Portfolio Management Framework in Action

Dr. Andrew Makar is an IT program manager and is the author of the Microsoft Project Made Easy series. For more project management advice, visit the website TacticalProjectManagement.com.

The past six articles described the goals, objectives and a framework for portfolio management. It all looks good in theory, but how is the framework put into practice? This article describes how an IT organization from a Fortune 500 manufacturing company applied the framework to its portfolio of accounting and finance applications.
 
The accounting and finance business functions had multiple IT systems supporting users across global business units. The company had grown through acquisition by acquiring smaller manufacturing firms, and consequently the company acquired a new set of accounting and finance systems. Worldwide, the accounting and finance function had over 150 applications creating, updating and reporting financial data. The company was able to inventory the variety of MS-Access databases, mainframe systems, Oracle databases, SAP ledgers and PeopleSoft accounting packages due to the architecture layer the organization implemented as part of their portfolio management strategy.
 
Architecture in Action
At the architecture level, the company implemented an in-house developed IT inventory and management system that stored application profile information. The profile information ranged from server names, domain names, integrated applications, financial operating costs and supporting personnel contact information. The database stored technical information …

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