Strategy, Decisions, Innovation, Uncertainty | ValuePoint December 2015

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By Don Creswell, SmartOrg

Year-End Review

For more than a decade, ValuePoint has focused on value-based management. During 2015 we continued to explore topics aimed at improving the ability of organizations to make decisions that drive profitable growth. In this, the final issue for 2015, we recap these topics for those readers who missed them during the year.

Aligning Finance, Strategy and Innovation: Parts 1 and 2

Business loves innovation. It is exciting, gets our creative juices flowing; it is our corporate pet. We see opportunity for revenue, envision the impact we will have on the market and how the public will receive our fantastic idea. But, it can be polarizing internally if not properly managed. A panel of senior innovation executives concluded that the (real) work of innovation requires answering three basic questions. Read Part 1. Read Part 2.

The Golden Anniversary of Decision AnalysisDecision Analysis Golden Anniversary

A celebration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Decision Analysis (DA) profession, Jim Matheson (SmartOrg Chairman and CFO), summarizes what had been learned and provides thoughts about the future of DA and its application in meeting today’s business challenges. Read more.

From Gatekeeper to Trusted Counsel

The role of the CFO as a strategic partner to the CEO and board is placing new demands-and creating opportunities-for forward-thinking Chief Financial Officers. A real challenge for many CFOs involves developing a strategic mindset within and outside their organization when much of the past has been heavily weighted toward financials, budgeting, compliance and number-crunching activities. Read more.

Strategic Portfolio Management, a Dynamic Process

The high failure rate of new products and, indeed, of many other R&D projects mandates the use of (strategic) portfolio management to spread one’s bets, balancing risk vs. reward to improve overall return on new product development (NPD). Read more.

Whatever Happened to Long-Range Planning?

Although it looks like the formal term “long-range planning” is more or less out of fashion these days, it exists in many guises. Some call the process “long-range strategic planning.” Some call it “strategic planning.” Others simply call it “forecasting.” Some believe, cynically, that in today’s rapidly changing business environment “long-range” is a futile exercise. There is general agreement that whatever it is called, planning for the future has pretty elastic dimensions. Read more.

There are Portfolios, and Then There are Portfolios

Many companies have yet to recognize the difference between two types of projects/portfolios, employing the term “portfolio management” to each, while failing to recognize the clear difference between the two. Read more.

You Cannot Predict Success But You Can Improve the Odds of Winning

The bottom line: the world is uncertain. You cannot predict the future. There will be winners and there will be losers no matter what you do. The good news is that you can improve your odds of winning by embracing uncertainty. And that is worth a lot of money. Read more.Businessman thinking

More Data than Ever, Incredible Computer Power. Are you making better decisions?

Many companies are just waking up to the realization that there is a vast difference between strategic project and portfolio management (PPM) and operational PPM. Most PPM software applications are optimized for operational PPM but they provide a fairly elementary approach to strategic planning, using various scorecard, heat map and questionnaire approaches. Such approaches are inadequate in that they are highly subjective, foster politics and gamesmanship and can easily lead people in the wrong direction. Read more.

GIGO: Garbage In, Garbage Out: Where Does the Fault Lie?

GIGO is (frequently) used as a pejorative by persons who seek to undermine or deride use of advanced analytical and decision-support systems. GIGO can occur regardless of the system used-Excel documents are particularly prone to GIGO, either by accident or malicious forethought. The same can be said for any input. It is not a device problem. It is a people problem; frequently a company cultural problem. Read more.

Don’t Let Uncertainty, Fear and Ambiguity Inhibit Innovation

As Machiavelli warned centuries ago, one treads a perilous path when posing a new order of things. Today’s innovator faces similar challenges-with his/her organization and from external forces over which he/she has little control. Uncertainty and ambiguity is the norm. Read more.

SmartOrg Appoints International Business Partners

We are pleased to announce the appointment of two new business partners, Markamind and the Fusfeld Group (FGI).

Markamind supports SmartOrg software sales and related consulting activities in Australia.

FGI provides technology forecasting services and customized SmartOrg software solutions to technology clients in the U.S. and Mexico.