Rationalize Your Application Portfolio

Establish an evergreen application portfolio management (APM) program to deliver the best possible return on investment.

Member Challenge

When 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 ready for action 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. Rationalize Your Application Portfolio 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
Rationalize Your Application Portfolio – 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. Rationalize Your Application Portfolio Playbook – A template that builds your application portfolio management playbook.

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

Name Actions
Rationalize Your Application Portfolio Playbook

4. Rationalize Your Application Portfolio 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 Rationalize Your Application Portfolio.

Name Actions
Rationalize Your Application Portfolio Tool

5. Application TCO Calculator – A tool to help you calculate TCO for applications in your portfolio.

Use this tool to compile the various costs of your applications.

Name Actions
Application TCO Calculator
Rationalize Your Application Portfolio

Onsite Workshop: Rationalize Your Application Portfolio

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 Assess your current application portfolio
  • An understanding of your current application portfolio
1.2 Determine narrative
  • Current narrative for why we need to rationalize our application portfolio
1.3 Define goals and metrics
  • Set short- and long-term goals and metrics
1.4 Define application categories
  • List of application categories
1.5 Determine steps and roles
  • A list of steps and roles for your rationalization program

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 to business capabilities
  • Alignment of inventory to business capabilities

Module 3: Rationalize Your Applications

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 technical health
  • Technical health score for individual applications
3.3 Assess end-user perspective
  • End-user satisfaction score for individual applications
3.4 Assess total cost of ownership
  • Assessed TCO for individual applications

Module 4: Populate Your Roadmap

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 Review APM Snapshot results
  • A clear view of areas to focus on
4.2 Review Rationalization results
  • A view of recommended dispositions and priorities for your applications
4.3 Determine dispositions
  • Confirmed set of dispositions for your applications
4.4 Assess redundancies (optional)
  • Identified set of redundant applications
4.5 Determine dispositions for redundant applications (optional)
  • Dispositions for redundant applications
4.6 Prioritize initiatives
  • Prioritized new potential initiatives
4.7 Determine ongoing cadence
  • Established an ongoing cadence of activities


It was great to learn about APM and how it can be utilized. This is something that we will plan to implement in the future. An executive summary would help us in communicating to stakeholders what APM is, how it works, and what the results mean.

Oregon Department of Justice viaWorkshop

Hong was extremely helpful, pliable and accessible. We greatly appreciate his patience and expertise. Worst part is the rationizations input tab....

Community Aid, Inc. viaWorkshop

Another excellent & insightful meeting with Hans! His App spreadsheet is really helping us uncover a lot of facts about applications are users like/dislike. Soon we will present the findings to the Execs, which will be an eye opener for them. This is Sha...

North American Air Travel Insurance Agents Ltd. viaWorkshop

Suneel does a great job to help put context around approach and ask good questions to help us shape what it is that would help guide us to get the most value of approach.

Braun Intertec Corporation viaWorkshop

Alignment and explanation of how I can use the tool to bring value by doing an Application Portfolio Management exercise to the org and more importantly the different audiences that could benefit.

Diamond Offshore, LLC viaWorkshop

Having the discussions about what EA is thinking vs reality. Take that with the methodology of the offering will assist when working within the DOH business and help with expectations management.

Washington State Department of Health viaWorkshop

Best part - a proven cost effective framework supported by knowledgeable people

Australian Institute of Company Directors viaWorkshop

Best part - Hans is exceptionally knowledgeable and a skilled facilitator. This is a tough topic to tackle, fraught with politics and fear, and he puts teams and participants at ease by help them fully understand the intent and expected outcomes. He ha...

Consumers Energy viaWorkshop

The PPT Slides and Excel templates are awesome!!! Also, Hong's advice was invaluable!! No negatives whatsoever!


Kieran was an excellent partner for this workshop. He was flexible, knowledgeable, and helped build trust with our business partners.

Consumers Energy viaWorkshop

Hans is an expert in his field. He is a great sounding board for my plans and thoughts, mainly because he validates what I am saying but also aligns me when I'm on the wrong track. I feel he has tried to understand our business and my case, so is able to...

Alfred H. Knight Holding viaWorkshop

Best parts: 1. Positive and friendly service. 2. Understood my need and was flexible to accommodate for it. 3. Very timely follow-up after the call. Worst: None.

Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction viaWorkshop

The methodology is sound and I use it in the presentation. The advisors show great interest to help. We need more to work on solutions and have stuff automated. I would not call it bad, I would call it improvable.

Hydro-Quebec viaWorkshop

It was a great and instrumental experience. Mr. Suneel, did a great job of guiding and explaining the tools and the most efficient way to use them for our specific needs. We really needed a one stop shop for all our applications. The inventory tool has b...

Cameron County, TX viaWorkshop

Suneel was amazing! This initiative has proven to be the foundation on which so many other initiatives are being build on/around. I didn't expect to get the tremendous value out of it that we did.

Pima County Community College District viaWorkshop

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