One Page Portfolio Management

//One Page Portfolio Management

We’re often asked for a 35,000 foot view of portfolio management, something that doesn’t delve into every detail, but helps explain to newcomers what portfolio management is about when distilled to its essence. In this blog post we offer up a response to that common question: a one-page flow chart that summarizes the activities of R&D portfolio management.

Keep in mind that we’ve striven to avoid a diagram that includes every contingency because, well, that wouldn’t be helpful as a visual. A few details worth mentioning:

  • We’ve streamlined the flow considerably. In reality there are feedback loops everywhere, and some steps require days/weeks/months of preparation, depending on the specifics of your portfolio.
  • We’ve glossed over the complexities of role-based planning vs. simple budgeting. Dollars and Euros may be fungible, but medicinal chemists can’t be replaced by bioreactor engineers.
  • The distinction of when to prioritize vs. when to optimize isn’t as black-and-white as we portray here. In fact, in the right hands both tools can be used on the same portfolio to deftly explore the possible funding options you might want to present to executives.
  • You may not have a portfolio ‘problem’: If you have committed all your funds, or you have far more funds than you do projects to fund, you may not have many decisions to make.

Still hungry after looking at the flowchart? Feast on the these related posts and videos:

Enrich is here to help you on your portfolio journey. Drop us a line if you want to talk shop. And of course, we’d love to hear what you think of the flowchart. Click on the flowchart picture below to download a version in Adobe Acrobat.

By |2018-05-16T12:39:08+00:00May 15th, 2018|Blog|2 Comments

About the Author:

Helping companies large and small leverage the collective wisdom of their R&D teams to make better drugs, medical devices, and innovative products across the globe. CEO of Enrich, makers of the Enrich Analytics Platform and Enrich Viewport.


  1. Sam Lund May 16, 2018 at 5:48 am - Reply

    As for the workflow certainly provides the foundation for portfolio optimization based on resources and spending, I cannot avoid noticing, it seems to miss the most important point for any portfolio management – which is to assure value vs spend. Leaving value out of equation pretty much makes the whole effort pointless.

    In my books, portfolio management is more about management of how value is created, and assuring its preconditions (e.g. market window) are respected in subsequent prioritization and trade-off activities and other decision making processes. Prioritizing off or delaying key value drivers should enable killing an investment off as obsolete! Or that you get less funding due to reduced or constrained monetization opportunities.

    This would add a nice aspect to it.

    • Rich Sonnenblick May 16, 2018 at 8:09 am - Reply

      Hi Sam,

      Thanks for your comment. Protecting and growing portfolio value is super important. Whether you are using soft criteria, such as strategic fit, or hard financial criteria that projects future cost savings/revenue generated by each initiative, you need to assess benefits. By dividing benefits into costs, we can estimate value.

      Value is accounted for in the prioritization and/or optimization steps, but we’ve found there is always a need to fine tune the portfolio post-prioritization, so that we avoid the foibles of ‘rank and yank’ portfolio management. It’s critical to consider balance across competing portfolio objectives such as short-term vs. long-term returns, moonshots vs. bread and butter projects, and so on.


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