BBC Worldwide Lean PMO

Assignment: Implementing a new Portfolio Management Approach


BBC Worldwide Limited (BBCW) is the BBC’s main commercial arm, supporting the BBC public service mission and maximising profits on its behalf. It does this through investing in, commercialising, and showcasing content from the BBC around the world, and building the reach and reputation of the BBC brand overseas.
Global Technology is accountable for the overall Technology strategy and delivery for BBC Worldwide, covering both the application and technical infrastructure services.

The Challenge

BBC Worldwide had a vision for how its project and product management needed to function in order to support future innovation for the business. This included a lean and value driven approach to portfolio management. With many competing needs, they needed to ensure they were delivering the right projects, at the right time, with minimum waste.

The Solution

Over 6 months we implemented a new Investment Management Office (IMO), that allowed all projects to be prioritised, delivered and tracked based on a shared view of attributable business benefit including:
A lean portfolio management process that brought visibility, consistent valuation and tracking of projects across a multi million pound portfolio.
A lightweight IMO portfolio governance process that engaged key cross business stakeholders in answering the question “Are we doing the right projects?”
A dashboard and reporting pack of portfolio level KPIs that helped the client to answer the question “Are we doing projects in the right way?”
Once established, we handed over the IMO to the client – on-boarding and coaching their internal resources to manage day-to-day running.

The Benefits

A lightweight project evaluation template is now used to assess and prioritise new initiatives in days, rather than weeks or months.
A shared value framework ensures projects are comparable on the things that matter. A clear roadmap is visible for the next 18 months, but flexible to change.
Our monthly TIC (Technology Investment Committee) engaged cross business senior managers in regular portfolio planning and decision making so the entire business was bought into that roadmap of change.
A Portfolio Kanban board made the portfolio process and demand backlogs visible to all key stakeholders. Bottlenecks were addressed through the addition of resources and the introduction of work in progress constraints at key points. Resources are now working more efficiently, and with less context switching, to a manageable backlog of work.
Our dashboarding and reporting packs gave the business the decision making tools required to make strategic calls regarding what projects to do and when.
We enabled closer engagement of the Finance department in the financial planning and tracking of all change portfolios.
The IMO is now communicating and engaging with the project community and the wider stakeholder groups via a shared intranet site.

What the BBC Worldwide Team said…

“I have to say, this is awesome… one of the best portfolio management packs I’ve seen in my career. Well done.”

David Gibbons, Chief Operating Officer

“The number one benefit has been to raise the profile of our investments and roadmap to the board and put the decisions around investments back in the hands of the business. We now have that regular forum for debate and understand what we can and can’t do. It’s given us that rigour and we can clearly see what the impact of starting, and just as importantly, stopping projects is. We’re much more under control.”

Stuart Page, SVP Global Technology

“The TIC [Technology Investment Committee] really welcome the transparency and the quality of information. It’s something they’ve never had before, even in other organisations they’ve worked with.”

Lee Cooper, Head of Portfolio