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13 12, 2011

Strategic R&D Portfolio Management vs. Operational Capacity Planning: A Tale of Two Disciplines

By |2017-05-23T15:42:09-08:00December 13th, 2011|Blog|0 Comments

Many of my recent discussions with portfolio staff have centered around the distinctions between project management and strategic R&D portfolio management applications. Often I hear a variant of the statement “We already have/are installing a capacity planning software. It does portfolio management…why would we need a dedicated strategic portfolio system?”

In reality, there are critical differences between operational capacity planning and strategic portfolio management activities that dictate the use of different data sets, different decision frames, and different objectives. In our experience, and despite the claims of many vendors, it is rare that one system fulfills both roles.


20 05, 2011

Using Strategic Capacity Planning to Manage R&D Portfolio Resource Bottlenecks

By |2017-05-23T15:42:09-08:00May 20th, 2011|Blog|0 Comments

Rocks in the river

When selecting projects for the portfolio, practitioners of Strategic Capacity Planning often exclusively consider financial constraints. Though the terminology varies across industries–outside costs, out-of-pocket expenditures, external expenditure–the concept is the same: money spent on something other than staff. If internal resources are considered at all, it is usually at a very cursory level.

resource_opt_largeFrom an operational standpoint, ignoring resource considerations can be hazardous. Resource constraints are like rocks below a river’s surface–they’re usually found only after we run into them! Without conducting at least a high-level analysis of resource needs, we won’t know if sufficient internal resources exist to complete the selected projects. Furthermore, experience shows that resource forecasts typically increase as projects are delayed or require more resources than were forecasted, which increases the risk that problems will arise. This can lead to bottlenecks that severely stretch the capabilities of the organization, causing still further delays.


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