Establish a baseline

The first step in the Application Portfolio Management journey is establishing a baseline of the current situation. This primarily involves two specific processes:

1. Creating and maintaining the application catalogue

Create an inventory of all the applications in the organisation. Categorise the applications based on their importance, business impact, complexity, age, and maintenance costs.

2. Establishing the application context and ownership

Establish the relevant critical information for applications, such as accountability and responsibility.

How can organisations establish a baseline for their Application Portfolio?

When organisations look to establish a baseline for their application portfolio, they need to create a foundation for their existing applications. When a baseline has been set, executing ongoing management, governance, and optimisation efforts of applications becomes easier.

Some of the different methods to establish a baseline of the application portfolio include:

  • Identify application owners
  • Set acceptance criteria
  • Surveys or Governance Workflow

Identify application owners

By collaboratively allocating responsibility for applications across the business, an optimal baseline of ownership can be established, encouraging business participation in the portfolio’s performance.

With considerations such as organisational units that use specific applications, departmental responsibility, business function and cross-functional teams, it is possible to allocate responsibility to key stakeholders across the business to act and own the applications they use daily.

This also helps the organisation investigate shadow IT and create ownership and assessments of all applications in the portfolio.

Often, organisations will have both an Owner and a Responsible individual (accountability vs responsibility) for the applications – however, this should be configured to the organisation’s specific needs.

Set acceptance criteria – and communicate these to the business owners

Define which aspects and considerations of the application are needed as a start. Often, organisations want this information to consider description, strategic importance, functional fit, cost, lifecycle, dependencies, and organisational units using the application.

Communicate the descriptions of each acceptance criteria to the application Owners and Responsible for the applications to ensure a common vocabulary and understanding. Engaging the stakeholders is essential in APM, so continuous communication about why and how is important.

Surveys or Governance Workflow – getting the information you need

There are different ways to gather the required information from across the business. One is by creating surveys, where the elected business owners and those responsible provide the necessary feedback requested on the application. However, a more effective approach is to utilise the Governance Workflow Engine in QualiWare.

By utilising the Governance Workflow Engine, the Business Owners and Responsible will only see the diagrams or applications they are responsible for in QualiWare. This will enable them to get notified when changes are requested from administrators, and they will be aware of the information they need to update accordingly and timely. The administrator will then be notified in QualiWare when this information has been updated.

This utilises the real power of QualiWare, where collaboration is at the heart of the whole organisation and an environment where accountability and ownership have meaning.