Common Portfolio Challenges for PS Organizations

Too often, companies misdiagnose or have a hard time identifying the root causes of their biggest challenges, therefore their efforts to address these symptoms are either ineffective or too involved.  After more than 20 years spent working with some of the world’s largest and most complex PS firms, we find that many organizational symptoms are linked to a struggle to answer the question: “what needs to be in, and how should I be managing, my portfolio?” Here is our point of view on how portfolio can be at the core of many common organizational challenges.

Common Portfolio Challenges for PS Organizations

Client SymptomsM&R Point of View
1. We are struggling to grow and meet our financial goals. Often, companies' portfolios are too large and disaggregated, making it difficult for the buyers to buy, the sellers to sell, and for the organization to deliver on its value proposition. Rather than continuing to expand the portfolio, most organizations would benefit most from consolidating their offerings and evolving their portfolio into one that ties together discrete offers into more holistic solutions – moving from point solutions to Service Chains to topical offer sets, and finally to segment account journeys.
2. We have a 100-page offer book, but don’t feel we have the “right” offers for our market.
3. Our value proposition often falls flat.
4. Our enterprise strategy is disconnected from our PS strategy.
Often, the broader organization isn’t effectively enabling the PS business, or PS has different goals and expectations than the rest of the corporation. As a result, the PS portfolio winds up in disarray and is disconnected from the enterprise strategy. The PS team doesn’t have the support to know what solutions to be developing and selling. Maximizing the return on the PS portfolio begins by ensuring the PS business is properly supported by and aligned with, the enterprise strategy. This will help dictate the portfolio’s role, and therefore the required portfolio strategy (e.g., to provide differentiation, create intimacy with customers, and pull through products and services).
5. Leaders outside the PS business have a different strategy in mind for us than what we believe will be effective.
6. We are having trouble differentiating with new offers or retiring stale offers.
Due to many organizations’ portfolio construct or management, there is often a struggle to maintain the portfolio’s relevancy in the market. Either nobody owns a portfolio decision, or everybody owns the decision – either way, the result is a portfolio of stale offers. Establishing the necessary discipline to continually evaluate the performance of existing solutions, determine their appropriate place in the client journey, vet new solutions, and make the decision on when to get rid of old solutions that are no longer appropriate for the portfolio typically requires an empowered portfolio management function, rather than counting on everyone in the business to play their part.
7. We are entering a new market space and don’t know what these customers need.

Written by: Anthony Paluska

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About the Author: Anthony Paluska is a Partner at McMann & Ransford with experience helping organizations overcome commoditization by developing stronger, more intimate, relationships with their customers. He has leveraged his management consulting, problem solving, and change management skills to support 15+ Fortune 1000 organizations, across a multitude of industries.

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