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Optimizing workflow to optimize impact

  • 1.  Optimizing workflow to optimize impact

    Posted 04-14-2020 12:10
    I listened to a Chad McAllister podcast. He talked to Mike Hannan about a framework for maximizing the goal impact of your product portfolio.

    We often do too many projects at once. This might seem good as we squeeze the most from our resources. However, would it be a better strategy to focus and really target a few projects with the highest probability for success. Focusing on maximizing goal impact is very freeing because you can keep trying different strategies and changes until you've reached the customer value and cost, you're satisfied with. To get the most important projects done, you need to optimize the workflow of your system. Just because the system can handle more work doesn't mean that more work will promote the best flow of work.

    Do you have a good way of optimizing your strategy to target the optimal projects?

    Rose Klimovich
    Manhattan College
    Riverdale NY

  • 2.  RE: Optimizing workflow to optimize impact

    Posted 04-16-2020 15:09
    I recognise this as a common problem, Rose. Too often we have so many stakeholders and "good ideas" floating around that there is always the temptation to start one more project or squeeze one more initiative in. The problem is that in many organisations there are ​critical resource bottlenecks and too many projects jam up the system.

    I hadn't heard of this approach before, but the idea of optimising your product development portfolio to maximise the impact on your goals sounds logical in theory. Would love to hear more about how to implement it in practice. Traditional approaches I have seen are using the stage gate process to gate too many projects getting into the system at the same time. Another is the use of strategic buckets to allocate resources to defined areas of strategic importance so important priorities don't get starved out. Once a new concept comes in and if the bucket is already fully allocated, it has to wait until something completes or else has to be deferred to make room rather than just piling it in on top.

    Brian Martin