Define market, product and technology roadmaps. Adjust dependencies and timelines.
Top performing businesses in product innovation have a well-defined and communicated innovation strategy. Yet many companies struggle with defining strategic plans and translating them into spending decisions.
A good strategy focuses your organization on innovation objectives, guides your product & technology direction, and steers resource allocation and project funding decisions. Equally importantly, it explains how your innovation investment supports business goals.
Our software provides the tools to plan & communicate your innovation strategy. Use roadmaps to build market, product & technology plans. Forecast portfolio budget & resource needs, predict financial impact, prioritize projects and commit funding. Then analyse 'what-if' scenarios to optimize your portfolio.
The software can be deployed standalone or integrated with our ideation, projects and products modules.
- How does our R&D investment support our business objectives?
- Can we accelerate our plans to increase return on investment?
- What budgets & resources will we need to execute successfully?
- How should we balance investment across different objectives?
- What are the right technology & development projects to fund?
Without a plan, your innovation strategy will probably fail. Roadmapping is the best approach to create, visualize and communicate your strategic plan to senior management and the teams responsible for execution.
Attempting to roadmap with tools like PowerPoint, Excel or even MS Project is a thankless task, so many organizations give up. The data is simply too dynamic, interlinked and rich to be managed in this way.
Our software make it easy to build and manage your innovation roadmaps. Start by creating simple product roadmaps, laying out the future vision for your solutions to market. Add a technology roadmap, identifying enabling technologies needed to to win. Finally add innovation objectives and targeted customer segments, showing how your innovation strategy aligns to business goals.
Our roadmaps can also automatically synchronize with detailed projects in our Project module - creating a project directly from the roadmap, and then updating roadmaps from detailed project plans and latest status. This enables both top-down & bottom-up planning and tracking of your project portfolio.
- Quickly create any type of roadmap using our graphical editor.
- Organize roadmaps by business, product line, technology etc,
- Identify dependencies, dates and details for roadmap elements.
- Control updates and revisions to roadmaps.
- Communicate innovation plans to all stakeholders.
Strategic Funding Buckets
Innovation strategy becomes real when you start funding projects. So how can ensure funding is properly balanced across projects to achieve your goals?
Strategic funding buckets solve this problem. A funding bucket is an annual spending limit of money or headcount that can be used to fund differ project categories, such as targeted innovation newness categories, market segments and strategic arenas.
Our software enables you to define strategic buckets aligned to innovation objectives. Allocate total available budget & headcount across buckets according to agreed targets. Identify project portfolios that can be funded from each bucket. Prioritize and fund projects from buckets until the spending limit has been reached.
- Define strategic buckets tied to innovation objectives.
- Allocate annual money & headcount to each bucket.
- Prioritize projects in each bucket using appropriate criteria.
- Fund projects until the bucket spending limit is reached.
- Compare actual vs planned spend to enforce bucket constraints.
Resource Capacity Planning
Your innovation portfolio will be typically constrained by the availability of people. A long range plan of resource supply & demand will reveal if you are trying to do too much with too few of the necessary resources.
Resource planning using spreadsheets is very time consuming - keeping resource demand aligned as projects shift in time or resource requirements change.
Our software enables you to quickly define a portfolio resource capacity plan, and easily adjust it as circumstances change. Start by defining the availability of different resource types for that portfolio. Then estimate resource demand for each portfolio project. The system then displays supply vs demand, highlighting where your resources are overloaded. Then you can simply adjust the plan and the system will automatically recalculate resource loading, enabling you to resolve bottlenecks and make use of unallocated supply.
- Define the supply of resources for each roadmap.
- Forecast resource demand for each element in the roadmap.
- View resource supply vs. demand to identify bottlenecks.
- Resolve bottlenecks by changing supply, demand & timing.
- Agree staffing needs with the executive team.
Many businesses struggle to estimate the value of their proposed innovation strategy, and its contribution to corporate growth goals.
Sometimes this is attempted by adding together financial forecasts of your current R&D projects. But this gives no insight into your longer term innovation strategy and the trade-off decisions of investment vs. return that can be made.
Our financial forecasting capability enables you to quickly estimate financial cash flows for any project in your portfolio, out to the foreseeable planning horizon for your business. This provides a baseline to test the assumptions behind the value of each element. Crucially, it also provide the basis for discussion with business units about the impact of innovation on their growth goals, and the level of investment required.
- Forecast cost and financial value of your innovation strategy.
- Test a project's financials against its scope & assumptions.
- Adjust for probability of technical and commercial success.
- Define financial baselines for what-if scenario comparisons.
- Align innovation financial returns with corporate business plans.
With a good ideation process, most businesses have more candidate projects than they have money or people to deliver. So they have to prioritize - deciding which projects to fund or not.
The best way to do this is using scorecards - sets of scaled scoring criteria to calculate each project's relative attractiveness.
Our software provides pre-configured prioritization scorecards as recommended by the Product Development Institute. These scorecards are calibrated to meet your business drivers and then each roadmapped project is scored. The system then calculates an overall project attractiveness score to prioritize and rank projects.
- Use prioritization scorecards based on innovation best practice.
- Assess criteria including: strategic alignment, market attractiveness, competitive advantage, competency leverage, technical feasibility & financial return.
- Capture comments and assumptions for each score.
- Rank roadmap elements on overall project attractiveness.
Your portfolio or roadmap represents your strategic plan for the future. This strategy becomes real when you start spending money - funding new projects this year and next.
Portfolio management helps you make the right investment decisions - balancing project priorities with overall portfolio risk and support across your innovation objectives.
Our software provides an easy way to select a set of projects in your portfolio to their prioritized scores. View the resources required for your selection, compared to the total resources available. Then visualize the balance of your proposed portfolio.
- Select the best set of projects to invest in this year & next.
- Limit selections by strategic funding bucket constraints.
- Understand impact of selection on future roadmap elements.
- Balance portfolio for risk and support of innovation objectives.
Your portfolio represents a snapshot of your innovation strategy. As your business plans evolve, your portfolios & roadmaps will need to evolve as well.
You may also need to consider alternate scenarios - asking what if our markets, business goals or funding changes? How should we respond?
Our software helps you create roadmap baselines, to track how plans change month-by-month and communicate updates to stakeholders. Take roadmap versions, to model alternate strategies based on different assumptions of the future. Versioning can also be used to prepare multiple iterations during the annual budgeting process, as companies fine-tune their investment commitments for the coming year.
- Create portfolio baselines to compare changes over time.
- Create portfolio versions to model alternate funding scenarios.
- Compare versions to identify the optimal innovation strategy.
- Simplify annual budgeting with multiple funding iterations.
A plan is useless until people understand it. So communicating your roadmaps effectively is critical to implementing innovation strategy.
Our software calculates the key metrics and presents your roadmap information in graphical dashboards. It can then distribute this information automatically via email, in PDF or PowerPoint format. Use this information to agree priorities with business partners, communicate performance targets for your R&D organization, update everyone on current status, and review opportunities to optimize the roadmap for maximum impact.
- All stakeholders understand innovation strategy
- Alignment to innovation objectives & business goals
- Value, balance and status of the current plan.
- Alternate scenarios to prepare for changing circumstances.
- Dashboards online, in PDF or PowerPoint and sent by email.
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