Portfolio management – what does the term mean in IT? An IT project portfolio bundles projects that run in parallel and either relate to each other professionally or share resources. IT portfolio management is therefore the central control of such projects.

If the projects of a strategic IT programme are spread across several departments, this often leads to overlapping, especially when working on analogous requirements. Often there is also a lack of synchronisation of the runtimes of the systems involved. In extreme cases, project teams deliver services that neutralise each other. With central management of interdependent projects, companies create the organisational basis for a stable, high-performance IT architecture that is aligned with the business model.

Introduction and tasks

The development of IT portfolio management begins with a thorough analysis of the system landscape. From this we derive a roadmap of sensible projects. These range from system maintenance to conversion or replacement to shutdown. The roadmap helps to clarify which projects fit the business and IT strategy and what they contribute to the result. In doing so, the IT architects and portfolio managers of Consileon and the client are guided by enterprise architecture frameworks (EAF) such as Togaf or purpose-specific alternatives. 

Agile process models are increasingly gaining acceptance in project work. This means that portfolio management is faced with the following new tasks, among others: 

  • Harmonisation of classic and agile projects within the portfolio
  • Decentralised, adaptive planning and control instead of central annual planning
  • Regular reprioritisation
  • Delegation of decision-making power to the responsible operational level- Agile effort estimation, planning, development of new functions and increments as a work breakdown structure

Portfolio management in the automotive industry

Megatrends such as digitalisation, climate change and the erosion of the middle class are also affecting the automotive industry. While manufacturers used to plan for the long term in the model cycle, today they are competing with the smart mobility offers of agile new players. In this environment, the requirements for a project can change at any time. Portfolio management offers project teams a framework in which they can quickly reschedule. With the advance of networking and digitalisation, the complexity of IT architectures is increasing relentlessly. In the automotive industry, too, the competitive pressure is now so high that a rethink has begun. For several years now, more and more companies have been applying agile methods on both a large and small scale.

Consileon reliably supports you in your project

Consileon supports clients from industries such as automotive, finance and retail in the transition to agile working and in the management of classic, agile and hybrid project portfolios. This change is best achieved iteratively over several stages.

The first step is to take stock. In expert interviews and workshops, we provide ourselves and the client with an overview of the current programmes, clarify their relevance and interdependence and check for overlaps. This analysis results in options for action, including concepts for closing any gaps. The spectrum here ranges from fine-tuning to adjusting the scope of the project to complementary or continuing projects. Concept proposals are tested and iteratively agreed upon. The insights gained in this way are passed on to the client’s management and technical staff in presentations and workshops. We moderate decisions to be taken by several departments. The maintenance of the IT portfolio is an ongoing issue that requires constant attention. Consileaner supports automotive companies professionally, technically and as external portfolio managers.