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Application Portfolio Management Foundations

Ensure your application portfolio delivers the best possible return on investment.

Client Challenge

Organizations consider application oversight a low priority and app portfolio knowledge is poor:

  • No dedicated or centralized effort to manage the app portfolio means no single source of truth is available to support informed decision making.
  • Organizations acquire more applications over time, creating redundancy, waste, and the need for additional support.
  • Organizations are more vulnerable to changing markets. Flexibility and growth are compromised when applications are unadaptable or cannot scale.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • You cannot outsource application strategy.
  • Modern software options have lessened the need for organizations to have robust in-house application management capabilities. But your applications’ future and governance of the portfolio still require centralized oversight to ensure the best overall return on investment.
  • Application portfolio management is the mechanism to ensure that the applications in your enterprise are delivering value and support for your value streams and business capabilities. Understanding value, satisfaction, technical health, and total cost of ownership are critical to digital transformation, modernization, and roadmaps.

Impact and Result

Build an APM program that is actionable and fit for size:

  • Understand your current state, needs, and goals for your application portfolio management.
  • Create an application and platform inventory that is built for better decision making.
  • Rationalize your apps with business priorities and communicate risk in operational terms.
  • Create a roadmap that improves communication between those who own, manage, and support your applications.

Research & Tools

Name Actions

1. Application Portfolio Management Foundations Deck – A guide that helps you establish your core application inventory, simplified rationalization, redundancy comparison, and modernization roadmap.

Enterprises have more applications than they need and rarely apply oversight to monitor the health, cost, and relative value of applications to ensure efficiency and minimal risk. This blueprint will help you build a streamlined application portfolio management process.

Name Actions
Application Portfolio Management Foundations – Phases 1-4

2. Application Portfolio Management Diagnostic Tool – A tool that assesses your current application portfolio.

Visibility into your application portfolio and APM practices will help inform and guide your next steps.

Name Actions
Application Portfolio Management Diagnostic Tool

3. Application Portfolio Management Foundations Playbook – A template that builds your application portfolio management playbook.

Capture your APM roles and responsibilities and build a repeatable process.

Name Actions
Application Portfolio Management Foundations Playbook

4. Application Portfolio Management Snapshot and Foundations Tool – A tool that stores application information and allows you to execute rationalization and build a portfolio roadmap.

This tool is the central hub for the activities within Application Portfolio Management Foundations.

Name Actions
Application Portfolio Management Snapshot and Foundations Tool

Onsite Workshop: Application Portfolio Management Foundations

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Do-It-Yourself Implementation

The slides in this Best Practice Blueprint will walk you step-by-step through every phase of your project with supporting tools and templates ready for you to use.

Project Accelerator Workshop

You can also use this Best Practice Blueprint to facilitate your own project accelerator workshop within your organization using the workshop slides and facilitation instructions provided in the Appendix.

Module 1: Lay Your Foundations

The Purpose

  • Work with key corporate stakeholders to come to a shared understanding of the benefits and aspects of application portfolio management.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Establish the goals of APM.
  • Set the scope of APM responsibilities.
  • Establish business priorities for the application portfolio.

Activities Outputs
1.1 Define goals and metrics.
  • Set short- and long-term goals and metrics.
1.2 Define application categories.
  • Set the scope for applications.
1.3 Determine steps and roles.
  • Set the scope for the APM process.
1.4 Weight value drivers.
  • Defined business value drivers.

Module 2: Improve Your Inventory

The Purpose

  • Gather information on your applications to build a detailed inventory and identify areas of redundancy.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Populated inventory based on your and your team’s current knowledge.
  • Understanding of outstanding data and a plan to collect it.

