Big Growth Goals
SmartOrg knows that if one of our customers has a problem, there’s a good chance another of our customers has already solved it. SmartOrg held an inaugural Community of Practice event to let its client base of innovation portfolio managers benefit from each other’s experience and draw valuable lessons about how SmartOrg supports their work.
Benchmarking the Innovation Portfolio Process
The participants collectively rated themselves strongest in Governance and Prioritization and in Annual Planning and Budgeting. Of those two dimensions, however, the participants felt that Governance and Prioritization was a bigger win–that is, improvement in this area offered greater benefits to the innovation process. Other dimensions they mentioned as wins were Driving Upside Innovation and Resource Planning.
So they made a major effort to increase their portfolio’s power to generate revenues. They killed some White Elephant projects. They created a venture committee at the executive level to oversee Oysters and Pearls. They added an upside exploitation plan to their governance process: the scope of the plan was to exploit fully the growth potential of each platform opportunity, and the plan outlined the steps to drive market penetration, market share and margin. Their effort converted many Bread and Butter and White Elephant projects to Oysters.
They succeeded in raising the effective power of their innovation portfolio, increasing the revenue per innovation project from $11 million to $40 million. In turn, that grew the revenue impact of the portfolio from $350 million to $900 million with just $42 million of additional investment.
Discoveries from Peer-to-Peer Coaching
One challenge was to reinforce proper innovation portfolio balance by realigning top executives’ scorecards with the timescale, risk and innovation investment in each business. Another challenge was looking beyond adjacent markets and in-house technical innovations and finding actionable Oyster projects in industry trends and corporate strategic objectives. A third was a new business model innovation project to build on a core technological competency.
Participants took away useful ideas and a new enthusiasm to apply to their challenges. As importantly, they gained access to peers able and willing to give them further advice and support.
Into the Future
The Community of Practice will be a regular fixture on SmartOrg’s calendar going forward. Lessons from future CoP events will benefit all of SmartOrg’s customers.
Community of Practice
- Shared experiences in strategic portfolio management
- Working together on common issues
- Peer-to-peer coaching
- Creating a future roadmap for the CoP