Entries by Paul O'Connor

What is a Product Line Roadmap?

How Product Line Roadmaps Differ From Product Roadmaps And Why You Need Both A product line roadmap is a timeline graphic that communicates how a team intends to carry out a product line strategy. It shows milestones and key relationships between strategy parts. At least one platform-lever[1] is central to most product line strategies. Teams […]

Product Line Pivots: Understanding Major Strategy Moves

The “Pivot” is synonymous with successful startups. Experts love to tell the stories about how pivots are the key to success. Paypal, Starbucks, and Twitter all found fortune through a pivot. And you’ll also hear business school and consulting jargon thrown at the topic. Phrases spring to mind like strategic agility and business model re-alignment. […]

Informing Innovation through Product Line Strategizing and Roadmapping

Innovation can drive business growth. It’s a key to every organization’s well-being. But many companies carry out innovation haphazardly. They’re more likely to count on serendipity, not strategic thinking, to drive gains from innovation. Unfortunately, management teams have little clarity on why, how, or when to advance product offerings. No wonder Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen […]

Multi-Generational Product Plans Vs. Product Line Strategies and Roadmaps

I’m often asked, “What’s the difference between Multi-generational Product Planning and Product Line Strategizing and Roadmapping?” The answer needs a short discussion. And exploring the differences and similarities is insightful. Multi-Generational Product Planning[i] (MGPP) and Product Line Strategizing and Roadmapping[ii] (PLSR) are different. But MGPP and PLSR are also closely related. To understand, let’s first […]

WHITEPAPER – Good Product Line Strategy Matters

Management teams know how technologies and markets are changing. Yet many still foundered. Could it happen to your company? I argue it could, no matter how strong the competitive advantage your company has built. Just think about Sony’s decades-long losing struggle against Samsung or GE’s faltering power turbine business. Learn how and why good Product […]

WHITEPAPER: Strategizing, Roadmapping and Executing the Product Line

This whitepaper shares an in-depth exploration of product line strategy and roadmapping. It lays out the value of product line strategies, their roadmaps, and special techniques for driving success. Topics covered include: Gaining Leverage and Strategic Advantage Building Responsive Roadmap Management Developing Platform-levers: Types, Competencies, Insights Aligning Strategies to Boost Impact Smarter Attribute Positioning Please […]

Good Portfolio Management Includes Front-end Work

If you’re interested in NPD and R&D portfolio management, here is an important insight: Most Portfolio Management presentations discuss only development projects. They do not show, analyze, or rationalize front-end work. Anyone new to product development might assume Portfolio Management should only be about products under development. But if that’s all, then portfolio management misses its greatest opportunity for […]

The Misdirected Guidance of “Portfolio Balance”

I have a simple message for everyone involved in product development. This message is especially important for PMOs. These are the manager’s responsible for analyzing project portfolios. They calculate resources and priorities to determine who should work on which projects. “Portfolio Balance” is misguided. The problem is no one knows what the “balance” should be. […]