Product Line Pivots

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. […]

Innovation 4.0 and Smart Product Line Pivots

Germans declare it Industrie 4.0. The Yanks tag it as The Connected Enterprise. And the Brit’s give it the 4th Industrial Revolution moniker. Any way you slice it, it’s the future. The product development community, especially those in large organizations, don’t seem as caught up in a name. I’ve seen Innovation 2.0, 3.0, and 4.0 […]

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 […]

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. […]

Think Big! Innovate Product Lines, Not Products

Look over a few articles on innovation. Ask yourself if they’re about innovating one product at a time or do they suggest innovating multiple products? Do they propose innovating whole product lines? This is important because product lines are far more powerful than a single product. It’s time to think much bigger. It’s time to […]

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 […]

Understanding Product Line Strategy

In my book and workshops, 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 why. Product line success in large companies […]

Product Versus Product Line

Roadmaps & Strategies There’s a major gap between product and product line thinking. Stop for a moment. Do you know the difference between a product and a product line? Of course, you do. A product is a single offering with attributes that deliver benefit, satisfaction, and delight to customers. A product line is a group […]