During our recent webinar In Practice: Lean Portfolio Management Guardrails, we received lots of questions related to adopting Lean Portfolio Management. If you couldn't join our webinar or were unaware of it, you may find our article below interesting. It includes the questions we were asked by attendees and the answers that were given.
- For Epic Cost estimates at the portfolio level, are we using T-shirt sizes or normalized story points?
- Epic Costs in our demo were using rolled up points from the team's planned effort. A T-Shirt Size could be used by easily changing the calculations.
- Are the Horizon Budget Guardrails counting the number of features/stories, or actual dollars spent?
- Guardrails are looking at effort (points) planned into features by investment categories.
- When funding value streams how do you capitalize specific projects?
- The type of work can be categorized, and rolled up to the projects in those categories. Each work item or feature can have a funding type, e.g. CapEx.
- How do you build NPS into the system? How do you setup structure to get the inputs to come to score?
- NPS is a score from a survey. The values are entered manually, or via automation, into a leading indicator, which provides an accurate measurement record.
- How does the development value stream budgeting system accommodate significant external/capital cost requirements (e.g. for packaged products which may be part of the solution)?
- External costs can be added as a non-labor cost and associated to the budget. You can also add work items to drive those costs.
- Can you elaborate on what a "Lean Business Case" looks like - is it managed in the tool, or is it an external artifact?
- It's an external artifact that can be incorporated into the solution. We have an integration with Miro where we can import lean business cases and different artifacts.
- Is there a way to import decision metrics from the lean business case into Targetprocess, or do they need to be copied in manually?
- Targetprocess has an API that allows this to be imported.
- In the scheduling scenario view, can you add constraint dates for work (e.g. regulatory deadlines)?
- Yes, you can add these types of date fields to the work views.
- In government, we need to do the acquisition of funds via the budgeting process, but it is pegged to the initiatives that were estimated ahead of time. How do you suggest we deal with changing horizons for initiatives in a year, while the budget remains fixed?
- You can use the actuals to compare to the budget, and, if changes are needed, you can use scenario planning to compare options and move forward with a new plan.
- It's still not clear how a new idea can be funded. I mean, how can money taken away from something else be put on a new idea?
- That would be part of the prioritization for the new idea. You would add a Lean Business Case to initiatives under the Idea, and then you will need to make a choice of what to pull in or push out based on the data.
- How is the budget divided between products or value streams, how are the decisions taken and on the basis of which principles, rules etc?
- Products can be aligned to Value Streams. This also comes into play for ARTs and PIs.
- What is the difference between funding a project vs funding a value stream?
- It is flexible. You can decide where and what to fund.
- What is the difference between funding a value stream vs funding an organization or department?
- Budgets and funding can be aligned to different types of levels.
- Does value stream mapping influence lean budgeting? If yes, how?
- Yes, at some level the mapping of the value stream does impact the budget available for that model.
- What is your recommendation on how the actual cost is accounted for PI, over PI where it captures the dollar amounts accurately, but without overwhelming the teams in tracking the data (e.g. updating, entering data)
- Using the Cost Per Point and the value each team delivers is a low-touch way to calculate this and see where the teams are succeeding.
- Do you have to create your own What If planning form or is it a built-in functionality that only needs data to be loaded into it?
- What If Plannings need some level of data.
- When I start to use Targetprocess, does it come as a blank slate, or do you have a base set that covers the most typical scenario?
- We have pre-configured setups for SAFe and other popular frameworks. We can also adjust them based on your needs or start from scratch. It is a very flexible solution.
- We label Enablers in Jira, I assume that they will be pulled into Targetprocess automatically. Is this true?
- They can be via an integration.
- Does Targetprocess have a PI Planning app that follows SAFe? What about online retro and white boarding?
- Yes, you can do PI planning within the solution. We have an integration with Miro for white boarding.
- If our ART uses Azure DevOps to manage features, stories, etc., is the idea that there would be integration between these two tools, or is Targetprocess a tool to use instead of ADO?
- We can integrate with ADO and provide all the higher level visibility that ADO usually lacks.
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