by CIO Staff

Two Choices for Portfolio Management Tools

Jun 01, 20062 mins
IT Leadership

Joe Kraus, former senior VP and CIO, Intelsat

Kraus uses standard office productivity tools for prioritizing and tracking the IT portfolio and communicating its status. Intelsat is a midsize company with 2004 revenue of $1.04 billion, so Kraus likes to keep things simple. “One of the things I’m trying to do is get rid of stuff,” Kraus says. “Bringing in an enterprise tool that everybody uses wouldn’t be a prudent thing to do at this time.” Kraus’s team talked about building an online tool so that all the VPs could see the status of projects in the portfolio; he decided that such a tool was unnecessary. “I’m not General Motors,” Kraus says. “I can walk down to the office of any VP and have a conversation.”

Walter Weir, CIO, University of Nebraska

For the past six years, Weir has used a portfolio management tool from ProSight that gives him a dashboard view of his IT portfolio.

“The tool takes information that used to be in the black box—and was often misunderstood—and makes it so that it can be very quickly displayed, so you can have a meaningful conversation with your senior administrators,” Weir says. “They look at the dashboard and say, ‘That’s an awfully big yellow bubble. What’s happening there?’” Weir has built a prototype showing how the university could use the tool—and the portfolio management approach—to prioritize and track progress toward broad strategic initiatives that reach far beyond IT. For example, he says, “the University of Nebraska should provide the opportunity for Nebraskans to enjoy a better life through access to high-quality higher education.”