Why Do You Need Adaptive Portfolio Management?

7 min read

Adaptive program and portfolio management is a relatively new concept in the business environment. This article elaborates on this approach and seeks to answer why organizations should opt for such a model.

Change is difficult and every organization admittedly acknowledges this concept. Once you’re comfortable with a certain approach, shifting to an entirely new strategy might feel very daunting.

Regardless, you can’t conform to your traditional methods forever. Just because you’re used to it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s making your life easier. It also does not mean that the said approach is rational, profitable, or effective. And it does not imply that it’s customer-friendly.

“Change before you have to.” – Jack Welch, Former CEO, General Electric

There’s one thing Welch understood more than anyone else did, and it’s that proactive change played a crucial role in building up a successful organization. Thus, he wholeheartedly accepted this concept and implemented it within his logistics.

Today, you’ll hardly find a business that still depends on a team of typists running with memos, bills of sale, and communication methods on typewriters that appear to have arrived from a prehistoric era. However, hundreds of organizations even today rely on backdated technology and orthodox methodologies for some of their most advanced operations. 

Take an example of the strategies an organization implements for project delivery and portfolio management. The project management office (PMO) is the foundational pillar of operations. Hence, it is crucial to business transformation. Your PMO will determine which projects will demand priority.

Additionally, it will also figure out the objectives, assign deliverables, handle capacity, and allocate resources. Despite this, countless organizations overlook the optimization of this important functionality. This leads to loss of time, money, and above all, customers. 

The Portfolio Management Solution

This article aims to guide you to take on the challenge of developing your portfolio management strategy by incorporating adaptive concepts that have remodeled project execution in the past few years. Once you adopt an adaptive approach at the portfolio level, your project management office (PMO) will become the primary driver of flexible changes in your organization.

As such, you’ll be able to address and improve your toughest business challenges. This includes streamlining organizational alignment with corporate goals, prioritizing client satisfaction, and improving key performance indicators (KPI) for consistent success. Thus, you’ll be acquainted with flexible and responsive processes for the betterment of your organization.

Since we’ll start from the start, let’s have an in-depth look at why it is so important to prioritize adaptivity in this time and age.

Why Should You Prioritize Adaptivity For Your Portfolio Management?

Saying that today’s business environment is more dynamic than ever with sky-high expectations will be an understatement. As such, a traditional portfolio management approach will not be enough to reach your business objectives. Simply put, the orthodox way of doing things sounds good but doesn’t work.

For a business and business growth to be successful in this digital economy, organizations need to think innovatively and adapt speedily. A survey by Gartner concluded that faster strategic project delivery is the key factor that drives organizations to shift from their traditional approaches to portfolio management.

Key Problems of Traditional Portfolio Management

  • Inconsistency in living up to expectations
  • Inability to keep up with rapid changes
  • Lack of clarity and transparency
  • Ineffectiveness due to manual and time-consuming functions
  • Focusing on deliverables instead of customer satisfaction
  • Disintegrated organizational structures leading to chaos
  • Shortage of skills and resources
  • Inaccurate forecasting

If any of these points seem familiar, your organization might need a little help. Luckily for you, there is one solution to all of these problems: adaptive portfolio management. Back in the day, only software developers used this solution for product development.

Today, adaptive methodologies have speedily expanded to other sectors and across multiple bases of management and operations.

An adaptive approach is not only flexible but also scalable. As a result, you can apply this methodology either to individual projects or across multiple deliverables, projects, and teams at the same time.

How Adaptive Portfolio Management Works

An adaptive management system divides your work into agile iterations. As such, adaptations can be implemented on the go. What good does this do?

For one, this enables faster delivery without compromising quality. To ensure outstanding results and exceptional customer satisfaction, change can be made at any point in time in the process. This agility and flexible execution make space for continuous chances for improvement. As such, the results will include:

  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Faster delivery time
  • Fulfillment of commitments — you make a promise, you keep a promise
  • Exceptional results
  • Continuous growth and development
  • Better communication
  • Enhanced forecasting
  • Results that can be measured

Key Indicators of Adaptive Portfolio Management

Some of the key markers of a successful adaptive portfolio management system are:

  • Superior customer satisfaction is the ultimate end goal in every phase of the operation
  • Takes a top-down approach that enables full integration across all levels and teams
  • Change is wholeheartedly embraced when it leads to the best customer outcomes possible
  • The primary focus is on continuous improvement through an iterative planning process
  • Accepting of and responsive to strategic business goals
  • Regardless of the method, project and portfolio management are entirely centralized.
  • Teams will deliver products and not just projects

Customer Benefits of Adaptive Portfolio Management

  • An adaptive portfolio management system enables your organization to accommodate different project types and workflows to identify the top initiatives that will deliver the most value to your business.
  • Complete transparency for which company executives have full knowledge of product operations and the expected advantages of each initiative.
  • Stakeholders can effectively identify and take corrective measures for bottlenecks in the product workflow and approval process with the help of PPM Express.
  • Proper visibility of resource management and utilization, allows executives to understand what task each team is working on and when they can undertake more work.
  • Access to executive project reports and integration with Microsoft PowerBI and Microsoft Project through PPM Express.

