I interviewed James Ransdall who discussed Intersection Between Innovation and Product Portfolio Management.
Please provide a brief background of yourself
I'm a serial software entrepreneur, with a stretch or two with larger companies, IBM being the most recent. I've spent about 12 years of my career working with enterprise portfolio management and innovation management solutions, in business development, sales, and consulting capacities
How do you define innovation and what is product portfolio management?
Innovation is an idea, or cluster of ideas, with impact, which is to say that they can be put into practice and meaningful improvement results. Framed that way, innovation happens in the private and public sector both, and it can impact process, product, or the organization. My focus, for this purpose, is on product innovation, and it spans the range from relatively minor, incremental innovation, to market breakthrough, and is seen as the end-to-end process by which ideas are realized in a product, a group of products, or across a brand. Product portfolio management is the discipline by which innovations, from minor to breakthrough, are prioritized relative to one another, committed to a plan and put into execution.
How do they intersect?
It tends to be more collision than intersection, in that there are always more ideas, indeed more good ideas, than there are time, capital, or resources to execute, thus the intersection is very dynamic. You have to say, "Yes," to the generation of ideas, then say, "No, later, or maybe," to most of them.
Why is this important and how is it done?
Lots of ideas without the discipline of portfolio management leads to the selection and promotion of too many ideas, too few ideas, or, worst, the wrong ideas. With regard to the latter, to the notion of wrong ideas, most typically this shows up as the promotion of safe, pedestrian ideas, over truly breakthrough ideas.
About James Ransdall
President at MM&I Services