Cost control, on the other hand, is often seen as an unpleasant necessity of business and rarely regarded as something that can be open and flexible, therefore making it seem “non Agile”.
As we’re always preaching, Tempo Products are flexible, and they really are, trust me. Tempo Budgets, for example, can be used to track financials in many ways.
Although there are many best practices, there is no one size fits all for budgeting and with the movement towards adopting beyond budgeting techniques, it’s becoming more and more clear that different practices work better for different kinds of workplaces, whether it be because of industry, size, geographical location, or many other factors.
A move towards transparency
For the primary personas of Tempo Budgets, it’s important to be transparent with both their teams and their managers to ensure that budgets can be tweaked as needed, adequate resources are provided, and overall employee satisfaction is heightened.
In order to do this, we need to start at the bottom and explore the main pain points of our primary personas:
Agile Portfolio Management
So how do we make these jobs as agile as possible without throwing budgets and cost control out the window?
Here are some of the main goals of the agile project portfolio management roles:
|Product Manager||Portfolio Managers|
|Create budgets for their team for each release or each quarter.||Approve budgets for each team within the company.|
|Control and track the budget and costs of their product development per release or per quarter.||Get rolled up financial data of all development and non-development teams throughout the organization.|
|Provide accurate information about the financial health of their product development.||View the status of initiatives within the organization.|
|Revisit their required budget at regular intervals, either based on release or done quarterly.||Get an accurate depiction of value streams within the company and revisit allocated resources at regular intervals based on this information.|
|Ensure continuous improvement and secure the necessary resources to do that.||Focus on value streams rather than cost centers to ensure all teams are adequately funded to be successful, while maintaining profitability.|
If you’re working in agile, implementing beyond budgeting principles, and the goals above align somewhat with your own, I suggest setting up your Tempo Budgets instance along the following lines.
Possible way to set up Tempo Budgets to achieve goals
- Product managers (or any team lead in charge of their budget) are the owners of their own folios, which is the name we use for financial projects.
- The product manager creates a folio for each release or quarter.
- This user would then organize all of those folios in a portfolio for their product/ team for the entire year to get an overview of health and progress over time.
- Portfolio managers or CFO/CEOs can easily access these portfolios on a high level and even organize them into higher-level portfolios for the entire company to get a bird’s eye view of the health of all initiatives in real-time.
Since the tool is flexible, the set up can be adjusted at any time if things aren’t working.
When using a product that provides real time data about the financial health of projects, you can identify problems early on and react in a timely manner. Portfolio Managers can see what cost streams are spending and tweak allocated resources at any time to make the financial side of operations more flexible.
Working towards an agile financial project portfolio management strategy is just as much about improving work life as it is making cost control more flexible and efficient.
The possibilities are endless
This is just one way two of the primary roles in your company can move towards a more agile portfolio management strategy with the help of Tempo Budgets.
Since agile is all about being flexible and re-visiting things regularly to continuously improve, I suggest trying out this set up and seeing how it works. If you can find a better way, revisit it and tweak it as needed. After all, that’s the agile way.
As always, happy budgeting.