Strategically Manage Product Portfolios
Modern organizations are in a state of constant change. Emerging technologies, evolving customer expectations and a highly competitive environment in most industries means that businesses must be continuously moving forward if they are to remain successful. But that movement has to be strategic, it has to have a clear plan and purpose, and that means that there has to be more to it than simply projects and programs. Today, organizations must also strategically manage product portfolios, and PMOs have a critical role to play there.
Managing Product Lifecycles
For most companies, success comes from a diverse product mix – solutions targeting different customer segments, different markets, focused on different capabilities, at different stages of their lifecycle. This diversity within the product portfolio helps avoid too much specialization and balances risk and performance. But it has to be actively managed.
Much as organizations need a strategic roadmap for their discretionary investments, they need a strategic product roadmap. This outlines product lifecycles from initial development through commercialization, the core sales and production period and the ultimate retirement and replacement. The roadmap shows when new versions will be produced, the dependencies between products and so on.
This product roadmap is a major driver of the strategic portfolio and as such must be integrated with that. Only then can PMOs plan for resource and funding needs, understand where there will be capacity shortfalls or excesses, know when to initiate dependent work and so on. To help them achieve this, PMOs need to be able to rely on powerful EPPM functionality, like that offered by KeyedIn. KeyedIn Enterprise can manage product portfolios as well as project portfolios, roadmaps don’t care what is being planned, and stakeholders need a platform that can integrate as much as possible into one place.
More than Just the Customer
While it’s convenient for organizations to think about budgets in terms of operational and discretionary, and to allocate resources between operations, support and projects, in truth there is only one budget available to deliver everything, and one set of resources. As a result, it is important to be able to manage all investments from a single point. The project portfolio, the external product and service portfolio, internal systems or application portfolio, and so on must all be managed through the same EPPM solution in order to provide a clear picture of where money and resources are being allocated.
This perspective also makes it easier to manage dependencies – new products often require new internal systems, changes to support structures and so on. And it makes it easier for leadership to make the right decisions between continuing to operationally support internal and external products and services or to invest in new options. The PMO is key to this process. They need a capable EPPM solution to help them model options, identify risks, flag opportunities and threats around resources and schedules and so on. Only when they have access to this level of insight in their EPPM solution can they make the best recommendation to leadership, resulting in the best investments and the best performance.
Minimizing Time to Commercialization
At the pace of today’s business, many industries find themselves with ever shortening product lifecycles. To optimize returns it is essential that they are able to consistently minimize the time needed to get from ideation to commercialization, and that can only happen when every element of product development is aligned. The PMO must act as an enabler of everything from planning and funding to optimized delivery and benefits realization, and it can’t do that without complete visibility into what is happening at each of those steps.
The EPPM solution must provide automated workflows to optimize efficiency, it must provide tracking and reporting on progress against budget and schedule, it should track any delays awaiting approvals, reviews, etc. and it must provide decision makers with insight into the alignment between what’s being done and what’s needed, allowing for any necessary adjustments to occur as effectively and efficiently as possible.
Consolidation Across Stakeholders
In many industries, the development and commercialization of new products is dependent on a number of external partners and suppliers. Keeping all of those elements aligned, not just on the initial development of a new product, but on the scaling, production and distribution of physical products during the commercialization process, is essential.
To achieve that, there needs to be effective and efficient integration of procurement, finance, logistics, resource management and numerous other elements. EPPM solutions need to be able to integrate to create seamless two-way data flow with partner and supplier systems to ensure that all stakeholders have the most complete, timely and accurate information possible. Only then can the best decisions be made in the least possible time, optimizing the ability to develop products and minimizing any supply chain challenges.
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