Why Portfolio Management is Crucial to App Development at Scale

In our most recent webinar – Unlocking Growth Through Portfolio Management – we spoke with Mendix application portfolio management experts and Kevin Ferreira, IT Global Product Owner of Mendix at Jabil. With over 70 Mendix applications in various stages of development, Ferreira and his team know what a good application portfolio management practice looks like.

What is the purpose of portfolio management?

Portfolio management is vital to successfully scale your ability to ideate, develop, and deliver the apps your organization needs to stay competitive in your marketplace and digitally transform.

The challenges of scaling app development

While low-code provides advantages when developing compelling software solutions, it’s not always enough to ease the pressure of keeping up with demand.

With a glut of requests and ever-evolving tech trends, it can be tough to identify the right apps to work on and in what priority. On top of this, constant changes in funding, under-resourcing, or governance adherence can make it difficult to shuffle priorities and ensure apps are continually in compliance.

These challenges correlate to traditional development methods. Ferreira describes what his team encounters trying to meet software demand: “It’s ways of working, our traditional development and feedback. It’s slow, it takes a lot of time. It’s hard to get speed-to-market.”

Creating value in app development through the 5 Ps

So what’s the solution? Our Digital Execution Practice is centered around what we call the five Ps: People, Process, Portfolio, Platform, and Promotion.

Activities around portfolio include:

  • Identifying and capturing high-impact initiatives
  • Creating a roadmap to prioritize
  • Tracking value delivery

In fact, we have found these actions to be an important part of what we call the “continuous collaboration loop.

The better you manage your portfolio, the smoother your software development lifecycle is. And what is the benefit of a tighter, more aligned portfolio management practice?


How you approach value is a key to your portfolio management. “We’ve spent a lot of time internally discussing value realization,” says Ferreira on the importance of a new approach to value. “We’ve spent a lot of time [on] how we can realize value and change our thinking.”

You can quickly and more easily identify applications that connect back to your business’s strategy.

The applications that comprise your portfolio should roll up into your strategic impact while also having varied use cases:

  • Operational efficiency
  • Revenue channels/generators
  • Customer engagement enhancements
  • Automation

The Mendix Portfolio Management Tool

So, if portfolio management is the solution, how does Mendix help you do it?

We recently released our own Portfolio Management Tool (check out the webinar for a demo!). Essentially, this does all the things you would expect from a portfolio management tool. Every feature is designed to help you:

  • Better prioritize and track your Mendix apps
  • Adhere to company governance,
  • Ensure that you’re creating strategic value all the time

While the Portfolio Management Tool was just released with Mendix 10, Ferreira and his team at Jabil took the opportunity to dig into it and see how they could use it for their own benefit.

Jabil has been able to tackle a wide variety of use cases with Mendix, such as:

  • A global quoting template for all of their various business units. This was launched a few months ago, and they are already going back into ideation to figure out how to add more features for other business segments and what else is needed to make it more useful.
  • An application for a security team that allows people to request access to different buildings or wherever they need to go.
  • Along the same lines, a catering application to smooth out the process of ordering seats in a cafeteria for business visitors or parties, etc.

We have found project management to be a crucial bridge between strategy, process execution, and value realization. By spotlighting it, we hope to help you find your way to that sweet spot that opens up growth in development.

Watch the recorded webinar to learn more about app portfolio management with Mendix.