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Balancing Multiple Projects with Limited Resources

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Keynote Presentations

"Another success by MRT, exceeded expectations thoroughly...creme de la creme of speakers..." - Michael Kobrehel, Manager, New Product Development, Excel Industries

Agile Project Management: Problems, Principles and Practices PPMbullet.GIF (106 bytes)

DAY ONE - Tues, Sept. 25
8:30 am – 9:45 am

Jim Highsmith Jim Highsmith
Director, e-Project Management Practice
Cutter Consortium

Those who view the dot-com debacle as vindicating a return to traditional modes of operation are in for a wicked surprise. The turbulence, change, and uncertainty of our New Economy preceded the dot-coms, and it will linger on and intensify as leading companies continue their competitive drive towards an e-business and e-commerce future.

But as the dials are turned up on change and uncertainty, traditional project management practices are showing the strains of age. Enter today’s "Agile Methodologies*," particularly those in the all-important software and information technology arena—Extreme Programming, Lean Development, Scrum, Crystal Methods, and Adaptive Software Development—are gaining recognition. Why? What Problems are these Agile Methodologies solving? What key Principles, if any, are common among the various approaches? Finally, how do organizations navigate among Agile Methodology Practices? This presentation, geared to understanding the Problems, Principles, and Practices of Agile Methodologies will help practitioners explain the benefits of these approaches to both customers and management and assist them in adapting and scaling them to a diverse set of e-business projects.

Jim Highsmith is director of the Cutter Consortium’s e-Project Management Practice and author of Adaptive Software Development: A Collaborative Approach to Managing Complex Systems which recently won Software Development magazine’s prestigious JOLT award for product excellence. He has 30 years experience as a consultant, software developer, manager, and writer. Jim has published dozens of articles in major industry publications and his ideas about project management in the Internet era have been featured in ComputerWorld in the U.S. and The Economic Times in India. In the last ten years, he has worked with both IT organizations and software companies in the US, Europe, Canada, South Africa, India, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand to help them adapt to the accelerated pace of development in increasingly complex, uncertain environments.

* While derived from the software world, agile project management applies to all product development in a high-speed, high-change environment.

Strategic Portfolio Management: Leveraging Your Pipeline PPMbullet.GIF (106 bytes)

DAY ONE - Tues, Sept. 25
4:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Scott Edgett Dr. Scott Edgett
CEO and co-founder,
Product Development Institute

What are the key drivers for successfully managing a NPD portfolio? How are leading organizations dealing with this issue? In this presentation, Dr. Scott Edgett will provide insights into how companies are using portfolio management to:

  1. Allocate resources to maximize the value of the portfolio (e.g., long term profitability; or ROI)
  1. Achieve a desired balance of projects across competing demands; for example:

- between long term & short, fast projects

- between high risk and low risk

- across various markets

- across different technologies (e.g. embryonic, pacing, base)

- across different types of innovation: new products, improvements, cost reductions, fundamental research

  1. Obtain the right number of projects for your pipeline

- balancing resource demands with resource availability

  1. Linking the new product effort to the Business Strategy ensuring that projects are "on strategy":

- that spending on projects reflects the strategic priorities of the business

- that the business strategy will be realized via the list of active projects

Dr. Scott J. Edgett is an internationally recognized expert in the field of new product development and portfolio management. He is CEO and co-founder of the Product Development Institute and an Associate Professor of Marketing at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada. Scott is also on the Board of Directors for the Product Development Management Association and Vice President of Publications.

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Dr. Cooper is one of the expert facilitators leading MRT's NPD Executive Roadmap Series

Product Development Multi-Project Management PPMbullet.GIF (106 bytes)

DAY TWO - Wed, Sept. 26
8:00 am – 9:30 am

Michael Cusumano Michael Cusumano


How do you manage product development more strategically and efficiently? Learn how multi-project management can leverage projects and bring enormous benefit to companies. The basic idea is to create new products that share key components but utilize separate development teams to ensure that each product differs enough to attract different customers. If possible, projects that share components and engineering teams should overlap in time so that a firm can deliver many products quickly and utilize very new technologies. The evidence suggests that, if they follow these principles, firms can achieve dramatic improvements in performance – huge savings in development costs (engineering hours) as well as remarkable growth in sales and market share. The examples and data are mainly from the automobile industry. The ideas, however, apply to many companies that have more than one product and want to expand the number of new products rapidly and efficiently.

Michael A. Cusumano, MIT Sloan Professor and noted author (Competing on Internet Time: Lessons from Netscape and its Battle with Microsoft, Microsoft Secrets, Thinking Beyond Lean: How Multi-Project Management is Transforming Product Development at Toyota and Other Companies, etc.) specializes in strategy and technology management in the computer software, automobile, and consumer electronics industries.

Supporting Organizations:
Speed to Market Sopheon Project Management Institute - New Product Development Special Interest Group
Sloan Management Review    IPS

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