Re-Cap of THE UMT Portfolio Management Webcast Featuring FMC

UMT delivered a nice webcast yesterday featuring Blaik Halling, Project Manager and Senior Research Associate with FMC.  You can access the recording by sending an email to marketing(@)

We had a good-sized audience for the event, and I thank those of you who also read the blog for attending.  The size of audience proved to me that many of you are looking to improve your portfolio management capabilities in R&D.

In fact, 46% of the attendees felt they had emerging capabilities in portfolio management – meaning they were doing some good work, but needed to do more.

Benoit Millet from UMT began the webcast talking about the value of portfolio management, and the typical approach used when building the discipline:

  • Standardize the data captured about each project (strategic alignment, financials, risks, etc.)
  • Make the data available to all stakeholders during each stage of the product development process
  • Actively manage risk in individual projects and across the portfolio
  • Optimize your portfolio and make time-to-market decisions via flexible scheduling

He then demonstrated how you manage your R&D portfolio using Microsoft’s Office Project Portfolio Server 2007.  He walked through the scenario of capturing project information, reporting on the data using key performance indicators, and running the portfolio through the optimizer based on a budget constraint.



(screenshots from the webcast)

If you haven’t seen the product before, it is worth the 10-minute overview to get a better feel for how we implement portfolio management inside the product.

After the demonstration, Blaik talked about how FMC is using this software to drive their R&D process inside of their BioPolymers business.

FMC BioPolymers uses a conventional five-stage product development process that starts with the ideation and project selection process and ends with commercialization.

To drive the process, they use:

  • Project Portfolio Server to manage their portfolio
  • Project Server to manage the work within each project
  • SharePoint to store all of the project-related documents and for collaboration
  • SharePoint and InfoPath forms for a new capability they are introducing around ideation.  They are opening ideation up to a much broader set of employees in order to capture all ideas from all disciplines.

There were quite a few questions of Blaik – many around how FMC went about the deployment.  He described it as a “big-bang” where they took on portfolio management and project management at the same time.  He said he wouldn’t necessarily recommend this approach for everyone, but it was necessary for his group.  He mentioned his peers in the Ag group taking on just the portfolio piece to begin.

This should give you a good view of what was discussed, but I encourage you to check out the webcast or drop me a note for more information.