Over the past decade, Bruce Springsteen has devoted a portion of his live concerts to audience requests. Audience members in the general admission pit frantically wave their “sign requests” – decorated signs that often resemble second-grade projects – hoping that The Boss will play the song of their dreams. Bruce wades into the audience and scoops up a bunch of signs – sometimes six or seven. After carefully considering his options, Bruce selects a request to honor, props the sign on the microphone stand so the audience can see and, one…two… three…four…
What do concert sign requests have to do with b-to-b product portfolio optimization? When Bruce considers which song to play, he has some set criteria for judging which song best fits the moment. Does he want to convey a feeling of nostalgia? If so, he might reach for a real oldie. Does he need to give his veteran drummer a rest? Maybe a solo acoustic number is in order. Is it time to set the house alight? Maybe it’s time for “No Surrender.”
Organizations should also consider very specific criteria when deciding among product investment choices. The use of a consistent rubric to actually score product investment ideas not only helps ensure companies are making wise investment choices at the right time, but also provides a clear framework against which product teams can develop business cases for new and updated products.
That may be well and good, but as a product management analyst at SiriusDecisions, I often hear that leadership teams struggle to develop their own set of criteria for assessing and comparing their opportunities for new product investment and product upgrades. Here are some suggestions to get you started, based on the SiriusDecisions Offering Investment Scorecard.
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