I recently had an opportunity to listen to an extremely informative Webcast on How to Effectively Manage Your Product Portfolio to Consistently Hit Launch Windows, hosted by Consumer Goods Technology (CGT). Jim Brown from Tech Clarity, Monica Alderson from Hallmark, and Carrie Nauyalis, from Planview engaged participants in a dynamic conversation about what it truly means to companies to get innovative products to market on time to meet innovative product launch windows. Here’s the highlights from this must watch Webcast.
Meet the Deadline or Risk Being Left Behind
There are plenty of consumer products companies that have seasonal/fixed deadlines that they must meet. Not only to satisfy corporate objectives but to appease the needs and expectations of their loyal consumers.
In the Webcast, Jim gave high-tech and games and toys companies as a few of the examples. A high-tech company may introduce a new product at an industry tradeshow. The gaming company may need to get their latest sci-fi video game in the stores and on the shelves in time for the holiday shopping season. No matter the product, these initiatives have fixed deadlines. If the product release fails, the company may experience negative repercussions to both business and their brand. Not a good outcome for your bottom line or the impression you make to investors.
So how do product organizations deliver under pressure? According to the Product Portfolio Management Benchmark Study, 68% of product companies say their major pain is having too many projects for their resources when managing their product portfolio, which aligns with their second challenge of missing important time-to-market windows (53%). The main source of that pain is around resource capacity planning. The study shows that there are conflicts between projects that require similar resources. Plus, we all have experienced those ad-hoc project requests that are not linked to the product roadmap but all of a sudden need to be delivered tomorrow. These too create an enormous constrain on resources — again, affecting those launch windows.
Think About It
The report statistics Carrie shared represent some astounding figures. She recommended that product managers should consider stepping back from their everyday tasks and critically think about how they are managing their product portfolios. Here are a few questions that came up during the Webcast that product development should take into consideration:
- Are you trying to reconcile everything in your entire product portfolio in spreadsheets?
- How are you tracking new product development (NPD) initiatives to completion?
- Are you exploring and tracking new ideas that fuel innovation?
- How are you managing the maintenance of existing products and projects?
- How do you currently allocate your skilled resources and staff and ensure they are working on the projects that align with corporate objectives?
- Do you have the end to end visibility to help you make the right decisions and get your products delivered on time and on budget?
Carrie stated how she has seen many organizations try to do all of this using spreadsheets — it is no easy task. On the other hand, she stated she has seen organizations flourish when implementing the right product portfolio management solution. Those companies are leading the way to changing the way the industry thinks about product portfolio management.
Hallmark is leading the way with their pipeline approach to bringing innovative product to market. I invite you to watch the Webcast to hear how Monica Alderson as she shares key points on how Hallmark successfully meets seasonal product launch windows.
I’d love to hear from you. Do you have those non-negotiable launch windows that you can’t miss? What are some of your best practices for mitigating risk? Share your experiences by leaving a comment below.