3.3 Risk portfolio implementation

When the organization has chosen the work tool with which it wants to manage its portfolio, the definition required by the application starts. In the following, we use the Thinking Portfolio management system and its implementation process as an example.

Risk portfolio implementation process, Thinking Portfolio


If the organization has followed the process described earlier in this lesson, the following baseline information must be presented to the system supplier

  • Organization of Portfolio management
  • Objectives of Portfolio management
  • Information that you want to manage about portfolio risks
  • Content of the Key reports

In addition, the organization has a documented project model or models that the system must support.

Pre-preparation starts at a kick-off event, which is attended by parties relevant to portfolio management and the Thinking Portfolio consultant. All questions must be clarified before the next step.

Planning and definition

Planning and definition take place in workshops, where a consultant configures a customer-specific portfolio in the system.

In Thinking Portfolio, the portfolio risk information is divided into views or pages, which consist of panels. They, on the other hand, always contain a specific set of information, for example, basic risk information or risk assessment.

In the definition workshop, the client and the consultant go through the client’s risk information and model, based on which the necessary views and panels are defined to maintain the information. After defining the contents of the portfolio, Thinking Portfolio parameters the portfolio. Parameterization produces a customer-specific database and functions, from which the portfolio is formed.

In an agile operating model, the customer can view the progress of the implementation in the portfolio and can refine the direction of the parameterization already during the planning and specification. You can also try out the portfolio during its implementation.

When the design and definition are ready, the consultant also prepares the necessary report templates and functionalities that must be able to be implemented in the portfolio.

Parameterization and training

After the approval of the portfolio’s content and functionality definition, Thinking Portfolio parameters the portfolio to be ready for testing. Parameterization produces a customer-specific database and functions, from which the portfolio is formed.

In connection with the parameterization, data from the customer’s previous portfolio – for example, in the spreadsheet software – can be imported into the portfolio. In this case, the risk portfolio contains basic information that the customer can supplement during its piloting or implementation.

In this context, it is possible to connect external systems to the portfolio that need information about risks or produce related data. REST API technology is available for connecting external systems.

The Thinking Portfolio system has maintenance/main users and end users. When the portfolio is ready for testing, the consultant trains the maintenance/administrators. They have the most extensive access rights to the portfolio.

Testing and fine-tuning

When the portfolio is ready for test use, the customer selects the test users. These are allowed to supplement and edit risk information and produce reports. The test risks entered by the customer themselves are also useful in developing reporting and understanding needs, which is why the possibilities of reporting are often examined at this stage.

Thinking Portfolio fine-tunes the portfolio based on the feedback received from the testers, after which the portfolio is ready for production use.

Large-scale implementation

Usually, the implementation of the risk portfolio starts for practical reasons one unit or function at a time. However, the ultimate goal should be the comprehensive use of the portfolio in the entire organization, so that the benefits of the portfolio would be realized.

Implementation of the portfolio requires management and communication. Management must commit to and encourage the use of the portfolio. This is best done by your own example. The management must communicate and remain up-to-date on the risk situation through the portfolio.

In communication, it is essential to emphasize the effect of portfolio management on improving the productivity of employees and management. This must also be demonstrated in practice. The best way to communicate is through storytelling about how people in certain positions and roles may benefit from the portfolio.

As in all reforms, in the implementation of the risk portfolio, influential individuals must be identified who act as encouraging examples for others.

Risk portfolio maintenance

The structure, content and functions of the portfolio are constantly evolving. The portfolio criteria and the projects ‘ information model reflect changes in the operating environment and the development of new strategic policies. The organization can implement new portfolios and systems that integrate with the risk portfolio. Users also suggest reforms to the portfolio.

The portfolio owner should regularly monitor the development of the portfolio’s content and the degree of use. If these start to show signs of fading, the reasons must be identified and the management must take steps to correct the situation.