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Recap: Product Portfolio Management w/ Veronica Figarella, Product Management Expert

posted Nov 30, 2011, 9:16 PM by CindyF Solomon   [ updated Dec 1, 2011, 12:00 AM ]
Please retweet: Recap 11/28 Product Portfolio Management w/ @VFigatelix #prodmgmttalk #prodmgmt http://bit.ly/svoRyn

Veronica Figarella
Veronica Figarella, Product Management Expert, Leads Discussion About Effectively Managing Multiple Products

Veronica Figarella, Product Management Expert, spoke at the weekly Global Product Management Talk on Twitter Monday, November 28, 2011 at 4:00 PM Pacific Time using the hashtag #prodmgmttalk 

Each week, The Global Product Management Talk is a real time event featuring an expert guest speaker who asks questions of the participants on Twitter in a Socratic discussion. The speaker and co-hosts broadcast their audio comments over BlogTalkRadio. The transcript of Tweets and podcast are available after the live event.

Veronica says, “As a regular participant of the Global Product Management Talks, I am thrilled to share my knowledge and learn from my product management colleagues online as we discuss our experiences on Managing Portfolios of Products!"

ABOUT VERONICA FIGARELLA
Veronica Figarella is an experienced Product Manager and Marketing Specialist. Her experience includes more than 10 years with the Telecom Industry, including Verizon (latam) as a Product Development Manager, Telecom NZ (Australia) as a Business Portfolio Analyst, and managing all the Micro and SMB (voice and data products) for Singtel (Australia). She currently provides Small Business Consulting and is a guest lecturer at Universidad Metropolitana, UNIMET teaching entrepreneurial skills to undergraduate students. 

Today’s businesses are faced with reacting to the increased speed to market for new products, delivering shareholder value for existing products and allocating relevant resources, including people and money, to current and future projects. As a result, product portfolio managers are faced with legacy problems of too many projects underway and determining which, if any, are worthwhile. They must alleviate issues of limited resources spread too thin and across too many projects, projects taking too long to get to market and a pipeline full of too many low value projects. Product portfolio management is about resource allocation to achieve corporate product and innovation objectives. Companies without effective product portfolio management are doomed. This discussion will identify some tools and experiences to improve the demanding task of managing multiple products. 

  • MENTIONED DURING TALK
Maximizing return with a complex product mix  http://bit.ly/rJtQN2
Book: Portfolio Management For New Products: Robert G. Cooper, Scott J. Edgett, Elko Kleinschmid http://amzn.to/sjBljM
Mckinsey view on Product Portfolio Management http://bit.ly/tCoQVs
The Product Development Benchmark Report http://bit.ly/uarzIk
Do small companies need portfolio mgmt? http://bit.ly/sF0sC4 
  • PLANNED QUESTIONS
Q1. Is there more to Portfolio Management than budgeting and resource allocation? 
Q2. What are the consequences of poor Portfolio Management? 
Q3. What are some of the approaches to Portfolio Management? 
Q4. When should the Portfolio Management Process kick in? 
Q5. What are the key actions to design a Portfolio Management process? 
Q6. When/How do you "kill" a product from your portfolio? 
Q7. What is the best HR structure for optimal Portfolio Management? 

  • QUESTIONS RAISED
What tools do you use for doing product portfolio management?
How does portfolio strategy differ in a startup compared to a larger or more established company?

Q1. Is there more to Portfolio Management than budgeting and resource allocation?
VFigatelix  A1: It is a dynamic process, characterized by uncertainty and changing information and dynamic opportunities
brainmates  A1 Portfolio Management is about balancing the inter dependencies of a company's set of products
ProdMgmtTalk  Reading definition of Portfolio Management: strategic resource allocation  http://t.co/aAJJOxGT
Jim_Holland : A1: Portfolio mgmt is owning vision, products, EOL and a horizon oriented view. Bus/tech/ Finance IMO
cindyfsolomon  Its the entire system involved in managing the products - step back from product centric focus
VFigatelix  A1:It includes periodical review of the total portfolio, Go/Kill decisions and developing new product development. its a big effort to align all stakeholders, i.e. financial planner vs. engineer vs. marketing differing views

