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22 05, 2019

Making Portfolio Management a Competitive Advantage

By |2019-05-22T16:55:16-08:00May 22nd, 2019|Blog|1 Comment

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 02, 2016

7 Views of Project-Portfolio Variance

By |2017-05-23T15:41:59-08:00February 17th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

Knowing the current cost and estimated value of every initiative in your portfolio is nice, but when executives meet for a review, what they really want to know is: What’s changed since the last review, was it good or bad, and why?

The above is true whether a month, a quarter, or a year has passed since the last review; looking at what has changed is one of the fastest ways to communicate portfolio health and progress towards strategic goals. It also builds trust in the portfolio process: executives remember where you left off with them, and starting from that same point establishes a feeling of continuity and stability.

In this post I’ll share different methods for communicating variance. These methods have different use cases, but they all riff on the idea of variance. My examples will come from our cloud-based offering, the Enrich Analytics Platform, but you could build similar views by hand in Excel or other self-service BI tools.

27 01, 2016

Why Choose Enrich Analytics over Traditional BI Tools?

By |2017-05-23T15:42:00-08:00January 27th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

R&D teams often try to compare our offering to the many visualization/business intelligence tools available today. At conferences and sales calls, we hear some variant of: “Why should I use Enrich when we already have a site license for Tableau (or Spotfire, Qlik, Cognos, or another BI — business intelligence — tool) at my company?” Were you thinking something similar? Then this blog post is for you!

Tools like Tableau focus on data exploration, and allow you to build various charts to explore a dataset. They are general tools that allow you to construct bubble, bar, and line charts (and many others). However, by themselves, they aren’t up to the more specific, more demanding tasks involved in portfolio management.

If you review the essential activities associated with portfolio management in the diagram below, it will quickly become clear that portfolio management is about more than data exploration. The Enrich Analytics Platform is uniquely suited to provide the analytical, information management, and visualization capabilities necessary for confident, real-time portfolio management.


23 08, 2012

R&D Portfolio Management Software Buyer’s Guide

By |2017-05-23T15:42:03-08:00August 23rd, 2012|Blog|0 Comments

It’s that time of year again: We find more requests for proposals (RFPs) in our inbox during the late summer and early fall than any other time of year. RFPs vary dramatically in length, complexity, and level of ambition. In a spirit of cooperation, allow me to make some suggestions about those RFPs, and about the procurement process in the large. Begin by singing the next line to the tune of The Beatles’ “Revolution”.

You Say You Want a Portfolio Management Software Solution

R&D portfolio management software tools are very useful, but they won’t take the place of an effective process for project valuation, communication, and portfolio decision making. When deployed in the context of an existing process, a portfolio toolkit can reinforce that process and remind users what comes next. We recommend that you clarify what you are looking for by asking your team the following questions:


30 06, 2012

Keeping Things Simple: Preventing Your Portfolio Management Software From Taking Over

By |2017-05-23T15:42:04-08:00June 30th, 2012|Blog|0 Comments

Detailed project valuations are often requested by executives, the basis being they will feel more confident in their decision making process if the accuracy of the forecasts is increased They might believe that adding detail to their valuations can accomplish this; however, this is inevitably not the case (All the NPVs are wrong, can we talk about the portfolio now?).  Excessive levels of detail often lead to poorer valuations because analysts spend less time on each input and are loathe to revisiting them when assumptions change.

Our most successful clients are the ones who keep things simple and manage to spend most of their time generating analysis and insights rather than inputting data. Almost all of them, however, begin with overly complicated models before scaling back to an optimal level of detail.

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.


12 10, 2011

Navigating the Dashboard Minefield to Improve R&D Portfolio Management

By |2017-05-23T15:42:09-08:00October 12th, 2011|Blog|0 Comments

The use of dashboards has been spreading throughout organizations. From tracking manufacturing performance to the latest sales numbers, dashboards aim to provide a quick, comprehensive snapshot of how well an organization, business unit, or project is performing.

As R&D Portfolio Management processes mature within organizations, they evolve from once-a-year budgeting activities to evergreen processes that support multiple levels of decision-making throughout the business calendar. For example, many companies leverage their Portfolio Management function to provide monthly updates on the status of the portfolio. These may include:


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