The above techniques for tracking projects progress are quite useful for the project team. Its use however is focused on providing feedback to one specific team. However the tool also has a use when collected and viewed as a portfolio of progress. This is especially true when the Horizon One, Two and Three projects are viewed as three clustered groups. To see how this clustering can help the “Technology Portfolio Drivers” figure, taken from the strategic planning section of this compendium, shows how the Corporation sales are projected to evolve over time as a function of the introduction timeline of each category. Recalling from the earlier discussion in this compendium, the top line sales each year are determined by analyst expectations of what revenues are required each year to sustain their “buy-the-stock” recommendations (which drive stock price growth and management bonus/options).
Technology and business development projects designed to meet Blue and Brown lines are derived, and clustered together, from operating plans and budgets. Projects being undertaken to meet the Red line are derived from strategic business / technology development plans as supported by written capital plans. Projects to meet Green line are derived from funded strategic business / technology development plans.
A convenient way to display all the information discussed in this section is to utilize one wall of a Strategic Planning War Room. A schematic of what this one wall of the War Room Displays looks like is shown in the “Technology Project Portfolio Tracking” figure. The Technology Project Portfolio Drivers figure is used in the upper left as a reference point that is updated over time and analyst expectations, to show what will be needed. Projects clustered by the three time horizons are put in three horizontal rows. The left to right position of projects in each cluster is determined by how close the project is to completion. Those with green borders represent the projects that the governing team is currently counting on to meet the expected gaps shown in the technology portfolio tracking figure.
Note that not every project is surrounded by a green box. This is because not every project is expected to succeed. Thus the Green Boxes show how many successful projects of the total underway will be needed to meet the needed target revenue gap (success rate). This provides the Corporation’s top management and the strategic planning teams the insight they need to start and nurture enough high-quality programs to sustain corporate success.
Holding quarterly executive management reviews in the strategic planning war room is a productive and vivid way to plan, nurture, and audit new business and technology development contributions’ to corporate success.