Portfolio Question #6

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Is the portfolio balanced by phase and by expected launch date?

Last week we wrote about many different dimensions of balance in innovation portfolio management. Ensuring a healthy mix of initiatives that vary by risk and reward, technology, and geography are all important. Another key balance question is that of the timing of your innovation initiatives.

During your next portfolio review, you should create two views of your development pipeline. One is initiatives by development phase. A bubble chart of this view will allow you to use bubble size and colors to show investment levels, expected revenues or product lines. The second chart is initiatives by months away from expected launch date. This one is arguably more important than the first because it shows the expected cadence of new products hitting the market.

The visual depiction of these analyses often look like sine waves. That will cause problems for the business functions downstream that execute launch and support the innovation in market. It is easy to spot bottlenecks early and make adjustments to expected launch dates and associated business cases.

By continually monitoring your portfolio to ensure that it is balanced by development phase and expected launch date you can help ensure a steady stream of innovation that will drive growth without over taxing your organization.