PILOT - Ideation to H2 Opportunity Portfolio

Initiated:  Spring 2020

Expected completion:  Spring 2022

Quick pitch

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To learn more, contact Lee Green.

Value Proposition

Challenge: We believe a gap exists between the well-exercised processes of Horizon 3 Ideation (H3: 5+ years) portfolio and Horizon 1 Stage-Gate (H1: 1-2 years) project portfolio. Our focus is to bridge that gap - the meager-performing Horizon 2 Opportunity Portfolio (H2: 3-5 years).

Some IRI companies successfully manage the gap, while others struggle. What hasn’t worked and why? What has worked? Yes, H2 is about developing a compelling story and business case aligned to a strategy. That task is a difficult achievement for many organizations given the uncertainty 3 – 5 years out. But there are other issues that hamper H2 performance: H2 is squeezed out of portfolio allocation, usurped by H1 priorities, and technology development resources are mostly restricted to H3 activities. And H2 managers may find themselves in no-man’s land with limited advancement opportunities. After all, their H2 projects won’t see the light of day for several years, and by then they may have been transferred to other duties. Are there other challenges? Organizational?, Resources?, Cultural?...

By leveraging insights from adjacent industries (biotech and pharmaceutical – Enrich Consulting), and illuminating the best practices of member IRI companies and where are the stumbling blocks, we believe we can provide knowledgeable guidance to IRI companies to help successfully navigate the H2 gap and advance compelling, qualified prospects into H1 portfolios.



The fundamental approach will be a comparison of contrasting case studies of those IRI members demonstrating successful corporate portfolio processes (H2 in particular) with those members who endeavor to better manage their portfolios. This differential approach will highlight which practices result in improved performance and provide distinguishing insights to other IRI member companies wanting to improve their corporate portfolio performance. As our project title implies, we want to make the findings and proposed solutions “real” (not theoretical) for the member participants.

We will consult heavily on expertise from our IRI Network select participants, particularly ILN chairs, and external sponsors. Enrich brings external expertise in successfully guiding management of billion-dollar biotech/pharmaceutical portfolios.  NewEdge has provided consulting expertise to many IRI companies, particularly in the area of opportunity portfolio management.

The initial approach will use focus groups/ roundtables to develop detailed draft of project objectives. We will also use this opportunity to discover and elicit key member participation in H2 portfolio process review. The convergence of project objectives together with key members will lead during the year to in depth interviews of contrasting case studies (target six to dozen) of their global portfolio management practices. And in exemplary cases will be accompanied by facilitated interviews. These case studies along with the data will form the core of our reported findings.

For the 2021 Annual Meeting, the findings will be presented and consolidated into several teachable formats including a playbook/ roadmap handout and a benchmarking tool.  We will reassure our participating IRI members that all the data gathered will be anonymized. There will be no attribution of findings to or from any one company unless explicitly authorized.



Spring 2020 Phase 1: Define the Challenge for Horizon 2
Collaboration: ILN chairs & ext. sponsors
Task: develop comprehensive project outline
and detailed draft of project objectives
Research: existing literature
Present drafts: Project Pitch, Project Outline w/Research, Think Tank activities to ILN
Fall 2020

Prepare comprehensive project plan + sample
questions + list of IRI member H2 collaborators

Phase 2: Document Current Overt H2 Procedures
and (Covert) Practices in Selected IRI Companies
Collaboration: ILN chairs & ext. sponsors
Test interview(s) with 2+ IRI member to fine
tune data gathering process. collaborators
gaining insights/data on specific H2 portfolio

Winter 2020 Continuing Phase 2: Document Current Overt H2
Procedures and (Covert) Practices in Selected IRI
Companies Interviews with remaining IRI
members along with ILN chair collaborators
gaining insights/data on H2 portfolio practices
Initiate Phase 3a: Investigate State-of-the-Art
Practices (IRI internal & external)
Collaboration: ILN chairs & ext. sponsors
In depth interviews of selected IRI members and
ILN collaborators with refined insights/data on
specific H2 portfolio practices.
Develop Use Cases.
Spring 2021 Phase 3b: Develop Benchmarking Tools and
Best-Practices Transformation Methods
Collaboration: ILN chairs & ext. sponsors
Preliminary summary of interviews of IRI
member H2 collaborators to ILN chairs;
presentation of preliminary summary to
interviewees for feedback; facilitated interviews
highlighting exemplary cases
IRI Annual Conference 2021 Member workshop(s) guided by playbook/
roadmap handout, benchmarking tool, lessons
learned, and use cases intended to ease H2
portfolio management integration into
Sproing 2022 RTM article submission


Anticipated Deliverables

Practical best practices for H2 portfolio management

  • IRI Annual Conference presentation
  • Progress reports and findings to IRI PILOT Steering Committee and ILN chairs
  • Member workshop(s) at Annual Meeting guided by playbook/roadmap handout intended to ease H2 portfolio management integration into organizations
  • Written and illustrated RTM article

Use case stories of selected H2 portfolio practices that yield demonstrably better results:

  • resource allocation
  • alignment to goals and internal metrics
  • efficient termination of failures and promotion of winners
  • clarity of portfolio strategy purpose and completeness of business cases
  • archival lessons learned




Project Leads

Scott Mathews

Scott Mathews has academic training in computer engineering, digital control systems, and computational finance. He was a Boeing Technical Fellow in business analytics at Boeing’s R&D division (Seattle). He has more than 30 years’ experience as a robotics engineer and research scientist in the United States, Europe, and Asia. For the past 15 years, he has been engaged in stochastic modeling, portfolio management, and investment analytics. He has expertise in complex financial and investment risk decision modeling that features real option valuation and holds two dozen patents in the field. He has contributed several articles to RTM including two dealing with innovation portfolio management. Scott.h.mathews@gmail.com


Stephanie Hartwig

Stephanie Hartwig specializes in identifying opportunities for short- and long-term growth initiatives for organizations across a broad range of industries, from aerospace, energy, and manufacturing to health care, technology, travel, tourism, and hospitality. She has more than 20 years of experience developing and driving corporate strategies based on recognition of new opportunities. She has worked with Fortune 500 global organizations, applying her expertise in innovation best practices based on Opportunity Thinking and Disruptive Market Research methodologies. She recently co-authored the RTM Research Note on Innovation Project Risk Analytics: A Preliminary Finding.  shartwig220@gmail.com