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Initiating a New Investment - Attributes to Consider

Summary

This best practice offers suggestions for data and attributes to consider when proposing new project and program investments. When assessing an investment against others in a portfolio, it is useful to apply a number of attributes or lenses.

For instance, you could have an attribute to help classify investments at the highest level, such as:

  • Base services
  • Mandatory or regulatory in nature
  • Discretionary

This is an initial way to assess and balance management objectives across an organization, based on the following types of work:

Base services investments typically represent the largest percentage of the overall budget for the organization. It is made up of all of the "keep-the-lights-on" spending and other supporting service related efforts. Because these investments are a major financial commitment, world-class organizations focus on efficiency improvements for their base services portfolios.

Mandatory or regulatory objectives are simply that – efforts taken by the organization that are intended to accomplish mission-critical functions. These may be business critical, regulatory in nature, or mandated by corporate management.

Discretionary services are unique opportunities that should be accomplished to further the strategic goals of the organization. These are based on relative priority and tangible and intangible business value. Taken individually, these objectives may or may not impact the overall functioning of the business directly, but they should have some tie to business value.

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