Application Portfolio Management

image It's amazing the e-mails I received as a result of the Enterprise Architecture and Application Portfolio Management article and the many posts I have made in relation to APM. To all the responded, Thank You!

The Enterprise Architecture space is littered with tools that are either address niche areas or just provide high level coverage of EA. I look at EA as a facilitating function that encompasses it's own processes but also many other enterprise processes. Since this is the case, it is tough for vendors to address all of these concerns. Often times vendors will build a governance tool or framework that they say is an EA tool. As they say, it's close but no cigar.

So what does this mean? These tools leaves the EA space fragmented and end Enterprise Architects confused. Since I view EA as a facilitating function of many others that means that there isn't just one master EA tool but rather a EA toolbox.  APM is just one of many of the tools in that toolbox.

If you are new to my blog or just need to catchup here is where we are at:

Last month I published MSDN article that I have written for the Application Portfolio Management space.  This primer will walk architects through the synergies between Application Portfolio Management and Enterprise Architecture. The article is titled Integration of Enterprise Architecture and Application Portfolio Management. I hope you enjoy it and provide some of your thoughts and comments on it as well.


Full post:

Other related blog entries:


As I mentioned before I got a ton of responses from internally at Microsoft, customers and you. Thank you for the kind responses and sorry for my delayed response. If you follow my blog you have noticed that I have been a bit busy launching some very comprehensive materials.

The majority of the comments were centered around what are Microsoft's offerings for APM and PPM. There is a lack of awareness on what Microsoft offerings are out there. I think we as Microsoft haven't been doing a good enough job of talking about these solutions. I would like to change that 🙂 It is clear that you are hungry for more information on this space. Remember as we publish guidance we are starting small and working are way along. Keep you comments coming, they are great and help us tailor what we build and publish all that much better!

Here is an overview video that details our product offering in this space:

Video: Application Portfolio Management Overview

There was some activity in the blogosphere on this article.

Eric Swanson writes:

...I would have liked to see suggestions that were more evolutionary. Rather than jumping on Project Portfolio software, I would have liked to see a suggestion to perhaps start simply with spreadsheets and maybe suggest the types of information most likely to deliver the highest value (end of life dates, etc.)...

Eric brings up a great point about how I dive right into the Portfolio software. That was partly by design. Since this is just a primer on EA and APM I do not go into the "How To's" or detailed guidance of APM. That is a much longer article. But... what I am hearing load and clear is that you want more guidance on APM specifically. What Eric eludes to is he is looking for the step by step guidance on how to go from working from multiple Excel spreadsheets to a mature APM tool and practice. I am unaware of any internal Microsoft guidance on the end to end APM guidance. This would fill a big gap. I will keep you updated on this item as I feel this is critical.


Nick Malik writes from his blog:

I decided to take a few minutes of my vacation time to catch up on my reading, and I read through Mike Walker's article on MSDN on APM and EA.  It is an interesting and useful article. (I'd give it a B-).

One thing that I'd like to highlight in the practice of application portfolio management is that of risk management, an area that Mike implicitely touches on, but which I believe is fundamental to the business case of APM.

Nick is absolutely right that I do not talk explicitly about risk management and it's relationship. I encourage you to read Nick's post on this. It is very useful. Your probably asking yourself why I didn't go into these details. Well, as I mentioned in the post that describes the whitepaper (above) this is just a primer on one small aspect (relation of EA activities to APM) of APM. This article just scratches the surface of APM. As many of you know, I am a former EA from a bank. Risk management is hard coded in my brain! I am also a practitioner, I have started an APM practice from scratch and deployed in an enterprise. This topic is near and dear to me. Now, I excluded it because I wanted to describe the breadth of the topic rather than the micro level details. With that said, we should do something around the risk management aspects. I may write a post or a full MSDN article on this later.


More Information on Microsoft's APM tools



Partners to help with APM:

UMT Consulting Group


Tags: Enterprise Architecture

Comments (2)

  1. Welcome to the July 1, 2008 edition of Carnival of Enterprise Architecture (Issue #10). Business Process Management Stephan Grindley presents Enterprise Asset Management Software – a Great Way to Manage posted at Asset Management Articles. Bozidar Spirovski

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