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September 2012

What's the Right Innovation Mix?

Coffee Talk: On beach in Hawaii with the Product Portfolio Mavens featuring the Spike Awards

Aloha. Last month we introduced a new video series on the Planview YouTube Channel called "Coffee Talk" -- all about the latest news and trends taking place in innovation and Product Portfolio Management (PPM). This month the "Talk" comes to you from Hawaii.

Coffee Talk in Hawaii: HBR on Innovation & SPIKE Awards
Pamela Soin and Carrie Nauyalis

In this latest episode the Mavens, Carrie Nauyalis, NPD Solutions Marketing Manager at Planview, and Pamela Soin, Portfolio and Pipeline Management Practice Lead at Kalypso, delve again into innovation and social media tools. They kick off discussing the Harvard Business Review article, "Managing Your Innovation Portfolio" by Bansi Nagji and Geoff Tuff -- a good read as it provides food for thought around maintaining the right balance between resources and innovation. But the big question is do the mavens agree with the article's stance that applying the Stage-Gate® process to the transformational plan could be lethal? Check out the video to find out.

Keeping with their promise to inform you of events and hot topics, the Mavens also share their thoughts on the value of the upcoming SPIKE Awards. If your company uses social strategies, processes and the supporting technologies to improve innovation, product development, and product management -- or you just want to learn more about this topic -- you'll want to tune in.

And stay tuned in as the Product Pulse blog is the place for Coffee Talk episode summaries. Be sure to check back soon for "Coffee Talk" from Egypt covering Tech-Clarity's new whitepaper authored by Jim Brown titled "Meeting Fixed Product Launch Windows," the PDMA 2012 PIM reception in Orlando, market news, and PDPM chat on Twitter.

Do you have a topic you'd like the Product Portfolio Mavens to deliberate? Want to recommend a fabulous location for a future talk? Post a comment with your suggestions.

Hitting Launch Windows When Time to Market is Non-Negotiable

In a recently released research paper, Issue in Focus: Meeting Fixed Product Launch Windows analyst Jim Brown, Founder and President, Tech-Clarity, Inc., talks about how companies can use Product Portfolio Management (PPM) applications to hit timely product launch deadlines to improve new product development and overall performance. Conversations with product developers and the immediate interest in the paper revealed that he'd hit a nerve -- and has relevant solutions to share!

Product developers are very aware of the pressure organizations experience when challenged to meet fixed product launch windows. For example, consumer goods companies typically launch new product lines for the holidays or a particular buying season and, therefore, have pretty-much immovable deadlines. If a company misses the launch deadline, it may experience detrimental impacts to the business including a dead product, financial loss, and missed opportunity to achieve a competitive advantage -- not a good outcome for any product-driven organization.

I appreciate how Jim outlines some very specific steps you can take to improve your odds of hitting those windows. A few he outlines are:

  • Adopt a disciplined, end-to-end portfolio management process
  • Ruthlessly prioritize investments
  • Diligently balance plans with available resources
  • Manage risk and uncertainty and plan to fail (or succeed) early
  • Standardize execution processes, metrics, and deliverables

The report delves into more solutions -- not just the "what" but the "how", i.e., how do I prioritize, how do I most effectively manage my resources? Among the approaches discussed, he describes how PPM systems help support these steps.

Download the complete paper and discover ways to improve your new product development performance with a goal of hitting those launch windows. You can also view a popular on-demand webcast hosted by CGT and featuring Jim Brown of Tech-Clarity, Monica Alderson of Hallmark Cards and Carrie Nauyalis of Planview. Check back for our blog entry on this webcast -- a dynamic dialogue offering tested and true approaches for consistently hitting product launch windows.

I'd like to hear from you. I encourage you to read Jim's suggestions and share your feedback. What tips can you share with peers to help them consistently hit launch dates? Please respond by leaving a comment below.