Managing an Agile Developed IT Project Portfolio



by Rosenberger Philipp
FH Campus Wien


Struzl Katharina
A1 Telekom Austria AG

Vienna, Austria



This article clarifies the challenges in using classical portfolio management tools and methods on agile developed IT projects. Based on a short introduction on agile development according SCRUM and a description of classical portfolio management, standard key performance indicators of such are collected grouped according project phases and briefly analysed. After creating such a basic understanding of that matter, each and every single key performance indicator is investigated about suitability regarding the use in agile developed IT projects.

This investigation will show a large gap. Meaning, that nearly half of the identified key performance indicators are not really suitable for agile IT projects, due to many different reasons like lack of budget, timing and resource information. Therefore new solutions are needed and postulated to close this described gap.

A brief qualified expert interview is used as scientific method to proof the effectiveness of the created new solutions and key performance indicators (short: KPIs). Also showing that needs of KPIs in project management can differ from those in portfolio management.

Keywords: Agile Project Management, Agile Project Portfolio Management, Key Performance Indicators

JEL Codes: M15, H43, O22


Agile development is getting increasingly popular and more technology projects are getting developed with an agile approach (Komus and Kuberg, 2015). Reporting and measurability for top management of those projects is often not as traceable as with a classic approach because some important classical portfolio management KPI’s cannot be used.

Predictability and reliability are key factors for project- and portfolio managers, but those are completely subordinated topics in agile development methods, approaches and culture.

There are still some old mind sets deep-seated. Such as “widget engineering” – it is possible to analyze everything before starting to develop – or “order taker” – the IT has to do what they are told, saying no is not an option. (Thomas and Baker, 2008)

Those mind sets include the opposite of what agile development stands for. (Thomas and Baker, 2008)

Agile developed projects work from one sub-product or increment to the next and accept no detail planning beforehand at all. (Gloger, 2009)

This area of conflict brings up the question, whether agile developed projects are suitable for prioritization and monitoring within a portfolio of such. Other questions that will be answered in this article are: Which KPI’s are needed in classical portfolio management and can they be used with an agile approach? Why can some not be used? And what has to be changed to close the gap?

To answer those questions each KPI has been individually analyzed and solutions to close the gap have been elaborated. Those results have been discussed with experts to substantiate the developed KPIs.


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Editor’s note: Second Editions are previously published papers that have continued relevance in today’s project management world, or which were originally published in conference proceedings or in a language other than English. Original publication acknowledged; authors retain copyright. This paper was originally presented at the 6th Scientific Conference on Project Management in the Baltic States, University of Latvia, April 2017. It is republished here with the permission of the author and conference organizers

About the Authors

Philipp Rosenberger

Vienna, Austria


Philipp Rosenberger
is a lecturer at FH Campus Vienna at master program technical management focusing on IT project management in an agile development context. After many years in aftersales and business consulting as well as project management and especially IT project management development in Europe and China, he got into the financial sector, managing the implementation of a current account financial product implementation project at ING DiBa Online bank in Vienna and in parallel starting his consulting company ROSCON.at. Philipp now focuses on scientific research of hybrid IT project management models, fulfilling the both needs of a tightly managed classical project regarding budget, cost, quality, predictability and reliability, as well as the needs of an agile culture in the development part of the project. Philipp can be contacted at mailto:[email protected]


Katharina Struzl

Vienna, Austria



Katharina Struzl
is an IT project manager and business analyst for planning systems in the telecommunication company A1 Telekom Austria AG in Vienna. Before that she was working as a portfolio manager for the same company, managing the IT project portfolio. She has gained a BSc in internet technology and is currently finishing her Master of Science in technical management at the FH Campus Wien. She has managed the IT part on a number of different projects.