Portfolio Management: Taming Change

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The book Taming Change: Unify your Organization and Sharpen Strategy to Create Measurable Value is very informative. I was sent the paperback advance reader’s copy. It’s been sitting in my hands for quite some time. The hardback formal print run is complete and the book can now be found on the shelves.
Terry Doerscher, Pat Durbin have created a comprehensive guide for portfolio management. This guide covers all aspects of managing a portfolio using common resources and funding. It goes far beyond this. They write that they see these subjects from a wider perspective and apply portfolio management to organizational changes to manage change events, deliver exceptional growth, and create measurable value.
Durbin and Doerscher basically state that you can manage your entire company using a portfolio management approach. Why is a broad portfolio management approach necessary? We have seen companies that are more flexible because of changing business models.
The authors suggest that portfolio management can be used to establish a business principle.
Make the right decisions with the right tools
Identify and show how individuals’ actions and behaviors fit into the bigger picture
Evaluate and measure effectiveness
Future performance improvements are possible.

This book is far more detailed than any other book I’ve ever read, even Simon Moore’s excellent book. Moore discusses creating strategic project portfolios. Durbin and Doerscher discuss the impact portfolios can have on companies.
This approach is great for project managers, but PMs will find it less relevant than Moore’s book.
It will be difficult for small-sized managers at all levels to follow these principles, which are often applicable in large companies. A corporate portfolio is not possible for project management companies.
However, the majority will still be the same regardless of whether there are portfolio managers on a team. You will still need a way to assess individual investment opportunities, manage an investment portfolio, manage the work coming in, as well as a delivery function to complete the work.
Taming Change isn’t meant to be a complete overhaul of the portfolio model. It is a form of evolved thinking that takes the concepts to the next level in order to extract more value.
Although the information is extensive conceptually, it is worth noting some details. The section on operational planning contains excellent information. Proactivity is the key word here. “Leadership has another level to manage its capabilities: timing. According to the authors, operational planning may need to consider slowing down the execution of all initiatives or spreading it out.
Chapter 15 explains how portfolio management processes do not suffice to deliver products, assets, or services.
Taming Change is a combination of practical and conceptual approaches to portfolio management. Although it was difficult for me to read, it was a challenging read. It wasn’t easy to get your company to produce repeatable results.
Here’s a summary of the top ten books about change management.