A client situation this week sparked an internal debate at Kalypso over the question of whether it is wiser to improve a process and then implement an enabling technology or use the implementation of a software system as a driver of process change. The particular area of interest was the portfolio management disciplines of a large diversified products company. Is implementing a system putting the cart before the horse?
The advice we gave clients in the past was to focus on the business process, governance structure, and organizational capabilities first and then implement an enabling technology to sustain the discipline of portfolio management. While it is a real challenge to manage and analyze the information associated with a large innovation portfolio using Excel and PowerPoint, these tools were typically sufficient to get the job done in the short-term and reduce time to value.
The times, however, they are a changing. The introduction of reasonably priced software-as-a-service offerings from the leading portfolio management software providers obviates the need to use Excel as an interim measure. The solutions are easy to use, simple to implement, and give you enterprise-class analytical capabilities. Even if you would rather implement a system in a traditional on-premise mode, you have the option of using an on-demand solution to get started and transition over time. You may ultimately find that there is little motivation to switch.
If you are still using Excel to manage your innovation portfolio, now is the time to evaluate the options available to you through on-demand offerings from the leading portfolio management solution providers. They are increasingly making it easy to let the cart push the horse.