Portfolio Kanban talk

Here are the slides for my presentation “Portfolio Kanban – Seeing the Bigger Picture”.

I had a great time at AgileWelly last night – thanks everyone for coming along and for all the lovely feedback!

Here’s the blurb for my talk:

Doing too many things at once can slow an entire organisation down. As every successful organisation will have more great ideas than they have capacity to build, it is tempting to start too many of them at the same time. However, too many projects in progress will slow down delivery of each and every one of them.

So, how can we make sure we work to our organisational capacity and don’t try to do too much? How do we make sure we’re working on the important and not just the urgent stuff?  This is where Portfolio Kanban can help: In this session we will explore how Portfolio Kanban can help an organisation prioritise, plan and visually track its projects.

Through the example of Trade Me I will demonstrate the practical application of Portfolio Kanban. I will explore how Trade Me have benefitted from the increased visibility and reduced work in progress, and how they are using Portfolio Kanban to direct the organisation’s Agile teams. Come along and enjoy tales of our successes, challenges and struggles on our (still continuing) journey towards awesome portfolio management.


If you’d like to see this talk live at your organisation please feel free to get in touch. I live in Wellington, New Zealand but sometimes I travel.


Sandy Mamoli
  • Mahesh Singh

    Hi Sandy,

    I enjoyed going thru your presentation. It popped up because you discussed Portfolio Kanban, which I and my organization are interested in.

    As makers of SwiftKanban, and in my role of Product Management, we use Portfolio Kanban using a hierarchical combination of a Roadmapping board and a Development board (with multiple swim lanes) to manage the roadmap and the dev backlog – and ensure that on the one hand, both the management and the dev teams are very clear of what the priorities are for the coming weeks and months; and what the dev team is working on at any point in time, where the bottlenecks are and what needs to be tweaked in order to ensure a smooth flow of features to the market. We adopted Kanban 2 years ago, when we met up with David Anderson (who is now Advisor to the company) and built SwiftKanban :-)

    I am certainly interested in more war stories from your end of your adoption of Kanban. I would also love to have you take a look at SwiftKanban (http://www.swiftkanban.com – there is a free 30-day trial and a perpetually free version for teams up to 20) should the need arise, especially in the context of some of the challenges you mentioned, such as a multi-location team.

    Also, if you happen to be in the Bay Area, it would be great to meet up.

    Best regards,

    Mahesh Singh

    Co-founder/ SVP – Product
    Digité, Inc.

    September 26, 2013 at 4:11 am
    • smamol

      Hi Mahesh,

      Good to hear from you and great to hear you’re doing well in the US.

      I’ll definitely say hi should I travel to the US. Don’t forget to do the same if you come to NZ ;-)


      September 26, 2013 at 10:08 am
  • Andreas Boehmer

    Great presentation, it gives some excellent ideas for creating a portfolio kanban.

    May I ask: when you are talking about which projects to block you show a slide that seems to be a variation of the lean canvas (slide 32). Can you tell me what you use the section “Neighbours” for? Are you referring to competitors and related worlds?


    December 17, 2014 at 6:01 pm

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