SmartOrg’s 2019 in Review

ValuePoint special edition

Goodbye 2019 and the phenomenal 2010s

Hello there!! Another amazing year has been recorded to the history books. We want to end this amazing year by thanking you for all the incredible conversations and interactions that inspire us to keep bringing you valuable project and portfolio insights.  Because you’re made this year so fun for us, we wanted to share some of last year’s memorable moments with you, so let’s take a trip down memory lane and look at some of the events and activities from this year. 

January - SmartOrg Webinar with Henry Bryndza of DuPont Science & Innovation

January - SmartOrg Webinar with Henry Bryndza of DuPont Science & Innovation

In January, Henry Bryndza of DuPont Science & Innovation presented a webinar. He showed how DuPont utilized tools and techniques from SmartOrg to revitalize growth in a portfolio of legacy brands like Tyvek, Corian and Kevlar. SmartOrg helped DuPont prioritize its innovation portfolio and focus on upside opportunities with excellent results.

March - New Product Innovation & Development Executive MindXchange (San Diego)

March - New Product Innovation & Development Executive MindXchange (San Diego)

Later in the month, in stark contrast to the snow flurries in Colorado, David Matheson and Ralph Morales III, our Innovation Practice Leader, headed down to San Diego for the Frost & Sullivan New Product Innovation & Development Executive Mind exchange.

Spring 2019 - Corteva!

Corteva Agriscience awarded SmartOrg the contract for their strategic portfolio management system. The design, development, and deployment leveraged the best of the firm with several trips to the Midwest by David, Peter, Dave Wachenschwanz, our Senior Solution Engineer, and Ralph while the development team toiled back in San Jose at the office in support of new features like Microsoft Single Sign-On, database widgets, a customized company program overview, and a host of new advanced analytics operations.

August - SmartOrg Annual Retreat (Santa Cruz)

August - SmartOrg Annual Retreat (Santa Cruz)

In August, the entire SmartOrg team went to the Chaminade Resort in the hills above Santa Cruz for our annual retreat. We spent several days in company-wide and departmental strategy discussions and in team building exercises. We set priorities for our product roadmap in Fiscal Year 2020.

August - SmartOrg Annual Retreat Group Activity (Scotts Valley)

August - SmartOrg Annual Retreat Group Activity (Scotts Valley)

David Matheson makes a custom chocolate bar at our group activity at Ashby Confections. Tastiest team-building exercise EVER!

August - SmartOrg Annual Retreat Team Building Exercise (Felton)

August - SmartOrg Annual Retreat Team Building Exercise (Felton)

We began our retreat with a team building exercise in the Santa Cruz Redwoods, a lot of fun. No one fell from great heights!

October - FEI Digital Week (Webinar)

October - FEI Digital Week (Webinar)

SmartOrg’s Innovation Evangelist, presented a webinar (produced by KNect365 as part of FEI Digital Week). He used his experience at HP to illustrate the paramount role of evidence in innovation. He demonstrated that it’s important at different stages of the innovation process to respect the value of evidence and to weigh the evidence of value.

October - F50 Global Capital Summit (Menlo Park)

October - F50 Global Capital Summit (Menlo Park)

“When someone asks for help, give them a hand!” – Ralph III So when David Cao, CEO of the F50 Accelerator, reached out for a charismatic master of ceremonies, Ralph offered to help by keeping the speakers on track and the audience engaged. Vish Mishra, Venture Capitalist, gave sage advice to innovators on why to start a company….to uplift others. KG Charles, CEO at Quarrio declared “Data is not information!! Information has context, which is highly relevant to decision making.” And the Design Thinking panel agreed on a couple points: Design is adept at illuminating the invisible (emotions/meaning) all in service of creating value. Maintain eye contact–it literally wires your brain differently and releases chemicals that enhance engagement.

October - Halloween (San Jose)

October - Halloween (San Jose)

SmartOrg’s offices were visited by RexIt Ralph, a fearsome but mostly funny office troll. After much chicanery in the office, it spread the love to our 9th floor neighbors, where high networth clients and online marketers wondered: “What kind of consulting does SmartOrg do?”

Our team grew in 2019 (San Jose)

Our team grew in 2019 (San Jose)

Ying Lin (Left) joined the SmartOrg software development team in 2019 and Teresa Parmele (Right) of the Bend Ridge Group is managing our digital marketing initiatives.

