Many organizations take a dominantly technical view on their IT systems and services. What they lack is a comprehensive picture of the systems from a strategic point of view. No technical information will tell them if they have the right systems and services in place. With Thinking Portfolio the management team, application owners and users, and the IT management are able to communicate about the business value of IT systems.
Thinking Portfolio is an online application for managing the totality of IT applications at the strategic level. It contains information that links ICT applications to business goals. It contains, among others, the following information:
- Basic info
- Position in service architecture
- Priority and criticality
- Business positioning
- Risk analysis
- Cash flow
- Conformity to requirements
- Need for change
- Dependencies with other applications
- User information
- Supplier information
- ICT management information
- Life cycle information
- Application/service diary
Our clients have reported the following benefits of using Thinking Portfolio:
- Business and IT management have a common ground for discussion
- Business management can communicate solution needs better than before
- ICT management has a clearer picture of the future of the service/application base
- The business performance of applications becomes evident
- IT information is accessible throughout the organization and its maintenance is straightforward
Thinking Portfolio is available as a customizable online service.
Portfolio table views gather their information from the pages. A basic portfolio table has 7 to 10 columns. They contain selected information from the portfolio pages, e.g. the application name, its owner, criticality, ICT responsible person, etc. The user can sort, filter and search the table.
A special table view is the Roadmap. It shows the life cycles of the applications, and planned updates and other critical events.
The quality table view displays the quality of the portfolio database. In other words, it shows whether the application/service pages have absent or outdated information.
Pages and widgets
The information of each service is presented on one to five pages, depending on the needs of the organization. On the pages there are so-called ‘widgets’ that contain the information. The widgets present the information as text or graphics.
The pages can have a role-based structure. There can be, for example, one page for the application owner, one for the administrative user, one for the ICT management, and so on.
Portfolio reports are graphic or textual representations of all or selected services in the portfolio.
Administrative users can add new users to Thinking Portfolio. The access to the portfolio is based on the organization and role of the users.
Our Think Link service makes it possible to use the client’s own Active Directory as an access control system. This makes the use of Thinking Portfolio more comfortable, as users don’t have to enter a username and password while logging into the application.
Integration with other systems
We have integrated Thinking Portfolio with third party administrative systems. The integration eliminates the need to keep the same information up on several systems.
Since Thinking Portfolio is software as a service (SaaS), it requires no investments from the customer. We have made the deployment of the application as straightforward as possible. The application runs on any modern web browser, including iPad Safari.
Proof of Concept
The process starts with a Proof of Concept (PoC). It consists of two half-day workshops with the client. During the workshops we plan together the contents of the project pages and use a visual prototyping tool to make a look-alike version of the application.
Once the client has approved the design, we parameterize the application and make it available for test use on our server. We can import the client’s existing project database or Excel spreadsheet into Thinking Portfolio.
During the second workshop we present the version and provide training on how to use it. We can also make minor adjustments at this stage if the client so requires.
The Proof of Concept period is one month during which the client gets to use and become familiar with the application. After this, the client is able to make the decision whether to take the system into use.
If the client decides to go on with the implementation, we finalize the application using feedback from the PoC. We also configure reports which the clients will use. We train the administrative user and customize the help texts of the application.
After the deployment, we offer email support to the administrative user. The need for user support is minimal since the application is easy to use and intuitive.
Portfolio management consulting and training are an essential part of our offering. Tools are valuable only if they are used beneficially, in real business processes.
Our consulting covers portfolio management strategies and the operational setup of portfolio management in the organization.
We train management teams, experts and project managers. Our training teaches portfolio management principles, processes and methods. It is a great starting point for organizations that want to consider implementing portfolio management. We offer both online courses and on-site training for small groups.