In the last couple articles I discussed product portfolio planning lessons we can learn from the Venture Capital industry. In this article I wanted to discuss a similar but different type of mechanism for managing product portfolio investments, known as business incubators.
In my last article on “Lessons From the VC Industry” I included some thoughts suggested by a VC friend of mine, Josh Kopelman of First Round Capital. In his thoughts he shared with me he had another insight that I didn’t include because I thought it was so important and fundamental that I wanted to dedicate an article to this topic.
In earlier articles we discussed the purpose of product portfolio planning and the frustrations with current product portfolio planning. In this article I’d like to look outside the typical world of product companies to a related industry that is in the actual business of making product investments, and that’s the Venture Capital (VC) industry.
Continuing with the series on product portfolio planning, earlier I enumerated the purpose and objectives of the product portfolio planning process, but in this article I wanted to discuss the common complaints from executives and product leadership alike about the typical product portfolio planning process used at most companies beyond the startup stage.
How does your CEO know that every product manager’s efforts are aligned with his business strategy?
How does your CEO clearly communicate to your product managers the business priorities?
How does your CEO know which product managers are making good decisions and making true progress in carrying out the business strategy?
I have never seen a technology product company that didn’t have more ideas they wanted to pursue, than capacity for pursuing them. So constrained resources is a reality of our world. Sadly, this keeps many companies from pursuing some truly promising products.
I am in the midst of a series of articles on product planning, but I’ve received several e-mails asking where this fits into the overall product organization, and the product discovery and product development processes, so I thought I’d make sure before proceeding further on the techniques that we’re all clear on the purpose and objectives of good product portfolio planning.
In keeping with my recent theme of product planning, I'd like to focus in this article on an important distinction and source of frustration in many companies, and that has to do with the differences between business strategy and product strategy.
In my last article I began a series on the product planning process. I wanted to start by emphasizing that the most critical aspect to product planning is to have an effective mechanism for separating the good ideas from the bad (see The Seven Deadly Sins of Product Planning).
Product planning is a big topic that many product organizations struggle with. It spans a range of activities including business strategy, product strategy, product roadmaps, portfolio management, opportunity assessments, project planning and tracking, and project oversight.