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16 07, 2019

Bullseye Charts for Complex Landscapes

By |2019-07-16T11:35:34-08:00July 16th, 2019|Blog|0 Comments

Innovation-driven firms are always on the lookout for effective new ways to communicate the nuances of their product pipeline and competitive position to management, analysts, and the product teams within R&D. While the pipeline charts offered within Enrich Analytics have become a go-to best-practice for our clients, we noticed a few companies building radial charts to describe their portfolios when the number of products, competitors, or market segments became excessive. These charts were painstakingly built within Microsoft PowerPoint or Adobe Illustrator, and took many hours to create, refine, and curate as the landscape evolved.

Enrich now offers bullseye charts as a standard part of both Viewport and the Enrich Analytics Platform. Now users of Enrich Analytics can build these information-dense visualizations in seconds, with just a few clicks of a mouse.

These charts have two advantages over a standard rectangular pipeline or landscape chart:

  1. They can accommodate many more market/product segments as arcs around the bullseye than is possible on the y-axis of a pipeline chart
  2. With more room in the outer rings of the bullseye, they are well-suited to development life-cycles with extensive attrition that generally have fewer items plotted in the inner rings

To learn more about bullseye charts, watch our short (less than four minutes) video below. We look forward to your feedback on these visualizations and the role they play in your portfolio and competitive analyses.

 

22 05, 2019

Making Portfolio Management a Competitive Advantage

By |2019-05-22T16:55:16-08:00May 22nd, 2019|Blog|0 Comments

Many companies invest heavily in their project management processes and tools, improving their ability to keep initiatives on-time and on-budget. However, project management pays dividends only if the projects you’ve chosen to undertake have intrinsic value, are aligned with your corporate goals and have sufficient resources invested to take them across the finish line.

Ensuring you are working on the right projects is the raison d’etre of portfolio management.  If your organization carefully chooses projects that balance risk and reward, short- and long-term returns, novel and established technologies, and new and mature markets, you’ll dramatically increase your chances of creating meaningful growth and delighting more and more customers.

In the webinar below, we review some of the best practices in portfolio management from both a process and a tools perspective. You’ll learn:

  • How little data is required to begin practicing effective portfolio management
  • The operational views of project milestones and funding allocation that effectively summarize your portfolio plans
  • How to perform real-time strategic capacity planning that avoids getting bogged down by details
  • Why variance analysis is the key to delivering portfolio insights, and how to do it
  • How scenario analysis can help you across a wide range of decisions from the most tactical to the most strategic and long-term

 

After the webinar, keep learning with these posts:

  1. Comparing and constrasting with waterfall charts
  2. Portfolio management takes less data (and effort) than you think
  3. Innovation starts with a strategy (right?)
17 05, 2019

Upcoming Portfolio Management Conferences in 2019

By |2019-07-27T13:26:16-08:00May 17th, 2019|Blog|0 Comments

Are you interested in networking with other innovation professionals and learning about best practices in R&D allocation? Here are three conferences we’ll be sponsoring in the coming months:

Unleashing Innovation, June 13 and 14, Amsterdam

This conference is cross industry, with R&D firms from all over Europe in attendance. We’ve been away for two years and are looking forward to returning to this annual event.

Project & Portfolio Management for Pharma, July 24 and 25, San Francisco

Fleming usually holds this conference on the East Coast, but this year it’ll be in our backyard here in California. We’re looking forward to networking with some of the many start-ups and biotech companies that make their home on the West Coast and may not venture to events in Boston, NYC, or Philadelphia.

Portfolio Management and Strategic Resource Management, October 16-18, Philadelphia

This three-day conference devotes the first day-and-a-half to resource planning challenges before diving into more strategic aspects of portfolio management. While it is focused on drug development and medical devices, there are always a few people from other industries interested in hearing about best-practices from the life sciences.

Finally, CEO Richard Sonnenblick is running a workshop on innovation prioritization for the Innovation Research Interchange in Fort Worth during their Fall Networks Conference in late September. These IRI events are smaller than their semi-annual meetings and are a great place to network with other innovators in medium to large companies around the US.

We hope to see you at one or more of these conferences. If you’d like to arrange a chat while we’re on-site, let us know!

5 09, 2018

Is Sunk Cost Thinking Dooming Your Innovation Portfolio?

