How can you boost your project portfolios by capitalising on agility and CSR?

Written by Olivier Guichard, on 04 January 2022

Value-driven management addresses various dimensions of value beyond pure financial ROI to steer your project portfolios in a different way.

In a context where agility is being deployed locally or at scale within your organizations and where CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) issues are increasingly prevalent in your companies, the contribution of your projects to these various dimensions of value must be clearly defined. Good practices of value-driven management need to be implemented accordingly within your project portfolios, and a specific representation of value is to be favored.

Context and Challenges

A Real Momentum in Value-Driven Management

There is a strong awareness and shared mastery of the challenges and benefits associated with value-driven management, with maturity currently being acquired to fully benefit from the interests related to this type of management:

  • Ensuring reliability in decision-making in portfolio project arbitrations.
  • Exploring different value axes other than ROI to prioritize more objectively and give meaning to the teams.

However, value-driven management may face certain difficulties:


  • Agility and value-driven management are closely linked and feed off each other (short cycles, adjustments, and trajectory reprioritization during projects), making it easier to anchor value-driven management in Agile practices.
  • Agility gains real adherence when widely disseminated in organizations and by incorporating value-driven management principles.

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CSR as a New Criterion for Prioritizing Your Projects

The relationship with CSR teams is not yet well-established or sometimes deemed too much like "Greenwashing." Prioritizing projects according to CSR criteria seems more evident initially for Front-Office type applications than for Back-Office ones.

Taking into account CSR in project prioritization and management is a real underlying trend that goes beyond non-financial reporting, especially to meet new expectations from candidates and employees (quest for meaning, concrete engagement, etc.).

Agility and CSR are the two accelerators of value-driven management to optimize your project management and arbitration within your portfolios.

Value Measurement

Reconciling Value at Project and Portfolio Levels

If we consider a different way of prioritizing activities, centered around balancing value (between economic, CSR, experiential, and intangible axes), reconciling it at the project and portfolio levels is crucial.

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This involves measuring value to make informed decisions on:

  • The viability of projects that do not deliver the expected level of value.
  • Budget reallocations towards what will bring the most value.
  • Development priorities for these projects.
  • Staffing your teams.

And thus, managing your project portfolios more dynamically!

Measuring Value but for What Purpose?

Value should not be instrumentalized to become a means of controlling team productivity or becoming a comparison element between teams.

The measurement of value should allow you to make informed decisions on projects and portfolios by reliably recurring decision-making.

Applying Good Measurement Practices

  • Using quantitative values backed by tangible indicators (e.g., 10% cost reduction, 2-point increase in Net Promoter Score, 10% increase in Customer Satisfaction, 2-point increase in Customer Effort Score, etc.) is preferable.
  • Measuring value at too granular a level (e.g., User Story) exposes the risk of not being able to exploit the collected information (versus the Feature level, which is appropriate). In the V-cycle, favoring prototypes and demonstrators is interesting for implementing value measurement at a minimum.
  • Setting up shared visual management is necessary to illustrate the distribution of value within your projects and portfolios.
  • Value is still often estimated only at the beginning of the project. It should be iterative and measured at each release and once the product/service is delivered.

Representation of Value

Sowing Well to Reap Value Better

Value-driven management is not limited to the mere establishment of indicators and probes to measure the produced value.

The organization of value measurement is beneficial when:

  • A targeting is to be carried out on the most promising processes and functionalities according to Pareto (e.g., 20% of features expected to bring 80% of the value).
  • Value testing teams are to be constituted by involving your business representatives but also your employees and customers. The latter can be selected according to a restricted panel of VIP or Value team types.
  • The principles of collection and feedback are based on customer satisfaction surveys (e.g., NPS, CAST, or CES types). These feedbacks are also an opportunity to propose the functionalities of the next releases for validation, submitting them to A/B Testing principles.

Representing Value to Prioritize Better

Any good practice of value measurement confronts the right level of representation needed to arbitrate and prioritize portfolios at an aggregated level.

If the representation of value is often perceived as insufficient in current practices and tools, it remains crucial and requires applying some good practices:

  • Being agnostic to prioritization methods and value management.
  • Favoring the use of visual principles for value distribution.

Using dedicated tools to represent value

Aneo proposes to co-develop the tools that effectively represent value and ensure informed decision-making at the portfolio level.

pilotage (8)Représentation intuitive de la valeur du portefeuille permettant de visualiser efficacement la contribution des projets aux critères de valeur et d’optimiser la priorisation et l’arbitrage du portefeuille.

Intuitive representation of the portfolio's value, enabling you to effectively visualise the contribution of projects to value criteria and optimise portfolio prioritisation and arbitration.

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Value-driven management is currently being deployed within your management and control ecosystems with varying degrees of progress to achieve real maturity.

Today, agility and CSR are two levers that allow you to accelerate the mastery and dissemination of value-driven management.

The measurement of value must be supported by an effective visual representation to better arbitrate and prioritize your portfolios. You have welcomed our proposal to work together on the visual representation of value, and we are also looking forward to meeting you to start this work.