Every company wants to produce and maintain leading edge products, but picking the right projects is critical and complex, which means you need the right tools.
Portfolio Management is about choosing the right projects, and getting them right. It enables you to evaluate, select and prioritize projects in an objective way, based on information and facts.
Gartner describes Product portfolio and program management (PPM) as “the continuous cultivation of a product set and the set of capabilities to prioritize and manage product development programs. Software that supports portfolio management assists in analyzing and reporting risks versus opportunities, and it makes these analyses and opinions visible to all decision makers. PPM includes dashboards with executive views of decision variables, such as risk, opportunity, resource allocation, investments, product-revenue performance and customer acceptance. For decision-making teams, this visibility makes the selection of product investments more objective. It also helps manufacturers to systematically allocate resources for product life cycle support. This category also includes project/program management capabilities to monitor the progress of product development programs and make adjustments when teams encounter bottlenecks or other difficulties.”
Gartner also describes PPM Software as software that supports the selection, planning and execution of a variety of different work packages or containers, including, but not limited to, traditional projects. They often fold in collaboration and communication capabilities and allow work teams and project offices to report, monitor and identify course correction in resource-intensive project and work environments. Providers included in this market offer these capabilities directly through their own products, but frequently recognize that specific integration points may also be needed to connect niche tools or data sources. The PPM capabilities identified as essential or critical include:
Project demand management • Project planning and management • Time management • Resource management • Resource capacity planning • Project portfolio management • Project collaboration • Program management • Reporting services • Security and user management • Integration • Usability
When implemented properly, Portfolio Management enables you to objectively select resources, manage risk and maximise the return on your projects:
- Maximize long term value
- Align projects to strategy
- Optimize value vs risk
- Visualize entire portfolio
- See and adjust balance
- Shape future market focus
- Allocate resources effectively
Why is Product Portfolio Management so Important?
A study by A.C Nielsen reveals that best results come from companies who use an idea-to-launch system that features rigorous stages, gates and gatekeepers. These systems incorporate critical success drivers and best practices to accelerate their efforts and improve product success rates.
Getting projects to market is complex and problematic and requires good management and good tools. The latest Portfolio Management software will incorporate a strong business case and be aligned with your business strategy, considering investment, customer need, likely return and risk level. It will ensure that there is a good balance of your whole portfolio, thus allowing you to allocate resources accordingly. Businesses that use Portfolio Management have a far better balance of projects and resources, both in the short term and long term, all of which successfully mirror the business strategy.
Businesses that don’t use Portfolio Management face a myriad of problems. They will often have far too many projects underway, and not necessarily the right ones. Often projects don’t meet business objective and are not aligned with the innovation strategy, and resources are spread thinly across all the projects. There is a lack of project visibility and access to data for all relevant team members. We also find that businesses become too consumed by low value, or ‘sure bets’ projects, meaning there is not enough resources available for bolder, riskier projects.
The best Product Portfolio Management software will incorporate extensive project management tools, such as effective gates, scorecards, productivity index, road mapping, risks and issues log, and timescales. You can access interactive live data, integrated resource management and financial assessments, as well as document management and team collaboration. All of which will help you select and prioritized your projects, reduce costs and time to market and increase revenue.