After the inspirational morning talks with other participants, I entered my first workshop on Portfolio Management with great anticipation. The room was prepared with a lot of material, and it looked like we might be in for a competition based on how the furniture was arranged. However, as suspected, we were divided into teams where each and every one was appointed a management role within a company. Suddenly, I became the frustrated R&D Manager! Our task was to find a reasonable and sustainable solution to a challenge made by “the new CEO” – to double the profit using existing resources.
The workshop was based on the Portfolio Management Game invented by Robert Svanberg (Arla Foods) and Joachim Cronquist (Googol). It was both fun and enlightening.
We had some 30 projects, based on new strategic direction and project characteristics such as: Net Present Value, Time to Market and Risk to choose from. The task was to analyze and optimize an overcrowded pipeline, to fulfill the financial targets set by the CEO, and to take personal relations and customer needs into consideration.
I really liked the hands-on approach and enjoyed the different yet smart way that we were made to see a more-often-than-not boring and abstract portfolio. The discussions within my group were fruitful as we continuously built on each other's suggestions. I was a bit surprised how far we came in just an hour. Even though all teams came up with a viable solution to the problem, no portfolio looked the same. This made the final group discussion extremely dynamic. Among the many “ahas” that echoed the room during the last short discussion, it was undeniably intriguing that all the participants could argue for their different unique group portfolios in a succinct and well-informed way. That must have been one of the key take-away’s for the workshop.
All in all, it was one of the best workshops I have attended this year; and that includes the one I facilitated together with Patrik Malmberg of St Jude Medical.
Article by Jan Sandqvist, Googol
För mer information:
Activity: Project Portfolio Management Workshop at Innovation in Action 2011
Date: 19th - 20th of October 2011
Place: Sky City Conference at Stockholm Arlanda Airport
Profile of participants: Innovation practitioners
Hosted by: Innovation Pioneers
Partners of IIA 2011: Swedavia, Microsoft, Logica, Vinnova, Maxibit, Bergenstråhle & Lindvall, SISP and Baker & McKinzie.
The initiating companies of Innovation Pioneers:
Astra Zeneca, Alfa Laval, Electrolux, Volvo IT, Atria,The Absolut Company (Pernod Ricard), Ergonomidesign, Ericsson, Googol, Hjälpmedelsinstitutet, IKEA, Innventia, SCA, Stora Enso, Tetra Pak and Uponor.