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Managers and professionals everywhere are embracing the undeniable truth: it’s more important than ever to future-proof your career. You know that mastering Lean Portfolio Management (LPM) will help you do it, and that’s why you’re here. But do you know which Lean Portfolio Management training best suits your needs?

Help is on the way! Read on for:

The Evolution of Portfolio Management Training

Traditional Project Portfolio Management (PPM) has historically been used by project managers and project management organizations (PMOs). It’s a centralized process for selecting, prioritizing, and managing multiple projects to achieve strategic objectives. PPM works well for organizations that plan for projects that require little or no change. It’s optimized for systems that have little variation during lifecycles, and successful PPMs tend to favor fixed requirements and fixed environments versus being able to adapt to change.

As a result, PPM has proven vulnerable to outdated approaches that inhibit an organization’s ability to rapidly pivot in response to changing market conditions and customer needs. In times of economic stress, solutions are limited to cutting resources and capacity.

Until recently, limited training was available in the realm of Portfolio Management. The closest alternative was pursuing a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.

Fortunately, Lean Portfolio Management now provides a more adaptable and efficient approach. LPM brings Portfolio Management beyond the PMO and even the Portfolio Manager role, as it’s a vital skill for leaders across organizational levels and departments. The International Consortium for Agile describes Lean Portfolio Management as a mechanism for organizations to fund and manage the flow of initiatives and activities across the whole enterprise, maximizing the value delivered to customers and other stakeholders. LPM aligns work to the organization’s overall strategy and enables prioritization of the most important work while limiting work in progress and respecting the teams’ capacity to deliver. LPM draws on lean thinking, systems thinking, and agility to help companies achieve strategic objectives and rapidly adapt to changing circumstances.

There are currently two primary Lean Portfolio Management training options available. SAFe’s LPM course was released first and combines LPM with agile using the Scaled Agile Framework as a foundation. The second option now available is the ICP-LPM course, a framework-independent Lean Portfolio Management that doesn’t require the dependency of a framework like SAFe.

You Need Lean Portfolio Management That’s Better for Your Career and Company

LPM Should Focus on the Business

LPM should support the initiatives for the entire business. That is where the organization can balance capacity and priorities in a way that is most beneficial to the entire unit.

SAFe LPM is specifically tailored to organizations using the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) and encompasses mechanisms and processes expected within SAFe, such as release trains and a work breakdown structure of Epics, Features, and Stories. It also accounts for SAFe-specific roles, such as Release Train Engineers and Product Managers. SAFe LPM is the capstone training within the SAFe framework and is dependent on having SAFe teams across the organization. In other words, for SAFe LPM to work successfully, the entire organization must be using SAFe.

But what if SAFe isn’t being used company-wide? What if your organization abandons the SAFe framework at some point? (Yes, it happens — more often than you might think.) Or what if you someday work for a company that doesn’t use SAFe? You need LPM skills that transcend SAFe. Remember that Agile is for improving the business; the business doesn’t exist to be made Agile.

Learn LPM Applicable to Any Organization

SAFe LPM caters to large organizations and is designed to address their specific needs — communication, scale, and speed. On the other hand, ICP-LPM does not have size constraints and can be customized for organizations of various sizes, including startups with just a couple of teams. This flexibility extends beyond what is typical for SAFe implementations, which are often considered overkill for smaller organizations.

ICP-LPM is designed to apply to any organization, regardless of the framework — or even if they aren’t using a framework. The course material focuses on how Lean practices and principles can optimize the portfolio of any organization, ensuring your skills stay relevant as you move to new roles and switch companies throughout your career.

Get LPM That Brings Agility Beyond IT

ICP-LPM provides a toolset for the future. Modern Agilists understand the need to scale Agile beyond product and IT teams. Because SAFe LPM was designed to be implemented within the SAFe framework, it has been used primarily by those in IT and is challenged by not engaging business partners. Moreover, that approach risks adding more complexity and overhead than necessary.

Because ICP-LPM is framework agnostic, it helps you deliver your programs even more effectively and efficiently without all the extra time and cost associated with framework-specific efforts. It makes it easier to bring Agility beyond the IT department. It aligns planning and delivery by aligning executive business decisions and strategic intent and integrating operating model decisions that cross-departmental agendas such as IT, Finance, Sales, Marketing, Operations, Risk and Compliance, and Production.

Look for a Business Strategy-filled Curriculum

With LPM having foundations in business strategy, it’s important to learn the tools that business executives use. These are typical models that you’d expect from a MasterClass or an MBA program.

Regarding strategic models, SAFe provides limited options, primarily SWOT and TOWS (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) matrices. In contrast, ICP-LPM offers a more comprehensive range of strategic techniques, including well-known approaches like Porter’s Five Forces, Blue Ocean Strategy, and Growth-Share Matrixes. It also covers advanced strategy techniques like Wardley Mapping. The ICP-LPM course with veteran instructor Tom Perry delves deeper into strategy and its relationship with the Portfolio Manager’s role.

You’ll get a unique and greater toolset with ICP-LPM. In a nutshell, it’s the course to choose when you want to grow your career!

Still Undecided?

Get a taste of the course in this video by ICP-LPM instructor Tom Perry: Using Lean Portfolio Management to Streamline the Path to Success.

Become the positive change your organization needs and start an agile revolution with our trailblazing framework-neutral Lean Portfolio Management (ICP-LPM) two-day certification course!

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