Entries by Paul O'Connor

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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 […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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 […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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Product Portfolio Management – Picking Flowers in the Dark

Project prioritization is difficult. As a result, senior managers who govern portfolios often make things up as they go. Why not? Somebody must figure what’s more important and what’s not. It might as well be whoever is looking at the bubble charts. There are two big challenges with figuring out project prioritization. First, product lines […]

WHITEPAPER: Powerful Product Lines Strategies

A Framework for Deconstructing and Improving Product Lines Strategies Business strategy is interesting. To many managers, business strategy seems monolithic. In reality, it wraps around many functional strategies. Supply chain management has a strategy. Sales has a strategy. Manufacturing has a strategy. Plus, companies can stress strategies for areas like brand management, engineering, information technology, […]

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Fighting Evil Complexity Costs

Smart Product Line Strategies & Roadmaps Accounting can be as thrilling as getting teeth pulled. Cost accounting, however, is a skill product developers must get their arms around. This is the black art of calculating how much products cost to develop, make and sell. I call it a black art not because of the easily […]