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 dynamic allocation of resources to portfolio priorities is an advanced practice that requires careful analysis and consideration by the portfolio review team. Shifting resources based on changing market dynamics, project status, or different business case assumptions may be the best way to optimize the portfolio for delivered value.
The primary rationale for naming a Chief Innovation Officer is to improve business results from innovation. The main obstacle to improved results is the need to orchestrate activity across business functions. In large organizations, innovation is naturally difficult because it is inherently cross-functional.
Last week in our ongoing series of questions that should be asked and answered during innovation portfolio reviews we talked about identifying constraints and bottlenecks that would prevent us from delivering the portfolio. With the constraints identified, we can now work on optimizing the value we can pull through the innovation pipeline.
Does the portfolio reflect our business strategy? By business unit?
Innovation portfolio reviews are often focused on the numbers. In an earlier post, I wrote about the difficulty of dealing with uncertainty in the projections and estimates we make at the individual initiative level. It is also important to look beyond the numbers and determine whether the allocation of investment and expected return from the innovation pipeline at the corporate level matches your company’s business strategy.