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Product Portfolio
& Pipeline Management

Linking Resource Allocation to Strategy and Market Need
April 24-25, 2006 / Chicago, IL

Case Study Presentations

Air Products & Chemicals | Boeing | Whirlpool
BD Diagnostics | Motorola | AT&T | Shure | Eli Lilly

Air Products & Chemicals

Portfolio Management Processes at
Air Products & Chemicals Inc.

Naser Chowdhury,

Global Product Manager

Air Products & Chemicals

Ronald Pierantozzi
Strategy Manager
Corporate Development Office

Air Products & Chemicals

The presentation will introduce various portfolio management processes and tools used by Air Products & Chemicals Inc. in order to introduce and manage a diverse slate of product offerings.  Rigorous portfolio analysis and the use of appropriate metrics are important for relative comparison of portfolio impact.  It is equally important to adopt a systematic process that assures alignment across key stakeholders and functions enabling challenging portfolio and product lifecycle decisions. 

 Air Products uses a formal enterprise work process called “Innovate” to govern idea generation to product concept to launce and beyond.  Portfolio decisions are encountered at several points in the process either at a business level, technology platform level or product level.  Two specific areas will be covered:

Discovery Driven Planning (DDP) –  An effective tool for business strategy analysis and business portfolio management.  DDP is particularly applicable in new business development efforts, evaluation of longer-term investment focused on new or emerging market opportunities that have a high degree of uncertainty.  With the development of a reverse income statement, DDP can readily determine the value of success and the level of return the venture needs to bring to the table.  DDP also identifies key activities and hidden costs necessary to run the venture through commercialization. 

Multi Generational Product Planning (MGPP) -  MGPP is a high level roadmap/template that provides critical product portfolio and product lifecycle information.  It stretches multi generation of product/service releases starting with the current understanding of market needs, product development and technology development plans.  MGPP also facilitates alignment across multiple organizations, functions and stakeholders.  This is of particular importance for products that span across multiple businesses, regions and markets served by the company.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes

Integrating Disruptive Innovation into Your Portfolio Management Process

Ben Almojuela
Associate Technical Fellow, Product Develoment

Boeing Commercial Airplanes

The key to a company’s strategic success and growth is deliberate investment to identify and implement near-continuous innovation in its products and services.

Most portfolio management processes do a fair job at managing innovation to continuously improve a company’s existing products and services (sustaining innovation). However, the same processes are inherently inadequate for handling disruptive innovations (innovation that brings completely new value to market).

Without a rational process for identifying, evaluating, and funding disruptive innovation, resource allocation for disruptive innovation rapidly devolves into a trial-and-error process, as the company pours funds into the top and hopes something good emerges from the bottom. This trial-and-error process can easily lead to technology “hobby shops” that consume limited R&D resources and produce very few profitable innovations.

Mr. Almojuela’s presentation describes the still-emerging process framework for identifying, evaluating and funding disruptive innovation at Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Key Take-Aways:

  • Why your current processes for evaluating sustaining innovation actually impede success with disruptive innovation.

  • How to deal rationally with the inherently uncertain “payoff” for a disruptive innovation.

  • Why validation of critical technical and business assumptions is actually more important technology development per se, and why validation speed is so important.

Track A
Increase Portfolio Value—Prioritize Winners,
Weed Out Losers Early On


A. Improving Quality of Portfolio Decision Making - A Biopharmaceutical Case Study

Dr. Ward Peterson
Vice President
of Discovery
Inspire Pharmaceuticals

The expansion of R&D capabilities and introduction of commercial and business development (BD) functions at Inspire over the past few years have made available to us new opportunities to expand our portfolio and pipeline. It is critical, yet challenging, to consistently make smart decisions across a variety of R&D projects and licensing opportunities, while retaining our nimble and dynamic corporate culture. Executive management was struggling to arrive at a rigorous and disciplined approach for making portfolio and pipelines decisions. By taking a value-based approach to portfolio evaluation, executives were able to rapidly come to quality decisions and reshape the corporate strategy. In this case study, Dr. Peterson will show how Inspire used best practice project evaluation to: (1) structure conversations about decisions;(2) conduct a true apples-to-apples comparison among projects with different time horizons, commercial benefits, risk, and strategic fit; and (3) focus on the issues that really matter.


