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Product Portfolio
& Pipeline Management

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

Pre-Conference Workshops:
Monday, April 24 — 8:00am-12:00pm
    Optimizing the Business Value of Projects & Portfolios

    Instructor: David Matheson, SmartOrg, Inc....More Info

    Portfolio Syndrome: Customer Value Driven Portfolio Management & Innovation
    Instructor: Sheila Mello & Ronald Lasser, Product Development Consulting, Inc....More Info

Workshop A

Optimizing the Business Value of Projects & Portfolios


Dr. David Matheson
President and CEO
SmartOrg, Inc.

Forty-five to fifty per cent of the projects that enter development fail in the marketplace or never even make it to market* (source: Robert Cooper, Ivey Business Journal). Companies should not have funded many of these projects. Management should have killed or seriously redirected others.

This workshop will demonstrate how Value-Based Management can dramatically improve your company’s ability to deliver higher business value from projects and portfolios.

Specifically, you will learn how to:

  • Focus capital and human resources on delivering high value

  • Forecast the value of new projects and products

  • Reduce downside risk and increase upside potential

  • Make convincing cases for funding new products

  • Achieve buy-in across multiple functions, e.g. Marketing, Finance, R&D

  • Weed out potential losers BEFORE they drain valuable resources

  • Balance portfolios to optimize business value

The workshop will include case studies from several industries, demonstrations, and an opportunity to measure how well your company makes decisions to drive growth and profitability.

Dr. David Matheson, President and CEO of SmartOrg Inc, has helped companies create value in industries ranging from pharmaceuticals and high tech to consumer goods and motion pictures. He is co-author of the best-selling book, “The Smart Organization: Creating Value through Strategic R&D” (Harvard Business School Press). He co-founded SmartOrg in 2000 after a decade of consulting to bring Value-Based Management processes to customers through advanced software systems.

Workshop B

Portfolio Syndrome:
Customer Value Driven Portfolio Management & Innovation


Sheila Mello Sheila Mello
Managing Partner & Principal
Product Development Consulting, Inc.
Ron Lasser
Product Development Consulting, Inc.

You may have well-honed ideation, development and market launch processes, but if these product development niches aren’t tied to robust portfolio planning, you may very well be working on all the wrong projects. The biggest win is adding VOC to your portfolio decision process.

This workshop will focus on driving portfolio management and innovation decisions with VOC research. It’s about developing market solutions that satisfy customer pain and deliver value. Companies need a steady stream of product successes – not just one new product breakthrough. This workshop will provide insights into how you can develop dynamic portfolio management skills by applying techniques of empathy and a true understanding of customers. Creating a winning portfolio of products will help any business reduce engineering dollars on projects that get cancelled or change late in the game – once precious resources have already been spent.

It’s all about starting with the right drivers – focus on the external, rather than on company-centric metrics. Learn how to look outside your own company to drive performance based on customer value, product definition, and market differentiationthe key drivers to winning portfolio decisions.

Specifically, this workshop will examine:

  • Fundamentals for gathering the voice of the customer

  • Guidelines for determining customer requirements

  • Methods to define metrics for each customer requirements so that you will know when you have created a portfolio that satisfies the customer’s requirements

  • Approaches to using customer data to drive innovation solutions

  • Alternatives to selecting the appropriate level of investment intensity

  • Why you should drive investments by customer value, strategic value and investment intensity than by financial projections or whiz-bang technology

Sheila Mello is the managing partner and a principal consultant at Boston-based Product Development Consulting, Inc. (PDC), and author of the book Customer-Centric Product Definition: The Key to Great Product Development. A well-respected expert in the field of product development, Sheila’s clients benefit from her many years of executive and hands-on experience in product development, software and hardware, engineering, marketing, quality, manufacturing, sales and service. Sheila has done extensive research in processes for defining customer requirements and is an expert in helping companies implement and institutionalize market-driven product definition and portfolio programs.

Ronald Lasser is a principal with PDC and specializes in helping clients quickly recover from product development problems. Ron is able to increase his clients' ability to deliver projects on time and on budget by applying his years of experience managing engineering organizations. Ron has a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University and holds master of science and bachelor of science degrees in mechanical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. He has completed the executive education Strategic Marketing Management program at the Harvard Business School and is a lecturer at Tufts University for courses in the Entrepreneurial Leadership Program and for the electrical engineering/computer science department.

Available Mon-Fri 
9:30am-5pm est

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All attendees of this conference will receive a FREE copy of Rita Gunther McGrath's new book: