Entries by Paul O'Connor

Portfolio Balance Failure

I have a simple message for managers who oversee product development portfolios. Portfolio Balance is Misguided. The problem is no one knows what the balance must be. Instead, we make it up. That’s right, the gurus and experts make up numbers to impress you. Portfolio balance is BS. It would seem portfolio balance should guide […]

Product Line Strategy Master Class

Boston on June 25 The product line strategy master class is a one-day, hands-on learning event led by Paul O’Connor. Learn how to create superb product strategies and roadmaps. Put into practice a powerful approach to drive cash flow, beat competition and delight customers. MORE INFO Learn more at https://adept-plm.com/registration/ email us at masterclass@product-line-strategy.com  

The Uptake of Theory of Constraints versus Agile

A practice is meaningless without use. In a recent LinkedIn discussion, I was asked to support my comments and expound on why Theory of Constraints (TOC) didn’t catch on like Agile did. TOC[i] found use in the project management world, but isn’t fully accepted. Many call its use Critical Chain project management.  Agile[ii] is different. […]

The Lexicon of Product Line Strategy

New Words and Business Knowledge Decades ago, most MBA curriculum followed the Harvard Business School approach. Each had a capstone course called Policy, taught in the classic Socratic method. Good professors fed students cases and then used leading questions to set up deep discussions. For many students like me, the discussions taught more than we’d […]

Innovation Charters

The Missing Linchpin to Product Line Strategy Most managers and executives know fast product development helps successful outcomes. There are two reasons for the push for speed. First, fast development is more efficient and less costly. And second, the sooner you launch a product, the better your competitive position. While there’s not a 100% correlation […]

Understanding Great Product Line Strategy

The Profound Impact of Product Line Strategy In my book and Masterclasses, I lay out a strong framework for product line strategies.  I complement this with an easily understood lexicon. Together, the framework and lexicon are important to gaining greater impact from product lines. And they’re not just for product line teams. Let me explain […]

Platform-levers in Product Line Strategy

Platform-levers Amp Up Product Lines If you want to sound savvy in a business conversation, add the word “Platform” behind another term. Say “The blank platform.” You fill in the blank. Pick almost any term.  It’s easy, and it’ll sound impressive. That’s because the word “platform” suggests a powerful force. Unfortunately, not all that fills […]

7 Common Mistakes About Platform-Levers

What’s not a Product-lever in Product Line Strategy When teaching product line strategy, I hear managers argue about what is and isn’t a platform-lever. To aid the discussion I offer two quick tests.  The first test is whether the factor in question can cut across cross multiple products. The second test is whether the factor […]

Jobs-to-be-Done and Product Line Strategy

Jobs-to-be-Done and Product Line Strategy Jobs Theory suggests people don’t buy products and services. Instead, the theory says people “hire” products and services to achieve an outcome – a job done. Recognizing how customers “hire” products helps marketers to better understand buyer decisions and choices. The “Job” ties direct to outcome measures[1]. And these measures […]