iPM Portfolio Management

iPM Challenge is about placing your bets to create the optimum future product portfolio. By using different canvases you get several overviews enabling you to make informed decisions. We offer a dynamic method to identify, access, share, and create knowledge in an organization, with the aim to help the organization to compete by being more innovative, effective, and thus more profitable.

Read an interview with CEO of Googol and workshopleader Jan Sandqvist here.

Why is visual thinking important?
What value does it provide? Does it have any use or relevance for business concepts like portfolio management?

Drawing is a skill all of us are blessed with. Sure, some might be better at it than others — but as a species we’re hard wired for visuals. In fact, we communicate through pictures long before we start effectively using words.

The reason that visual thinking is so powerful is because words can be deceptive in their meaning depending on how, when and where they are used. Pictures however, are universal and can bridge those communication gaps.

Visual thinking is about using pictures to solve problems, think about complex issues, and communicate more effectively.

Company portfolios can be very complex. They require various considerations, financial and otherwise. The interrelationships between each project in the portfolio are diverse.

If yes…then what?
If the answer is yes, does visualization only help to express concepts, or to facilitate understanding and analysis? Or could it possibly be used to facilitate a dynamic process of reviewing and changing the company’s portfolio? How is visual thinking effective at doing this?

Visual Models help to explain portfolios more simply and map them out visually. Words are involved but not pages of descriptive text.

Visualization techniques turn tacit assumptions into explicit information. Visualization techniques help make the portfolios tangible, and allow for clearer discussion and changes.

Strategic visualization can engage stakeholders (of the portfolio management process) and help translate and communicate the strategy to the stakeholders’ contexts. Hence visual techniques facilitate co-creation, particularly in the case of many departments deciding what to do with the company’s portfolio.

Visualizing portfolios as a group is an effective way to achieve shared understanding. People from different parts of an organization may deeply understand parts of a business portfolio but lack a solid grasp of the whole. When experts jointly visualize a portfolio, everybody involved gains an understanding of the individual components and develop a shared understanding of the relationships between these components.

Businesses are already frequently using visual techniques, for example diagrams and charts, to clarify messages within financial reports and plans. Nevertheless visual techniques are used less frequently to discuss strategic issues like portfolio management. It is in strategic processes where visual thinking can add great value.

Visual techniques act as a collective reference point for discussions. Given that people can hold only a limited number of ideas in their short-term memory, a visual portrayal of portfolios is essential to a good discussion. Visual depictions of ideas turn abstract ideas into concrete conceptual anchors. Hence they can trigger ideas much faster and more effectively than a page of words.

Design thinking helps people to construct ideas that are emotionally meaningful as well as functional, and to express themselves through means beyond words or symbols.

A powerful visual story reinforcing discussions can increase chances of gaining understanding and backing for ideas. Using visualization techniques rather than just pages of text to tell the story makes the story even stronger, because people identify immediately with visuals. Good visualization helps to communicate the organization’s current status, what needs doing, how it can be done, and what the future might look like.

A visual portrayal of a company’s portfolio provides opportunities for play and creativity. This in turn increases the engagement of stakeholders.
Purpose of the workshop
iPM Challenge is about placing your bets to create the optimum future product portfolio. By using different canvases you get several overviews enabling you to make informed decisions. Business strategy is about understanding markets and needs and identifying opportunities for returns. Strategic management distinguishes between strategy formulation and strategy implementation. Where for the strategy formulation many concepts are effective, the implementation of these strategies often fails. In a study of around 300 portfolio managers who reported that the ability to execute a strategy was more important than the quality of the strategy itself. Similarly they describe other studies that indicate that fewer than 10 percent of effectively formulated strategies were successfully implemented, or that only 5 percent of the workforce understands their company’s strategy. Thus the problem is not bad strategy but bad execution. The key for better execution is to engage employees. To do so, the strategy needs to be translated and communicated to the recipients’ contexts. To succeed, the communicator not only needs to convey the strategy, but also needs to tailor it to the recipient’s context, so that he can re-construct the knowledge, integrate it, and put it into meaningful action.
Goal
The workshop offers a dynamic method to identify, access, share, and create knowledge in an organization, with the aim to help the organization to compete by being more innovative, effective, and thus more profitable.

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