Estimates Resources - Once the systems evolution plan and migration path is determined the resources required to execute the plan must be estimated. These estimates, like all estimates in this high-level plan, are high-level, order-of-magnitude approximations.
Resource estimates should be made in four primary categories:
An important item to emphasize is that all estimates (e.g., human resource and capital) need to be presented as simple financial approximations for budgetary planning purposes.
An enormous mistake I consistently witness is the desire for IT personnel to provide estimates that imply a certain degree of exactness, which is impossible to approximate at this early stage.
For example, I see human resource estimates in the form of 7.125 FTEs and capital expenses represented as $25,927.63. The presence of decimals and fractions send the message of thorough analysis and well-though-out estimates to business executives. This form of estimating provides no added value at this phase of planning, but makes revising the estimates after true analysis a difficult and painful task.
Construct Evolution Program and Strategy Document - A final step in the systems evolution planning process is to bring all the pieces of information together into a structured strategy document that describes a comprehensive execution approach that manages all the individually identified projects as a coordinated program.
Keep in mind that beginning a software portfolio management practice is similar to establishing any kind of portfolio management discipline. Its a 20% effort working out the nuts and bolts methodology and 80% managing the perception and organization change.
Jeff Monteforte is president of Exential, a Cleveland, Ohio-based information strategy consulting firm, which specializes in IT governance, information security and business intelligence solutions. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.