By |2018-09-05T16:00:14-08:00September 5th, 2018|Blog|0 Comments

Photo: Manivasagan N, https://www.dtnext.in

I’ve written many times that portfolio management is about change: changing attitudes, changing tactics, and changing how you invest your limited funds and focus your talented teams. We all know change is difficult, leading us away from a known environment and into an unknown future. But the issue at hand is more than a simple case of the devil you know vs. the devil you don’t.

Sunk cost thinking makes change even more challenging. Once we are working on a project our tendency, as humans, is to keep working on it. This remains true even when we are faced with mounting evidence that the project outcome will not live up to our expectations. We all have an innate tendency to look backwards (at what we’ve invested) while we look forwards (and decide how much more to invest), and this leads us to limit our options time and time again. Consider these individual examples (collected in the fantastic book Essentialism by Greg McKeown): (more…)

29 08, 2018

Manage risks, but don’t eliminate them

By |2018-08-29T20:43:26-08:00August 29th, 2018|Blog|3 Comments

Wait, what? When is it bad to eliminate risks? Many companies we speak with are keen to score their portfolio of initiatives across a number of dimensions like:

  • Strategic fit
  • Market value
  • Development cost
  • Technical risk
  • Commercial risk

So far so good. The process goes awry when teams, seduced by the idea of simplicity, distill all the dimensions into a single score for each project. High strategic fit and market value are “good” and increase the score, while high cost and risk are “bad” and reduce the score.

And therein lies the problem. This single score approach will always reward low-cost, low-risk projects. Likely outcomes of prioritizing by this single score include: (more…)

8 08, 2018

Comparing and Contrasting with Waterfall Charts

By |2018-08-08T15:31:20-08:00August 8th, 2018|Blog|0 Comments

We’ve mentioned waterfall charts in several blog posts, notably posts that focus on scenario and variance analysis. Because we have a number of different ways to generate waterfall views within Enrich Analytics, creating a video that describes ‘all the waterfalls’ has been on our to-do list for some time.

You can see the video for yourself, below. It’s a good refresher, even for those who have used the Enrich Analytics Platform or Enrich Viewport for years. (more…)

19 07, 2018

Two bar charts you’re probably not using to understand your portfolio

By |2018-07-19T09:29:19-08:00July 19th, 2018|Blog|0 Comments

If I asked you to fill in this blank: Portfolio management uses many ________ charts. You’d probably shout “bubble!” without hesitation. Indeed, frontier charts, pipeline charts, and risk vs. reward charts all effectively employ scatter and bubble charts to describe your portfolio.

But the humble bar chart is no slouch when you’re looking for portfolio insights. In this post I’ll give you two examples you might not be using today. If you already use Enrich Viewport or the Enrich Analytics Platform, then this two-minute video will explain how you can build them, too.

I often say that portfolio management is about value and balance: the value in your portfolio should be aligned with corporate goals across technology platforms, market segments, innovation levels, and even over time (short-term vs. long-term). In order to achieve those goals, the proportions of spending across these dimensions should be set with care so that you ‘place your bets’ to maximize your chances for success.

With this in mind, any chart that helps you see how much you’re spending across technologies, divisions, etc. and also how that spending aligns with anticipated value across those dimensions would be very useful indeed. Enter the contribution analysis! (more…)

27 06, 2018

Winners vs. Whiners

By |2018-06-27T23:15:12-08:00June 27th, 2018|Blog|0 Comments

Are you picking winners in your product portfolio or picking whiners? What might sound like a silly question has a very serious foundation: in company after company we observe funding going to projects supported by the most vocal, politically-savvy, or persistent leaders. Meanwhile, those projects best aligned with strategy or those developing novel technologies, markets, and business models are left behind.

Here are three best practices that help companies make hard decisions that consistently bolster long-term growth prospects.

  1. Have an actionable strategy
  2. Collect more than metrics on each opportunity
  3. Practice transparent, data-driven decision making

(more…)

15 05, 2018

One Page Portfolio Management

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

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.

(more…)

2 05, 2018

Introducing BEAM

By |2018-05-02T08:46:47-08:00May 2nd, 2018|Blog|0 Comments

A few years ago Beau Bush of Ozmosi and I were assessing tools for competitive intelligence in life sciences. Despite the crowded field, we felt no one had ‘cracked the code’ and provided the ultimate experience for exploration and analysis of global clinical trials data.

Today I’m super excited to share BEAM with you, our cloud-based clinical trials database and analysis tool, co-developed with Ozmosi. We see four key benefits to BEAM over existing products: (more…)