Seeding The Portfolio Backlog Part III

Xerox… mouse … ‘Windows’…

Legend has it that, long before they were world famous, on their visit to Xerox, both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs had their first glimpse of a computer device that can move things on screen — now called ‘the computer mouse’ — and a Graphical User Interface — the ‘window frames’ that you see on Microsoft and Apple computer systems today.

These ideas came from the creative brains of some engineers from Xerox (Palo Alto) … these were great ideas from the perspective of then young Gates and Jobs; but not so to the executives at Xerox… they lacked the vision to see the potential of these ideas… these died in Xerox… but lived forever through the visions of Gates’ and Jobs’!

Hence the importance of having visionary leaders… visionary enough to see a glimpse of the potential in any idea that enters the portfolio kanban’s ‘Funnel’ state… and have the balls to approve it! Seed the portfolio backlog… you can later evaluate and iterate down the pipeline; and can later check to see if you need to pivot away from the idea… or persevere towards the realization of the idea.

Without an approved idea, there will be nothing of value flowing into the portfolio backlog! Nothing for the program to do. Nothing for teams to do. The enterprise will die… or will not flourish. Don’t copy Xerox.

Of course, there are guardrails to this madness at the Portfolio level. One cannot just approve anything.

Enter LPM … S&IF, APO, LG … circling back to Part I.

To be continued…