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How to manage core business and innovation projects in the same portfolio?

Showing isn’t the same as managing.

Bruno Pešec
Bruno Pešec
1 min read
How to manage core business and innovation projects in the same portfolio?

Allow me to start by questioning the "manage" part of the question.

It certainly is possible to show both core business and innovation projects in the same portfolio by having your maturity axis cover everything from inception to decline.

But showing/presenting them isn’t the same as managing them.

In fact, core business and innovation projects shouldn’t be managed the same way at all.

Although they might have overlapping processes—e.g. lean experimentation to reduce uncertainty and improve the odds—they most certainly won’t have the same governance.

These projects will be funded, measured, and supported differently.

It is possible to manage core business projects as innovation projects, while they are in early maturity stages (i.e. from exploration to growth).

Just don’t pretend that you don’t know what you know, nor tell your people “you are a startup now, no more resources for you.”

On the other hand, managing innovation projects as if they were a mature, core business, from the get-go will most likely result in a frustrating failure.

Going back to the question:

  • You can show both core business and innovation projects in the same portfolio.
  • Don’t manage them the same way since they require different governance to be successful.
  • Keep the governance lightweight. Innovation board with proper mandate and tight innovation portfolio can do wonders.
InnovationStrategyLeadership

Bruno Pešec

I turn corporate innovation into a viable investment.

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