“After seeing the impact of that on our senior leadership, I should have done whatever I needed to do to create room in my budget to afford this because it had a profound influence on the value of our portfolio that I hadn’t anticipated.”
What challenges prompted you to ask SmartOrg for help?
“Well, simply that our portfolio it was clear was filled with a lot of small projects, some of them overlapping, and while they were aligned with our strategies, it wasn’t clear they were going to deliver the aspiration that our business was demanding. And so we needed some help when it came to portfolio management.”
Tell us a bit about the work SmartOrg helped you accomplish.
“Well, for us it was an important missing link in what I call the virtuous cycle where in my opinion, everything has to start with business strategy and having a credible well-defined business strategy is by far the most important priority. Developing a technology strategy to support it is next, and making sure that all of your programs and your strategic initiatives align with the where to play, how to win and the important really critical things you’ve set for a portfolio, but where SmartOrg came in is really to fill in that last gap which was, ‘and is your portfolio as you’ve constructed it able to meet the aspirations of your business?’ And so to me, that was the missing element for us, and we started with a portfolio that would not meet our aspirations. And we’ve now gotten to one that will.”
Please share with us a story about working with SmartOrg.
“So, in terms of anecdotes, a couple come to mind. One is that it’s really clear that we’ve gotten outstanding service to try and respond to customer needs. So, whether it’s customizing the software, dealing with inconsistencies, or helping us consider a problem that may not have come up before, I think we’ve gotten outstanding support from the staff, pretty much 24/7, which is really, I think, unprecedented.
“The other thing that I would say, and I’ve mentioned this to some of my colleages, are that SmartOrg is not an inconsequential investment, both in terms of the money that it takes to manage a portfolio as well as of course all of the time that goes into the input and using the data. So it’s a decision that ought to be made carefully. But, after seeing what impact the decision tools, their graphic representations of the portfolio that enable discussions to help you reach decisions, after seeing the impact of that on our senior leadership, I should have done whatever I needed to do to create room in my budget to be able to afford this, because it had a profound influence on the value of our portfolio that I hadn’t anticipated.
“And I guess the other thing that I’m still mystified by is that Dice Game, and how much it continues to be raised by our leadership. It obviously had a lasting impact on their view of portfolio management, and for the life of me, I never expected that.”