Product Portfolio Management


Innovating and expanding into new product categories is the direct route to growth.

New product development strategy defines the direction of a company’s innovation, allowing teams to discover new categories that delight customers. Product portfolio management tools synchronize new products with corporate strategy and ensure a balanced mix of offerings in the marketplace.

A viable product portfolio strategy also uses technology and product roadmaps to tie the company’s vision to specifics, guiding new product development strategy, from upper management to the level of the individual contributor. With a suite of tools and best practices drawn from broad experience across a range of products, our product portfolio consulting targets competitive advantage and reliable growth. We advocate the use of two systems for portfolio management, a yearly process, tied to annual strategic planning, and a lightweight, day-to-day process that enables teams to make good decisions about early stage products.

Blog posts


Articles & Presentations

What is Product Portfolio Management Consulting? (white paper)
Product Portfolio Management helps companies optimize a critical resource: your company’s brightest ideas. This overview describes the benefits of portfolio management, who it is for, and how systematic improvements in this capability are structured.

Getting the Fuzz Out of the Front End: A System for Managing the Earliest Stages of Product Development (white paper)
In too many companies, the front end of product development remains as fuzzy as it was decades ago. What managers should understand is that there are two components of portfolio management, and both must be done right to unlock the power of planning.

How To Create a Strategic Planning Process for Innovation (on Innovation Excellence)

Every innovative product begins as a concept in the mind of someone or some group of people. These concepts are the seeds of your company’s future growth. How is your company cultivating these seeds?

A Process for the Earliest, Fuzziest Stages of Product Innovation (on Toolbox)
At the early stages of product development, product concepts are nothing more than a drawing, or several sentences sent between team members via e-mail. These ideas are the key to innovation and growth, but most companies do not manage them as an asset. 

Product Strategy – Consumer Electronics and Technology (from TrustedPeer)
Overview of common problems, trends and best practices around product strategy. Takes a snapshot of the state-of-the-art.

Leadership and Product Strategy (presentation on SlideShare)
A strong product strategy that is neither too secret, nor interferes with “real life” is essential for long term planning. This training shows how Corporate Strategy, Portfolio Management, Product Management and Roadmapping work as an integrated strategic framework.


Innovate Products Faster

Graphical Tools for Accelerating Product Development

The prevailing view of innovation is wrong. The traditional view of product development is that there is a fundamental dilemma between innovation and time to market. You can have one or the other, but not both. However, this is not a physical law like Newton's law or the second law of thermodynamics, but rather a short-sighted view of management that likes to use the excuse "one or the other, but NOT BOTH".

John Carter and Jeanne Bradford wrote this book to demonstrate that companies can have both innovation and speed. It requires mastery of tools and methodologies that will support managers in making better decisions faster. We're not talking about heavy processes or systems that require large IT installations. We're talking about tools that can be quickly understood and implemented. They are tactically straightforward, but strategically powerful. They are battle tested in over 50 of our client engagements, with measurable successful outcomes. And, they can be applied across different industries and a wide range of organizations, from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies.

To address the need to get useful information in a condensed, straightforward manner, we've designed the book into "bite-sized" chapters. You don't need to read the entire book to realize its value. It's organized so the reader can quickly identify the tools they need to solve their biggest problems first. Using a novel graphical format, Innovate Products Faster provides a fresh perspective on how managers can deliver more innovative programs. In this world where we are overwhelmed by a high volume of information, have very limited time, and hold expectations of getting answers instantly, we are adverse to wading through hundreds of pages of text to mine out the few nuggets of needed information. 

This book concisely portrays the forty best practices that can be applied to predicting and then managing a project to successful conclusion. It is written and organized as a reference guide for readers to quickly identify specific areas of interest and includes completed examples of each practice as a head start. We have tried and tested each of these tools with managers from small startups to Fortune 500 companies (over 50 clients) and have applied our line management experience in the capacity of CTO, VP of Development, and Program Management (working for iconic brands such as Apple and Bose). 

Each best practice uses elegant graphics to illustrate the application of simple tools such as iPad Apps and Microsoft Excel. These downloadable apps are easy-to-customize, pre-filled templates, which are available with the purchase of the book. The existing competition in project management or product development (typically long, obsolete, and mainly text) lacks many of these key differentiators.

  • Easy-to-navigate, short, and focused chapters

  • Rich graphical tools for solving problems

  • Downloadable software templates/apps

  • Modern methodologies (Web 2.0, offshoring, Agile, etc.)

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