March - DAAG Conference (Denver)

March - DAAG Conference (Denver)

SmartOrg continued its long tradition of support for the Society of Decision Professionals (DAAG) by presenting at the 2019 DAAG Conference in Denver, CO. We led several sessions at the conference. Suhui Chen, our Head of Solutions and Product, chaired a panel on building data products as well as co-presenting a workshop on Agile Innovation with David.

March - New Product Innovation & Development Executive MindXchange (San Diego)

March - New Product Innovation & Development Executive MindXchange (San Diego)

David led a participant Think Tank on decluttering portfolios to uncover the cost of inefficient innovation. Ashok Chetty, A DuPont Innovation Leader, gave a Keynote presentation on a better way to conduct Strategic Portfolio Management rather than using the MOAS[1] approach. We made new friends–Raul Kaufmann (Google), Matt Wolfe (Honda), and John Patrin.

[1] MOAS (Noun): Mother of All Spreadsheets. Typically a single Excel file with an army of tabs, columns, or rows where the logic of what is calculated is lost.

May – Front End of Innovation conference (Boston)

May – Front End of Innovation conference (Boston)

SmartOrg was accompanied to KNect365’s Front End of Innovation conference in Boston by two of our key customers, DuPont and Corteva Agriscience. Above, SmartOrg President & CEO David Matheson, right, interviews Neal Gutterson of Corteva, left, and Alexa Dembek of DuPont, center. Each of these two CTOs also led their own sessions that described how SmartOrg helped them achieve their business goals.

August - SmartOrg Annual Retreat (Santa Cruz)

August - SmartOrg Annual Retreat (Santa Cruz)

Our beloved Peter McNamee retired! At his retirement dinner held during our retreat we honored Peter with a decorative heart award, symbolic of Peter being seen as the heart of SmartOrg since its founding nearly 20 years ago. This reward was a small token of appreciation for all his years of dedication, support and loyalty to the company and its employees.

October – Community of Practice Event (Boston)

October – Community of Practice Event (Boston)

What are these people from Fidelity Investments, ExxonMobil, Google, Bose, DuPont, MITRE, Corteva, the Kostas Center for Homeland Security and Rogers Corp doing in a drone testing facility at Northeastern University?
At this invitation-only 4th annual Community of Practice (CoP) for Strategic Portfolio Management held in Boston, executives from both customers and non-customers alike came together in an intimate, confidential setting to share the experiences and knowledge they’ve gained in their portfolio management journeys.
PARTICIPANTS SAID:
“The strongest lesson I took is that to have a great portfolio, you have to be willing to say no to good projects.”
“The discipline around portfolio management is much more about culture change than reporting and analytics.”
“The thing that sticks out for me is the importance of dedicating time to portfolio strategy versus individual initiative governance.”

October - Lean Startup Conference (San Francisco)

October - Lean Startup Conference (San Francisco)

Right after the FEI Digital Week webinar, SmartOrg exhibited at the Lean Startup 2019 conference in San Francisco. Ralph led an interactive session on the value of evidence in innovation. Above, left to right, are David Wachenschwanz, SmartOrg’s Director of Solutions Engineering, David Matheson, and Ralph Morales III.

November - Back End of Innovation conference (Las Vegas)

November - Back End of Innovation conference (Las Vegas)

At the KNect365 Back End of Innovation conference in Las Vegas, SmartOrg presented sessions on innovation and portfolio management. Cory Christensen, a portfolio leader for Disruptive Business Innovation gave advice on building an Innovation Incubator, which we had helped deploy back in the spring. One of the more interesting parts of the conference was the Hall of Horrors, where various practitioners shared their stores of innovation programs that went haywire and the lessons they learned. Some epic failures of leadership, technology, and decision making were disclosed

Holiday Party! (Palo Alto)

Holiday Party! (Palo Alto)

The SmartOrg team celebrated the holiday season and year-end with a dinner party at David’s home. It was a festive occasion with delicious food and plenty of laughter.

2019 was a great year for us and we hope it was great for you too. Thank you again for all the support–we’re really looking to continuing our product development and expansion into the innovation domain.  Welcome to the next decade and Happy New Year!!!!