Strategies for Agile Portfolio Management

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Do you work in an organization where development is expected to be done in an Agile way, but upper management operates in a way that makes being Agile downstream difficult? Do you feel like your organization is working on way too many products/projects at the same time? Are people so busy multitasking that they do the best job that they can on one project before hoping to the next--never really doing the high-quality work that is desired? If so, your organization needs to align Agile throughout the value chain starting with portfolio management!

Traditional portfolio management frequently uses principles that are at odds with agile thinking. For example, believing that people should be 100% utilized might lead to us to start many simultaneous projects leading to high levels of team-member multitasking. Managing a portfolio according to these principles all but guarantees a continuous stream of impediments that interfere with team-level agility and sub-optimizes delivered value.


Kenny Rubin provides Scrum and agile training and coaching to help companies develop products in an effective and economically sensible way. A Certified Scrum Trainer, Kenny has trained more than 19,000 people on agile and Scrum, Smalltalk development, managing object-oriented projects, and transition management. He has coached over 200 companies, ranging from start-ups to Fortune 10. Kenny was the first managing director of the worldwide Scrum Alliance, a nonprofit organization focused on the successful adoption of Scrum. He is the author of the best-selling book Essential Scrum: A Practical Guide to the Most Popular Agile Process.