A. Focusing Innovation on Building Customer Loyalty: Systematically Creating Extraordinary Business Outcomes

Pamela S. Rogers
Corporate Director
Global Innovation &
Customer Excellence
Whirlpool Corporation

For the past six years Whirlpool Corporation has been building a culture that expects Innovation from Everyone, Everywhere and for Everyone to be Passionately Creating Loyal Customers for Life. In a very demonstrable and systematic way, Whirlpool Corporation looks to customer brand loyalty as a guiding light to shape and prioritize its diverse portfolio of innovation efforts, ideas, and investments. To achieve this objective, Whirlpool Corporation launched an extensive investigation into which product, communication, service, and other consumer “touchpoint” attributes ultimately cause customers to be loyal to its brands.

This presentation describes Whirlpool Corporation’s causal model of customer loyalty and describes how this model serves to explicitly focus innovation on building and maintaining customer loyalty and thereby produce differentiated business results. This strategy provides a powerful touchstone to the entire organization helping to drive collaboration, resource allocation, and business process change that will ultimately redefine the home appliance industry. Customer loyalty and innovation at Whirlpool Corporation is not just about making R&D customer focused or creating buzz in the marketplace, it is about causing fundamental everlasting change in how the company thinks, behaves and is viewed by its customers, shareholders and employees. By working on this scale, innovation becomes an inescapable and integral part of everyday business.


A. Managing the Front-end of the Product Pipeline

Tim Stevens
Business & Technology Manager

Research & Development
BD Diagnostics

Late stage product development is easy – everyone knows what to do and why it’s important. However, early stage product definition and direction can sometimes be contentious because it requires buy-in at many levels in the organization and in some cases may impact existing strategy. A good process for data gathering and decision-making is key to leveling concerns and gaining business wide buy-in on front-end product and business planning initiatives.

This presentation will provide an overview of a process for understanding the voice of the customer using Market-Driven Product Definition and other important market and business data-gathering activities to help establish product direction and definition in the context of an evolving business strategy.

Track B
Applying Portfolio and Resource Management
Tools & Techniques


B. How Do We Design Our Product Portfolio? There is a method to the madness...

Kiva Allgood
Senior Director
North America Go-to-Market


Hear an implementation case study by a local leader in product development. Ms. Allgood will share her experiences while covering the following key points:

  • Product categories and their role in maintaining balance and focus

  • Developing a customer focused planning process and methodology

  • Establishing Portfolio Evaluation Criteria to drive resource and investment balance


B. Controlling Dynamic Priorities and Resources with a Portfolio Management Process

Dave Davis
Program Manager


One of the challenges of implementing a portfolio management tool is to make the data useful and valuable when prioritizing work. This presentation reviews how a corporation is utilizing the portfolio management system to prioritize work across the portfolio.

Key items that will be examined include how to:

  • Set up the portfolio to have a common value equation per project

  • Prioritize projects based on their business value, and the business ‘hot spot’ dejour

  • Use the portfolio to forecast resource needs; including development resource, testing resource, PM resource, business analyst resources

  • Re-evaluate scope on at-risk projects to determine if it improves the value equation

  • Prioritize work when resources are fixed

  • Re-evaluate value and priorities if a downstream application project is delayed, descoped, or dropped


Zero Tolerance: A Paradigm for Predictable, On-Time Product Delivery

Laura Élan
Program Director
Personal Audio

Shure, Inc.

Shure, Inc. has a legacy of delivering high quality, high performance, professional audio electronics and microphones. The pace of product development is seldom pushed at the compromise of quality and performance, an appropriate paradigm for customer segments with little competitive advantage from being first-to-market or fast-to-market. With Shure’s business expansion into a new customer space, that of consumer products, this paradigm no longer served the business. Product availability for consumer product resellers is simple: late means “no sale”.

Ms. Élan will discuss the challenge of shifting a traditional phase-gate product development process into a fast, flexible, but still predictive process that delivers products on time. She will introduce the paradigm of “Zero Tolerance”, a cultural shift used to change behaviors and expectations of project planning and execution. She will examine a number of product development examples that leverage ideas such as “rolling the schedule”, fast failures, early re-scope, and de-emphasizing the budget.


Adapting an Existing Portfolio Management Process to a Changing R&D Governance Structure

Dr. Jay Anderson
Senior Research Fellow, Decision Sciences
Eli Lilly

Reorganizations and changes in R&D governance structures can have a significant impact on a company’s portfolio processes.  This presentation will examine a case study of a recent change in governance structure and its impact on the entire R&D pipeline.  Four new governance committees were created to interact with teams from early discovery through to launch.  Existing portfolio processes were modified where necessary to adapt to the new governance structure.  Participants will be able to:

  • Understand the history and development of multiple portfolio processes
  • Understand how the best elements of existing portfolio processes were fused into a new process
  • See the how the results of the initial portfolio review with the merged process enabled clear trade-off decisions between these stages of development
Available Mon-Fri 
9:30am-5pm est

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