Many organizations struggle to understand and differentiate project portfolio management from service portfolio management. This is an important distinction, because project portfolio managers understandably focus on the project portfolio. This is useful, but ultimately misses the point of looking at the investment of service assets across the service lifecycle.
The basic idea behind service portfolio management is simple but profound. We only have a finite number of service assets available to us, and the goal is simple in concept though tremendously difficult in practice: optimize the value you create for your customers, and the value you capture as a service provider.
Strategy is fundamentally about dealing with constraints. If we didn’t have constraints, we wouldn’t really need a strategy, just a plan to execute. Because we are not omniscient, we need to establish strategies to help us best assess cost, risk, and value of delivering different types of services.
One of the fundamental objectives of most service management initiatives is optimizing investment, especially in areas of the organization such as service operation. By using service portfolio management, the focus is not only on optimizing the performance of projects, but ultimately the shifting of resources from reactive activities to proactive activities that drive better value for the organization.
Many organizations focus on the service operation and transition process areas of ITIL, but much of the better value proposition is actually higher up in the service lifecycle. Take the time to explore some of the value of the service strategy and service design books.
Build out the higher end processes. It’s well worth your time and investment.