The Decentralized Approach
What Is It?
At a certain size, centralization only slows down an organization. While organizations may start with only a few decisions makers, the more it grows, the more the decision-making will need to be decentralized. This is the only way to avoid bottlenecks and maintain the adaptability needed to compete in the marketplace. The Decentralized Approach works by breaking down projects by department, business unit or sometimes even teams. This effectively creates mini-organizations that make up an entire company.
These mini-organizations will assume the responsibility for projects and the prioritization of projects within their own mini-organization. By doing this, the number of projects for prioritization by one person or body decreases to a more reasonable number. Each mini-organization can use whatever prioritization method they see fit and they will show their projects to a portfolio board or other decision-making body to obtain approval, budgets and resources.
When the portfolio board doesn’t have to evaluate every project, the approvals process happens much more quickly and frees up more of their time. It may take some time for portfolio board members to adjust to the decentralization, but they still have control over the budgets and resources assigned to each mini-organization so they can assure alignment to the corporate strategy.