Activities Outputs
2.1 Populate inventory.
  • Initial application inventory
2.2 Assign business capabilities.
  • List of areas of redundancy
2.3 Review outstanding data.
  • Plan to collect outstanding data

Module 3: Gather Application Information

The Purpose

Work with the application subject matter experts to collect and compile data points and determine the appropriate disposition for your apps.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Dispositions for individual applications
  • Application rationalization framework

Activities Outputs
3.1 Assess business value.
  • Business value score for individual applications
3.2 Assess end-user perspective.
  • End-user satisfaction scores for individual applications
3.3 Assess TCO.
  • TCO score for individual applications
3.4 Assess technical health.
  • Technical health scores for individual applications
3.5 Assess redundancies.
  • Feature-level assessment of redundant applications
3.6 Determine dispositions.
  • Assigned dispositions for individual applications

Module 4: Gather, Assess, and Select Dispositions

The Purpose

  • Work with application delivery specialists to determine the strategic plans for your apps and place these in your portfolio roadmap.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Prioritized initiatives
  • Initial application portfolio roadmap
  • Ongoing structure of APM

Activities Outputs
4.1 Prioritize initiatives
  • Prioritized new potential initiatives.
4.2 Populate roadmap.
  • Built an initial portfolio roadmap.
4.3 Determine ongoing APM cadence.
  • Established an ongoing cadence of APM activities.
4.4 Build APM action plan.
  • Built an action plan to complete APM activities.


The best part of the workshop was working with Hans . He lead the workshop and gave great insights all along the way. Looking forward to more working sessions with him.

Guild Education viaWorkshop

Best: Seeing the team pull together their knowledge of our applications and beginning to see the light bulbs go off as they saw the metrics and results come together. Worst: Nothing about this experience was bad. So this is relatively minor. I cou...

Bi-State Development viaWorkshop

The best part of the experience was the thorough knowledge of the principal research director, Hans, and his ability to translate the broader concepts into practical understanding. The worst part is that the tools are so exhaustive that they seem overwhe...

Anne Arundel Community College viaWorkshop

Andrew was awesome in prompting, questioning, and letting us brainstorm an approach, etc. No bad part of the experience at all.

Bloomfield Hills Schools viaWorkshop

Best part- great suggestions, things to consider, risk mitigation conversations to help increase value to our team and build a process that is simple, repeatable, consistent. worst part- Internet connections were poor at times. Not an IT problem, but ...

Strathcona County viaWorkshop

It was too short due to the changes on my side of the business.

Braeston Proprietary Limited viaWorkshop

Knowing we're on the right track. Feeling like the bottleneck was really just on our side to do the work.

Greenheck Fan Corporation viaWorkshop

Ben came to the call well-prepared, and immediately showed how the Info-Tech research material could be applied to our Division's modernization needs and quickly add value. I especially appreciated that Ben would introduce a slide or process, and then p...

Lane Council of Governments viaWorkshop

Still forming a move forward strategy, i.e., execute department application surveys or focus on applications discovery. Previous conversations had me going down the path of immediate surveys, but that may be premature based on conversations with Allison....

Clark Pacific viaWorkshop

The workshop was real ran and kept us on task. Adjustments were made to the schedule to accommodate us as needed to make sure it worked for everyone involved in the workshop. I don't have anything negative to say!

Westconsin Credit Union viaWorkshop

Confirmed that I was following the right path, templates helped me prepare for future. Worst part - the images in the survey never download so have to take extra steps to be able to complete the actual survey.

Twin Disc viaWorkshop

Randy and Ben did a great job facilitating the workshop. They were flexible and adapted the agenda to the knowledge of the folks in the workshop so that we could reach our objective. There was a lot of existing knowledge in the room that took a coupl...

One Call Care Management viaWorkshop

Very early stages but some really good pointers as to where to start and focus priorities, will have a better understanding of the savings as the project progresses.

University of Exeter viaWorkshop

No worst part. Ben provided some great insight to help me focus on the important areas, structure my thoughts around wrangling in terms (business application). Much appreciated.

University of Western States viaWorkshop

Best - Day 3 BCM exercise was very informative and an interesting approach compared to the traditional application first approach. Overall enjoyed the interaction between facilitators, great mix and complimented one another.

Natural Resources Canada viaWorkshop

Dollar amount impact, currently is in time efficiencies for the Application Administrator. Although I believe we'll see more of an overall impact at the end of the project. BEST: 1) Ben brought some experience working with outside municipalities that was key to helping us move past those old "stuck" areas. WORSE: 2) Some information/research was under the Premium Membership, which we currently don't have at this time. Under discussion.

Montgomery County Board of County Commissioners viaWorkshop

The topics always sound interesting but I have yet to feel like I've gotten real value out of the actual call itself. It's always kind of vague and conceptual.

City Colleges of Chicago viaWorkshop