3.4. Assessment of Portfolio Planning & Management Capability

Previous sections have outlined key elements of the portfolio planning and management process and described roles and responsibilities that must be implemented. This section addresses the critical success factors for performance related to this important business process. The intent is to provide business leaders with information and insights useful in evaluating the performance of their own firm.

A comprehensive evaluation of portfolio planning and management capability requires measuring levels of achievement in four critical performance areas: (1) strategic direction, (2) portfolio level of merit, (3) project execution, and (4) new-product-related resources. A sparse set of quantitative tools are available for appraising performance in these areas but, in general, they do not offer enough breadth and depth to achieve the comprehensive assessment wanted here (Cooper, 1998; Patterson, 1999). Instead, a largely subjective approach is suggested—that of comparing a firm's performance to the earmarks of ideal performance, as described below. The following paragraphs outline key symptoms of success in each of these four performance areas.

Strategic direction:

Regular, well-planned and -executed strategic discussions occur that involve key members of the business leadership team. A process is in place that creates product and technology roadmaps and periodically updates them (Wilyard, 1987). These roadmaps exist and are ...

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