Individually, cross-functional team make-up and Portfolio Management (PM) are each considered critical to successful New Product Development (NPD) efforts. Intel* has combined PM with project evaluations by cross-functional teams to achieve significant technology transfer improvements.
Intel* identified best practices for innovation transfer from idea exploration to production.
- “Portfolio Management techniques are used to select and prioritize innovation options.”
- “There must be an appropriate balance between technology push and usage pull for technology solutions.”
- “Technology maturity is best managed via rigorous risk management and life cycle processes.”
- “Strategic roadmapping techniques are effective in linking market, usage, product, and technology strategy.”
- “The presence of a corporate-level technology strategy organization can drive practices one through four.”
Portfolio Management techniques for the Fuzzy Front End rely upon qualitative measures and scoring methods to assess value. The greatest benefit to the organization is gained from the discussion of project elements, such as:
- Strategic Value,
- Competitive Advantage, and
- Customer Pull.
Whereas Portfolio Management is normally a task performed by senior management to ensure NPD efforts align with the Innovation Strategy, Intel incorporated collective intelligence and a collaborative approach to PM. This alternative technique utilizes a cross-functional team of many disciplines and multiple functions who agree to up-front common project selection and prioritization criteria. Via face-to-face discussions, the team debates until a collective project prioritization scheme evolves from the portfolio of new product ideas.
Using the cross-functional team of technologists, strategists, product managers, and product developers, instead of a “behind closed doors management group,” a product portfolio emerged of the highest value technologies and potential innovations. These were the right technologies to implement into the right products with the right market timing.
A key finding from this study was the reduced frequency of reprioritization of the technology portfolio – Intel* reduced prioritization exercises from monthly to annually.
Corporate survival is dependent today on successful and timely NPD. To survive is to introduce a value product to a wanting market with competitive advantage. Intel* has identified PM by cross-functional teams as a competitive advantage. What can your firm learn about Portfolio Management and Teams?
*Russ Martinelli and C.R. Galluzzo, “Using the ‘Wisdom of Crowds’ Concept to Improve Innovation Transfer through the Valley of Death…” PDMA Visions Magazine, Vol. XXXIV, No. 2, July 2010, pg. 28-31.
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Image of computer key courtesy of TechonDec.
originally posted 14 October 2010
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