What would a project portfolio look like in an agile software development organization? In traditional waterfall and iterative software development scenarios (such as RUP), portfolio management is an early part of that process to determine project selection criteria, alignment to strategic direction and to monitor program status during development. Project portfolio management is a practice that is strategic, high-level and should be planned out before developing requirements or code for a new product with a focus on costs, benefits and ROI. But in a software organization that is aligned to the Agile manifesto, attention moves away from complex processes up-front in the project cycle where product development is a more natural part of the customer value proposition with the ability to modify scope and the flexibility to change on the fly without a stringent change control mechanism. This means that project portfolio management plays a slightly different role in these organizations. But portfolio management can still play a vital role in project decision processes and controlling project budgets. Here we will examine the role that PPM plays in an agile development organization.

To illustrate an example of PPM in an agile software development organization, we’ll use the example of an internal software development organization in a large enterprise that serves different internal business units:

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