What I learned:

The need for IT Portfolio Management can be understood against the backdrop of the following statistics:

  • 84% of companies do not use a business case for their IT project investments
  • 83% of companies only adjust their budgets once or twice a year
  • 67% of IT organizations are not able to adjust to market trends when needed
  • 57% of companies believe they have a balanced IT budget.

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