Measuring Design Thinking on the Level of an Innovation Portfolio and Funnel

How do we know we have enough projects in our pipeline, and they are »on strategy,« too?

This level is more relevant to project sponsors and decision-makers (e.g. in investment boards). Teams, most of the time, will not have contact with funnel or portfolio decisions in projects. In for-profit environments, you, as a member of an investment board, see to it that you have enough projects in your innovation pipeline for each playing field, from incremental efficiency innovations to more radical transformative innovations, which align with your innovation thesis and strategy. The former keeps your current business alive, and the latter creates future business. In not for profit and public services environments this is different but similar: here it is mission, doctrine and current political agendas, which dictate the playing fields or facets to innovate in. It is an essential leadership task to align, balance, finance, and measure such portfolios.

Portfolio/Funnel Activity Metrics
  • Pipeline health, e.g. via 
    • # of products/service moving to the next stage
    • average amount of $ spent per stage
    • # of products/services per sub-stage
    • # of ideas/projects submitted
    • # of portfolio/funnel decisions made (e.g. by an investment board)
  • Portfolio health, e.g. via
    • # of products by playing field,
    • $ of average amount invested,
    • # of zombie projects killed to total # of projects
  • Pivot or Persevere decisions made
  • etc.
Portfolio/Funnel Output Metrics
  • New business models ready to scale
  • New citizen services ready to open to public
  • # of services with a high NPS to total # of services
  • Innovation conversion (how many projects convert into marketable/ publishable business models, services, products)
  • % of products/services that reach critical inflection points or fits (e.g., problem-solution fit, product-market fit, business model fit, etc.)
  • Market share, new market segments entered
  • Investment/savings performance of the innovation portfolio (e.g. via classic metrics like return on investment (ROI), internal rate of return (IRR), net present value (NPV), etc.)
  • etc.

What do you think? Leave a reply!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Want to read more of our thinking?