Last night I rewrote one of the last chapters in my book. It's about applying Agile thinking (what I call "INVERTING") to project portfolios in order to make more money.
You do two things when you INVERT your project portfolio: 1. You plan to INVERT each individual project, thus, reducing each projects duration and increasing your capacity, and (probably) producing a better product. 2. You INVERT the project portfolio itself. In other words, you treat each project in your portfolio as if it were a feature in a product backlog. You list the projects (just like you would the features in a product backlog), you split them, you prioritize them; then you execute the most important projects, intensely, a few at a time; then you re-prioritize and repeat.
Last night I wrote about how, when he returned to Apple, to save it, Steve Jobs cancelled a lot of the active projects (such as the Newton) so the company could focus on the vital few, the products Jobs thought would save the company.
That's step 2. A very, very brave thing to do. Much easier not to do it. --- This morning I read that Steve Jobs had passed away. --- I know a lot of people are sad today. I am.
I once thought his success was mostly a matter of luck. Anyone can be at the right place at the right time. But then he did it again. And again. And again. And again. He was my only hero.
--- A lot of people adored Steve Jobs, the PRODUCTS he created, and the BUSINESSES he created. They praised him for his attention to detail, his perfectionism, his appreciation for beauty. The sexy stuff.
I respect him and will remember him for making the hardest of hard decisions: he saved his company by brutally prioritizing and killing off some very clever projects.