Key Elements of Adaptive Portfolio Management

At this point, you should have a clear idea about why your organization should incorporate adaptive portfolio management. We will now take a deeper look at how you can implement this approach in your business organization. A solid adaptive portfolio management strategy relies on four key concepts, namely – investment, innovation, backlogs, and integration.


To ensure maximum profit, you need to invest in sectors that present the best chance of success. This means that your investment of money, time, and resources should be as adaptive as your overall management approach. You ought to be prepared to shift your investments speedily and do so as often as it is necessary. As such, you need to focus on initiatives and projects that create value and drive innovation.

An adaptive investment will require continuous monitoring, which you can accomplish through PPM Express Agile Portfolio Management.


When you focus on solutions that offer excellent customer experience, it will automatically drive better business value. Hence, look for opportunities that provide offerings no one else has come up with. This means your organization should always keep track of the changes in the business environment and explore up-and-coming technologies. At the end of the day, you should commit to delivering what you promise.

With the help of PPM Express Idea & Innovation Management Software, you’ll be able to create an environment of innovation and creativity. Teams can put their two cents on ideas and submit project requests so that you can explore every opportunity that comes your way. Additionally, you can easily scale your projects across departments, business units, or even the entire organization.


Change comes with adjustment. Hence, one of the primary challenges of adjusting to an adaptive approach is adjusting how you fill your pipeline. The speed of an adaptive system requires organizations to form a backlog list of pre-prioritized activities that are ready to run at a moment’s notice.

As such, you should maintain and prioritize the backlog of projects continuously. Make sure not to create an artificial ranking. This will ensure that you do not waste time and resources on a project that is failing to deliver value, innovation, and customer experience.

With the help of PPM Express, you’ll be able to prioritize work in backlog and allocate resources across different projects and portfolios.

Backlogs PPM Express


Efficient adaptive portfolio management should take a top to bottom approach. This will incorporate an end-to-end management system that starts with leadership. Executives can thus monitor who guides what, when, and how and work simultaneously with both portfolio management and workflow execution.

With the help of PPM Express, you can work anywhere and anytime, and it will all be connected under one big umbrella. This will enable you to have a holistic view of your projects so that you can access everything from a single platform.

The Adaptive Work Approach — Deliver Products, Not Projects

When your organization shifts from project delivery to product delivery alongside implementing the key elements of an adaptive portfolio, the results will be twice as enhanced.

In a survey conducted by Gartner, it was seen that 85% of the organizations favor a product-centric delivery model rather than a project-centric one. The adaptivity-driven strategy has been commended in several publications. Additionally, it is also a burning topic in top business blogs. Why is this trending?

The answer is simple – success. In the same survey by Gartner, it was seen that all the companies reported progress caused by the shift to a product-centric delivery system. This included accelerated delivery, better customer engagement, and lower costs.

The Difference Between Product Delivery and Project Delivery

A project delivery system, be it through the waterfall, hybrid, or adaptive management methods, simply focuses on accomplishing tasks against a set of particular deadlines. The desired outcome is thus based on completion. However, even though this is quite a standard way to operate, it has a huge drawback. When the project ends, so does the scope and potential for growth.

For this reason, when an organization is too focused on merely delivering a project, the work likely becomes isolated, the project gets neglected, and there is a shortage of resources. When businesses experience such challenges, they often blame it on immediate situations instead of identifying symptoms that lead to a bigger problem with delivery as a whole.

On the other hand, product delivery is an open-ended strategy that puts a wider focus on customer satisfaction. It acknowledges the idea that there’s always room for investment, improvement, and advancement.

Thus, the former focuses on accomplishing a single goal. The latter, however, puts a continuous focus on improvement, maintenance, and investment. A product delivery strategy is not associated with a particular project management approach. Rather, it is an adaptive approach because it allows an organization to continuously evolve by looking for scopes to innovate, create, and deliver.

When you implement a product delivery approach, prioritize your initiatives based on what is important to your organization. However, don’t just deal with activities -measure the results. Effective product management makes sure you’re working toward the right goals for your organization. The results will be visible to you.

Additionally, it creates a culture of flexibility and improvement. So, where project management ends when the project ends, product management evolves continuously with customer satisfaction as the true result.

Final Words

If your organization still incorporates a traditional and centralized portfolio management system, you may be facing multiple obstacles that can easily be resolved with one simple solution – adaptive portfolio management.

Change can be daunting, but it’s also required if your firm wants to keep up with the ever-changing business environment and ensure customer satisfaction. And when tools like PPM Express exist to make your transition easier, you should leap and strategize your portfolio management strategies by incorporating an adaptive approach.

Why Do You Need Adaptive Portfolio Management?
Scroll to top