So we turned to Run, Grow, Transform. This seemed a much more intuitive scheme. Having just been to a Gartner conference, they of course had gotten a thorough understanding (this being Gartner’s preferred model). But there were a couple of issues.
First, they felt that the Transform category had too high a threshold. It is the rare project that actually transforms how a typical company does business (with the exception of the high-tech world, of course). It is much more common for them to undertake strategic projects, which we loosely defined as furthering the strategic goals of the company. I’ve noticed many PMOs actually use the Transform bucket in this manner. But rather than keep with tradition and simply us Transform to mean strategic, we decided to rename the category.
Next came Grow, which on its face sounds pretty obvious. But does this apply only to projects that help the company grow? What about automation? We supposed that improving efficiency would grow the bottom line, but suddenly this was less intuitive. After bandying about several alternatives it was either Mike or Roger (that’s Mike Rinehart and Roger Larson to give credit where its due) came up with Improve. This was defined as anything that improves the operations or effectiveness of the organization. This then encompassed the grow projects along with any others that are more than simply maintenance.
Run did seem pretty intuitive. The idea of work required to keep things running (or KLO – keep the lights on) is pretty self-explanatory, so we kept that.
We then reviewed their portfolio and found we could much more readily identify projects as being in Strategic, Improve, or Run. And what do you know, Mike pointed out it also has an easy acronym – SIR!
So there you have it, a new project portfolio classification scheme, SIR. What does the community think? I’m really anxious to hear thoughts on this one!