Chain-link Strategy

Innovation and Chain-link Strategies

Big companies have a special challenge when innovating. It’s that each function in the company affects the outcomes. It’s not just product development or marketing that decide the results. Other functions also matter. Yet the pressure to succeed falls to project and product management. Functions as Links in a Chain There is nothing new in the […]

Innovation Culture

Successful Yet Misdirected Innovation

The Quagmire of a Positive Innovation Culture Innovation is interesting. You must create something and win in a market to declare your work a true innovation. You seldom hear managers call an innovation bad. By definition, an innovation is successful. Someone paid money for it. And it fulfills a need. This is all good. Except […]

Product Strategy

Rethinking Product Strategy

It’s surprising to see how product strategy can trip us up. It seems like every part of the topic should help us, not lead us astray. Product Strategy Problems The problem is that many managers see product strategy as the roadmap of changes to a single product. Or they view it as the roadmap for […]

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 […]

Jon-to-be-done

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

How to Screw Up a Product Line

When I began my career in product development a few decades ago, I simply didn’t understand how easy it is to screw up a product line. I was envious of those managers overseeing product lines. I thought managing established lines didn’t cause people to lose sleep worrying about how to develop and launch new stuff. […]