Q2. What are the consequences of poor Portfolio Management?
VFigatelix many consequences of poor portfolio mgmt: 1. reluctance to kill new products or unprofitble ones, ineffective go/kill criteria, only adding to the "to do" list w/o strategy
brainmates A2: You can't make isolated product decisions when you have a number of products. Impt to manage portfolio
cindyfsolomon 2. lack of criteria to analyze w/in PLC spreads resources too thin - putting new product/ innovation dev at risk & fast track
brainmates A2: Poor portfolio management = cannibalization of some of your products in the market.
ProdMgmtTalk If you're managing data w/in Telco - need all features to fix data under build...managing all mobile, wireless, etc. inefficnt
VFigatelix A2: resources are spread too thin, quality of execution suffers, time to market gets bigger. Head of PMs has bigst resp. to maintain sanity of entire portfolio. no strategic criteria for project/product selection, wrong products/project being picked, new products don't strategy
ProdMgmtTalk Prod Port Mgmt req. judging new products on road map in real time w/market - need strategic view to bet on future

Q3. What are some of the approaches to Portfolio Management?
cindyfsolomon A3: Regardles of approach can only 1. add new products, 2. modify existing, 3. remove old products
brainmates suggest A3: 4. reposition products in other markets (market view)
VFigatelix A3: approaches: financial - more weight on NPV or ROI , strategic - more weight on betting on future 
cindyfsolomon @VFigatelix has an operational view because if you want to reposition prodct, you'll end up launching new one (1 of 3 things)
VFigatelix develop criteria to determine 1. strategic 2. difficulty to implement 3. financial rewards "What are goals?" 
VFigatelix A balanced portfolio should be both 1. short term wins and 2. long term fits
brainmates Its all about balancing

Q4. When should the Portfolio Management Process kick in? 
VFigatelix A4: 1. start at idea conception or 2. later stage when have forum/tested - preference 1. enter early
Should be an ongoing effort w/ board/heads of depts to discuss initiatives...w/PM looking at total effort 
The quest often not asked is "How does this fit with our current portfolio?"
nilsie Question: What tools do you use for doing product portfolio management?
ProdMgmtTalk Tools: visual aids - plot market segments against strategic intent - put all proj/prods in middle - see gaps in segments
nilsie Would you do that in Excel?
VFigatelix depends on group charged w/Portfolio Mgmt to identify criteria to display visually, incl time 2 mrkt
brainmates suggesting that @Accept360 and others develop tools for product portfolio management

Q5. What are the key actions to design a Portfolio Management process?
VFigatelix these are key actions to design process: 
1. selection process or monitoring effort to bring every1 onboard 
2. are we using process to provide info or aiding model to make decisions? must take it seriously - not just nice visuals 
3. alignment on where info comes from, who gathers & analyzes it
Brioneja Key is the format/criteria chosen to classify projects
4. must agree on how flexible portfolio should be. successful examples: P&G does this well, GE, Verizon
key indicators - what are the criteria, net present value, ROI, satisfaction, net promoter scores? How measure success? 

Q6. When/How do you "kill" a product from your portfolio? 
5. How & Why decide to end product - what indicators to kill, end of life (not like Google Wave...)
6. How often do we revise the portfolio mix? Ev 6 mos, 3 mos, 1/yr, never? 
7. Are resources truly aligned with strategy? Linked back to adding strategic alignmnt to success of products in pipeline 
8. What is % of new products in mix? How successful are new products?
Brioneja the problem with % new products criteria is that w/o complementary criteria it is a sure path to incrementalism. minor variations are launched to replace existing products and keep upper management happy, gaming the system 

Q6. Whats the right HR structure for the company? 
Maybe too much overhead in dif division - clouds perspective...org struct

hanneshelander How does portfolio strategy differ in a startup compared to a larger or more established company.
VFigatelix @hanneshelander in a #startup you need to focus more on products that provide initial cash flow  


Today's stats: 100 tweets generated 159,744 impressions, reaching an audience of 8,237 followers
 
Join us next week for Global Product Management Talk on Impacting Product Launch & Event Marketing Success w/Elizabeth Quintanilla @equintanilla http://bit.ly/w2K771

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Please retweet: Recap 11/28 Product Portfolio Management w/ @VFigatelix #prodmgmttalk #prodmgmt http://bit.ly/svoRyn

Global Product Management TalkTM is a weekly mini-product camp Socratic discussion of pre-posted questions with live audio of thought leader and co-hosts commenting.
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