Here is a sample set of questions to ask while prioritizing a product or project in a portfolio
- What is the business value for the product?
- Will the new product allow the stakeholders to reach and exploit new marketing geographies?
- Does the new product provide a distinct competitive advantage in the marketplace?
- Is the new product going to help launch or promote any new or emerging lines of business?
- Is this new product playing catch-up with rest of the players in the market?
- What happens if we do not build this product and invest the budget elsewhere? Who will get affected? Will this be a potential market share issue?
- Is the new feature considered a legal obligation for the market?
- Is there a partner obligation for the product launch schedule?
- How much can the proposed product leverage the newly created infrastructure?
- Does this product address the most demanding stakeholder group in the company?
Resourcing and Cost:
- Are all necessary resources available for the product to be implemented?
- How much will it cost to launch the new product?
- Do we have talent in-house to make this product? What is the lead time to ramp up a team?
- Do we have data to prove that we can produce a quality product on time?
- Is there a need to build follow-up modules to the product?
While it’s easy to point out how your portfolio planning is in shambles and why you will not reach the success you are aiming for, it’s harder to do course correction and put it back on the right direction. That requires courage and conviction. There is a huge trove of online literature of successful case studies, interviews of successful product managers for understanding the golden rules of portfolio management. Along with that knowledge and the attitude to question every assumptions made during a critical decision making process you will be definitely on the path to avoid dumb mistakes while planning your portfolio.