Are there white space opportunities that are not being addressed?
The final question we should ask at the conclusion of a comprehensive portfolio review is “what’s missing?” The conversation at a typical review is dominated by what is in the pipeline. We look at what’s in front of us and ask questions of strategic alignment, resource capacity, value, mix and balance.
The final question should be focused on what is not there.
I like concluding reviews with this question because it reorients the members of the portfolio review committee on the greater business opportunity that might be available to the organization. This will provide direction and guidance to the group responsible for the front end of the innovation process. By being proactive and directing this group to explore specific market opportunities, we can avoid the self-perpetuating out-of-balance loop that we can never seem to break.
Identifying new opportunities and charting a course for the exploration of them is a fine way to conclude any review of an innovation portfolio.