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Why Settling for Mediocrity in Strategic Portfolio Management is a Recipe for Disaster

Mediocrity in Strategic Portfolio Management(SPM) is a ticking time bomb that is threatening the success of organizations everywhere. The cost of failure is staggering, with recent studies showing that up to 70 to 90% of business transformation projects fail[i] due to poor portfolio management. This equates to billions of dollars wasted on subpar results, drained resources, and lost opportunities. The time for complacency is over, and organizations must take a stand against settling for mediocrity in SPM.

It’s time to challenge the status quo and ask if relying solely on experts in project management and software deployment is enough. The truth is, the current software and consulting offerings are not tailored to the unique challenges of SPM, focusing more on project execution and adaptive program management, while neglecting the critical components of SPM that drive business outcomes.

SPM is not just a matter of executing projects, it requires a holistic approach that encompasses capabilities, processes, and technology to align finite resources with business strategy. According to Gartner[ii], organizations that effectively connect SPM processes to their enterprise strategies are 3.2 times more likely to achieve successful outcomes. But despite this, many organizations are still failing to get it right.

The problem lies in the skillset needed for SPM and the methodology used. Project management skills aren’t enough. SPM requires a unique set of skills, including:

Moreover, the current methodologies used for SPM lack the guidance and optimization capabilities needed to align resources with strategy, surface strategic dependencies, and track portfolio performance against strategic goals.

The cost of failure in SPM is too high. Don’t settle for mediocrity, invest in the right strategic portfolio management solution, supported by the right people and approach, and start seeing results. A comprehensive SPM methodology must include the following key elements:

  • Alignment of resources with strategy and objectives
  • Surfacing of strategic dependencies
  • Tracking of portfolio performance against strategic goals
  • Product planning capabilities
  • Resource capacity planning
  • Portfolio and resource reprioritization and allocation.

Don’t be a statistic, take control of your portfolio management efforts and elevate your organization to the next level. The benefits of success are too great to ignore, and the cost of failure is too high to bear. Make the necessary changes and embrace a more comprehensive and effective approach to SPM. Don’t settle for mediocrity, strive for excellence.

[i] Companies That Failed At Digital Transformation And What We Can Learn From Them, Blake Morgan, Forbes, 2019 and conversations with Gartner analysts.

[ii] Effective Strategic Portfolio Management Drives Better Business Outcomes, Robert Handler, Lorri Callahan, Will McHenry, Shilpa Pental

Mike Gruia, Co-founder

Mike is a visionary leader in Portfolio Management, known for his deep knowledge and unique thinking. He grounds his approach in five fundamental pillars: economics principles, applied mathematics, business architecture concepts, system dynamics, and behavioral aspects. Recognized by industry experts, including Gartner, Mike is considered a pioneer in Portfolio Management. He has co-founded three companies specializing in Portfolio Management solutions, including UMT Consulting, a leader in the field before being sold to EY in 2015, and UMT360, sold to Teleo Capital in 2019. With degrees in Industrial & Systems Engineering and Operations Research from Columbia University and the Technion Israeli Institute of Technology, Mike has played an active role in shaping the evolution of Portfolio Management, challenging current practices, and anticipating future trends.