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As we continue our poll series to understand the priorities and challenges that product executives face, I wanted to share the results from the fourth poll. This poll was focused on portfolio management and the challenges faced. There were again over 200 responses representing a solid cross-section of product management, sales, marketing and development roles across all types of industries and geographies.
The question was: What are your biggest product portfolio management challenges?
About 30% of Large and Enterprise size companies cite ‘Poor resource planning and allocation’ as their biggest challenge. Approximately 25% of the same size companies say they have ‘Difficulty tracking top-down alignment ’- As I believe there is a positive correlation between the two issues, I think it is fair to say that more than half of Large and Enterprise companies are challenged in one form or the other when it comes to aligning product planning WITH execution? This could mean their inability to align company goals and product strategies WITH execution(top-down) to their inability to match timing and resource constraints to avoid over-committing one function or department (bottom-up).
It is imperative that companies get this alignment right given the dynamic environment today where we can’t afford a miss- a dramatic acceleration in cadence of change and activities that forces us to be on the same page or opportunities are missed and resources wasted, mildly put.
In short, THE GAME HAS CHANGED.
The next generation product portfolio management will not only encompass a tight ‘top-down AND bottom-up alignment’- aligning company goals and product strategy to requirements, resources and budget constraints-but also ‘sideways-in’ for a shared view of innovation data and processes integrated with ideas, requirements and execution across internal and external stakeholders. That will be the “glue” for a truly integrated product innovation management.