This series of papers has been developed from our work in upgrading TenStep's PortfolioStep™. For more information on TenStep's internal consulting methodology, please visit http://

Published here October, 2007.

PART 1 | PREPARE Phase, Steps 1 & 2 | PLAN Phase, Steps 3 & 4
PLAN Phase, Steps 5 & 6 | EXECUTE Phase, Steps 7 & 8
HARVEST Phase, Steps 9 & 10 | PART 3

EXECUTE Phase, Steps 7 & 8

Step 7 - Authorize the Work (Authorization)

After the Balancing step, the work thus finally selected is authorized for the coming year. This process lists and sets aside requisite budget and resources to carry out the selected work. This is not necessarily a guarantee that the work will be funded because changes in business conditions or newly surfaced work during the year could bump some authorized work off this approved list. However, all things being equal, authorized work will be scheduled and executed during the year.

Step 8 - Plan and Execute the Work (Activation)

Activation is the process of actually scheduling and executing the work throughout the year. In this Activation step, managers build schedules to start and complete as much of the approved work as possible. Operations and support staff are in place at the start of the year and will be in place all year.

Obviously, you cannot start all projects at once at the beginning of the year otherwise at some point everyone will be overloaded.

If did try to schedule all your projects to start at once, you would have to hire more staff for the peak workload, and then have them idle during the slower time. Hence, projects and other work need to be scheduled throughout the year based on business urgency, availability of staff and/or the logical relationships of outputs. Just as with resource leveling in project management, this is rather like assembling a jigsaw where everything must fit together.

This Activation step should also contain a mini-Business Plan Process to account for new and unexpected work that arises during the year. Such work also needs to be selected, prioritized and authorized. If new work is authorized, it may mean that some work that was previously authorized will need to be delayed or even canceled.

So, Activation includes keeping track of old projects to track value metrics and lifecycle costs, as well as keeping track of future work to ensure that all work Authorizations and Activation is scheduled appropriately based on business priorities and availability of staff.

PLAN Phase, Steps 5 & 6  PLAN Phase, Steps 5 & 6

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