Agile, Ambidextrous, and Adaptive – Empirical Findings on Triple-A Portfolio Management

Alexander Kock

Companies not only have to manage individual projects right, but above all they must implement the right projects. Especially in the current time of crisis, effective project portfolio management (PPM) is a key competitive advantage for enforcing priorities and being able to react flexibly to a changing environment. However, times of high environmental turbulence require a new type of PPM. Triple-A Portfolio Management is agile, ambidextrous, and adaptive: Agile not only means agile single project management but agile decision-making processes at the portfolio level. Ambidextrous means simultaneously exploiting existing innovation positions and building up new innovation potentials. Adaptive means creating a long-term but still unknown future with projects through strategic flexibility, the use of new emerging strategic paths, and thinking in options. The research group around Prof. Alexander Kock and Prof. Hans Georg Gemünden has been investigating PPM’s critical success factors for over a decade. In close cooperation with practice, they conduct a biennial PPM benchmarking study to empirically investigate successful methods, structures, and processes of PPM. In this presentation, Prof. Kock presents the study’s most important findings and explains which practices distinguish top performers from low performers.