Why PPM for Innovation should be -business as usual- in your organization

Leading innovative companies across differing industry sectors  have already adopted or are in the process of implementing Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) solutions to drive their innovation efforts.  My last blog “What is PPM for Innovation?” http://tinyurl.com/3mchm82 discussed how PPM can facilitate improved innovation performance across the enterprise. However, whilst I’m definitely seeing how companies are  becoming more aware of the role that PPM plays, it is not yet seen as “business as usual” to apply PPM to innovation processes.  I believe that best of breed PPM must be a fundamental part of the IT framework supporting any organization’s effort to innovate.  So why is this not the case today?One major reason is perception – many companies are not making the connection between PPM and innovation management.  Businesses know that being successful at innovation pays, and consequently they continue to invest heavily in systems and process improvements to enhance their innovation capabilities.  Much of this investment being focused on IT initiatives, such as ERP, Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), or niche “product development” systems. 

Despite this investment, the majority of businesses continue to be disappointed with their rate of return from innovation.  I contend that a major contributory factor is that the technical enablement of an organization’s innovation processes often fails to adequately address the critical “people-driven” innovation disciplines, including strategic planning, product portfolio management, pipeline capacity planning, project and resource management. 

As managing these key “people processes” is not a core competency for the likes of ERP or PLM systems, organizations have needed to complement their significant IT system investments with a plethora of point solutions, custom applications, Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations, creating a fragmented “silos of innovation” IT landscape.

The lack of overall visibility and transparency of the innovation process caused by this “silos of innovation” IT landscape is at the heart of many of the common innovation challenges I see companies being faced with today, including:

  1. Poor portfolio decision making – difficulty selecting the right opportunities to commercialize
  2. No objective means of prioritization
  3. Products and services not meeting customer requirements
  4. Trying to do too much innovation for available resources
  5. Overly long development cycles
  6. High administrative overhead to manage process and get status updates
  7. Inability to identify and kill bad projects early
  8. Difficulty measuring innovation performance

Best of breed PPM solutions, such as CA Clarity PPM, are designed from the ground up to address these “people-driven” innovation disciplines.  Consequently organizations are able to eradicate long-established “silos of innovation” and directly address the most common barriers to innovation.  That is why (when looking to achieve high performance) a best of breed PPM solution should be part of the IT framework supporting any organization’s innovation effort. This must also compliment other strategic business systems including ERP and PLM solutions.   The value of a PPM solution can be summarized as:

  • Healthier Product Portfolio – Better Alignment of business and innovation strategy
  • Increasing ROI from New Products – Objectively score, rank and select winning initiatives
  • Increasing the Rate of Innovation – Efficiently capture new ideas, rapidly progress the best ideas through the idea-to-launch process.
  • Optimization of Development Resources – Plan for and manage scarce and specialized skill sets to ensure availability, consistency and development efficiency
  • Shortening Time-to-Value – Standardize and streamline complex, cross-functional product development and introduction processes. Ensuring consistency and launch predictability.
  • Decreasing Development Costs – Ensure development projects are executed efficiently, bureaucracy reduced, decisions are made right first time to reduce waste and iterative correction loops.

By more effectively managing the “people-driven” innovation disciplines, Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) solutions facilitate an organization in overcoming their barriers to innovation in order to reap the benefits of high performance innovation.  For further information on how CA Technologies can help to optimize your innovation management processes please visit:


Article source: CA PPM Blog

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