Viewpoints on Innovation

Portfolio Question #12: What’s Missing From Your Portfolio?

Are there white space opportunities that are not being addressed?


Are there white space opportunities that are not being addressed?

The final question we should ask at the conclusion of a comprehensive portfolio review is “what’s missing?” The conversation at a typical review is dominated by what is in the pipeline. We look at what’s in front of us and ask questions of strategic alignment, resource capacity, value, mix and balance.

The final question should be focused on what is not there.

I like concluding reviews with this question because it reorients the members of the portfolio review committee on the greater business opportunity that might be available to the organization. This provides direction and guidance to the group responsible for the front end of the innovation process. By being proactive and directing this group to explore specific market opportunities, we can avoid the self-perpetuating out-of-balance loop that we can never seem to break.

Identifying new opportunities and charting a course for the exploration of them is a fine way to conclude any review of an innovation portfolio. 

More in this series:

Portfolio Question #1: How are our recently launched innovations performing in market?

Portfolio Question #2: Will our current portfolio deliver our organic growth goals?

Portfolio Question #3: Does the portfolio reflect our business strategy? By business unit?

Portfolio Question #4:  Does the portfolio contain a diverse mix of innovation types?

Portfolio Question #5: Is the portfolio balanced? More than just risk/reward?

Portfolio Question #6: Is the portfolio balanced by phase and by expected launch date?

Portfolio Question #7: Have we clearly defined and communicated the portfolio priorities?

Portfolio Question #8: What are the constraints to delivering the projects in the portfolio?

Portfolio Question #9: Which projects should we accelerate, delay, or kill completely?

Portfolio Question #10: How can we shift key resources around to deliver the portfolio?

Portfolio Question #11: What is the impact of loading proposed projects into the pipeline?

Portfolio Question #12: What's missing from your portfolio?


Originally published on

Originally published on May 13th, 2014

What's your view? Add your question or comment

Topics: P±, Portfolio Management, Portfolio Manager, Portfolio Optimization, Portfolio Rationalization, Portfolio Reviews, PPM, PPM Dispatch, PPM Dispatch Blog, Project Portfolio Management, Project Selection

About the Author

Bill Poston

Bill Poston

For the past 30 years, Bill has helped executives in technology-driven industries transform their competencies to deliver results. He is a highly regarded consultant, speaker, and writer on the topics of innovation strategy, product development, portfolio management, technology commercialization, and the software systems that enable innovation. Keep up with Bill's latest research and thoughts on innovation and the rising role of the Chief Innovation Officer at
More Viewpoints by Bill Poston

What's Your View?

comments powered by Disqus

Don't miss future posts.
Get Viewpoints Digests delivered right to your inbox.

Subscribe Now Leave me alone