By Suhui Chen, SmartOrg
Strategic portfolio management (SPM) is a powerful technique for making systematic decisions that increase the value of one’s innovation and product development efforts. As Head of Solutions and Product at SmartOrg, I would like to introduce various tools we offer to help you learn more about the theory and practice of SPM.
The first tool on the list is this ValuePoint newsletter. Every month, SmartOrg delivers to your email inbox a packet of information to help you learn more about SPM and its applications. You can browse the archive of past issues of ValuePoint, and if you are not currently a subscriber, you can join our delivery list.
On the SmartOrg website, you will find a resource library containing case studies, white papers, and educational videos. You can browse through these to find information on key SPM techniques and applications.
Under the Resources menu, you’ll also find a couple of interactive tools that illustrate some basic principles of SPM.
A company’s portfolio of innovation and new product development projects is its engine for growth. New products and product and technology innovations replace products that are winding down and they provide the company a way into expanded and new markets. The Portfolio Power Calculator lets you get a rough estimate of how well your portfolio of innovation and product development projects will help you meet your growth goals.
A key concept of SPM is that a growth portfolio is not a collection of multiple safe bets: the risk of a portfolio is not a simple sum of the risks of the projects in that portfolio. SmartOrg designed the Portfolio Game to help you learn this concept through a simple simulation. It uses virtual dice to simulate the different risks associated with different types of projects, the same four types that the Portfolio Power Calculator uses. In the Portfolio Game, you can see that the value of a portfolio of risky but high-return projects generally exceeds the value of a portfolio of low-risk, low-return projects. We also offer a classroom version of the portfolio game, a memorable experience for participants even after 10 years.
Also in the Resources menu is a link to SmartOrg’s educational courses. The current course curriculum includes:
- Decision Quality
- Portfolio Analytics
- ligning Finance and Innovation, Part 1
These courses will take you through the basics of decision analysis, its application to SPM, and the role of SPM in driving meaningful conversations between Finance and Innovation about where and how much to invest to uncover hidden upside value and drive growth. They are each formatted as a series of short video presentations, with some interactive exercises and unit quizzes that aid in and verify your mastery of the material.
When you are ready to apply these lessons directly to your organization, you can turn to SmartOrg for practical workshops, either at SmartOrg’s San Jose offices or on-site at your facilities. SmartOrg offers workshops in:
- Portfolio Strategy
- Innovation Strategy
- Product Definition
- Portfolio Decision Making
These can be customized to your needs. We can conduct general educational workshops, or we can design them to help you reach real decisions specific to your portfolio and your unique challenges.
Should you turn to SmartOrg to provide you with its web-based portfolio evaluation platform to support your business processes, we will also provide you with training in the use of the platform. Training is designed to meet the specific needs of the various stakeholders in your organization, from the system operators to the portfolio managers to the executive decision-makers.
SmartOrg has a dedicated support center for our software clients. It contains resources on software how-tos, decision analysis and portfolio management, and FAQs when using the software. It serves as a bridge between clients and SmartOrg. You can submit a ticket through the support center when you need help using the system. If you are an existing client, you will see more content once you log on through our software.
I invite you to contact me to inquire about these learning tools and how you can use them in your organization to drive breakthrough growth.