Delivering Business ValueLean IT

What is Application Portfolio Management?

I will define APM by asking a series of questions.  If you can answer these questions then you are successful at Application Portfolio Management.  Many organizations cannot answer many of these questions.

The first step in Application Portfolio Management is to assess existing applications to answer the following questions.  Based on the answers, there should be a decision to retire, replace, remediate, or ignore the application.  Additionally, processes should be implemented to conduct this review on a regular basis because business needs change and so does their perception of value.

  1. What applications do you support and operate?
  2. When do they run?
  3. Who uses them?
  4. How much do they cost to operate and support?
  5. What business processes are supported by each application?
  6. What is the business’ perception of the value is provided by each application?
  7. What is IT’s perception of the value is provided by each application?
  8. What are the risks associated with the continued operation of each application? (Obsolete Technology, complexity, manual intervention, operations costs)
  9. What knowledge is required to use the applications?
  10. What knowledge is required to support the applications?
  11. Is the knowledge available?
  12. What application functions are not being used?
  13. What are the most critical application functions and why?
  14. How much functional and data redundancy exists across the applications?
  15. What is the justification for the redundancies?
  16. When should the application be replaced?
  17. Who is the primary business decision-maker for each application?
  18. Which IT group supports each application?
  19. What are the relationships/dependencies across applications?
  20. Is there a process for retiring applications?
  21. Who owns responsibility for application retirement?
  22. How reliable is each application?

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