The Ultimate Portfolio Strategy for Your IT Training Business

I never considered myself as someone who would write about football. It is a sport that is completely out of my sphere of interest. At the same time, there is an interesting analogy between football and building the perfect portfolio for IT training organizations.

A football team consists of a goalkeeper, a strong defense, midfielders, and forwards. Your goalkeeper is your last line of defense. He collaborates with the defenders to keep you safe at the back. The midfielders are responsible for the transition from defense to attack and your forwards create excitement by scoring goals and well, missing a few chances.

The coach typically determines the formation and decides on a more offensive or defensive strategy. Influential factors include the opponent, the availability of players, or the level of skills the players possess. Whichever strategy is chosen, the team will only be successful if there is a good balance within the team and a clearly aligned strategy.

From Football to IT training

Managing an IT training business is a different endeavor from managing a football team. However, there are similarities. As an IT training business, you need a strong defensive, transformational and frontier portfolio. The titles you carry coupled with the strategy that you are following determines how successful you are in the market.

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4-4-2

A balanced portfolio with a sufficient focus on your core markets; a number of initiatives to expand into known territories and a few initiatives to venture into new domains.

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5-3-2

Strong defensive portfolio; your focus is on your core markets and core portfolios.

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Offensive portfolio; you are investing in portfolio expansion and are focused on emerging markets with new products

Defense

Your defenders represent the current portfolio that you are offering. This is the portfolio that ensures your company keeps going. You are going to nurture it to counter any attacks from your competition, be it new providers or new and emerging portfolios. If you have an ITIL focused portfolio, you may decide to replace a program if it is not performing well and nurture the ones that are performing well.

Midfield

In the midfield, you have more choices. There are many titles available in the IT certification business and you may choose to switch between offensive and defensive titles depending on your strategy. A good coach will always deploy the right mix of experienced and proven certification programs. Following the ITIL example, this is where you could think of portfolios like ISO/IEC 20000, HDI, Kepner Tregoe, Control-IT, as more defensive programs and portfolios like Agile, Lean as offensive titles.

Strikers

Strikers include your young, ambitious, energetic and forward-looking titles. They can keep you up at night because they come with a level of unpredictability and uncertainty of success. But if you select the right ones they will bring you glory. Here again you have the luxury of choice. However, you need to recognize that they are very different from your defensive portfolio. The ITIL oriented company could look into areas like DevOps, RESILIA, Cloud and Big Data as examples.

ITpreneurs – Home Stadium of IT Training Programs

Every football team needs a home stadium and so do IT training programs. ITpreneurs provides a home for IT certification programs and IT training workshops. We have multiple choices available for all your open positions. Offering the most comprehensive portfolio of IT training courses in the market, we can help you switch between defensive and offensive portfolios or replace titles that are not performing well. Our portfolio is growing every day as we continue to scout for new talent while nurturing existing success stories.

Gain exclusive access to our large library of training content with 1000s of titles in over 12 different languages.

Note from the author

I thought of the football analogy under the shower one day. While googling, I actually came across some related articles where football is associated with Investment portfolios which inspired me to write this article:

Football & Portfolio Implementation – ensuring a perfect line-up by Yacine Zerizef

What football can teach about the art of portfolio construction by Edward Croft

Thank you, Yacine and Edward.

Arjan Woertman

Arjan Woertman is the product portfolio director for ITpreneurs. Since starting his tenure at ITpreneurs in 2001, Arjan has lead a number of key initiatives within ITpreneurs including the launch of the IT Governance portfolio, the ITIL Expert Program, Metricus, and other leading programs in ITpreneurs. In his role as VP of R&D he is responsible for nurturing the existing portfolio of learning solutions and expanding the portfolio to include relevant IT management frameworks.