Implementing Product Portfolio Management in Multinational Software Corporations.
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In this thesis we present an overview of a single exploratory case study on the topic of product portfolio management (PPM) implementation in multinational software corporations (MNCs). In this study, we look at four generally recurring issues in such implementation projects, being context, content, process and outcomes. We find that the case company has four goals that it wants to achieve by implementing PPM. These are: 1. Product portfolio information management improvement 2. Project portfolio information management improvement 3. Improvement of ability to identify opportunities for collaboration 4. Formalization and professionalization of decision making In addition, we identify several competitive forces that drive the need for a PPM implementation, such as the threat of new entrants, the threat of substitutes due to subscription models and the bargaining power of buyers due to the economic downturn. Furthermore we find that local managers demand flexible PPM processes, limited corporate management involvement and a limited aim for collaboration initiatives. To explain these statements, we found several situational factors that affect the local managers’ attitude towards certain PPM aspects. We describe how we have designed a PPM solution that both fits the corporate demands and the local contexts by designing a light-weight information system, a flexible 4-step process and in which corporate management plays a limited role. In addition we describe how we have implemented PPM in the case company via direct, whole-system conversion by first doing a pilot implementation and thereafter implementing PPM for all subsidiaries simultaneously. Finally, we evaluate the outcomes of the studied implementation project by means of a survey. We find strong support that three out of the four aforementioned goals have been achieved by the implementation. Furthermore we find support that eight out of 10 of the generic PPM related goals, as defined in previous studies, have also been achieved by this implementation project. And to conclude, we find that the implemented processes are flexible enough, corporate management could play a bigger role and we find strong support for the ability to identify collaboration opportunities.