Case Study: InnovaLast

Introduction

While program and project management deal with the execution and delivery of the projects, project portfolio management focuses on doing the right projects. Effective portfolio management facilitates the enhancement of business value by aligning projects with the strategic direction of the organization. Portfolio management enables organizations to focus their limited resources on the best projects.

InnovaLast is an Australian-based sustainable consumer products company which has grown from producing a single product to having diverse and broad offerings. The given case study of InnovaLast provides a detailed overview of the transformation of InnovaLast, and the key challenges the organization is facing.

This reflective report presents my reflection on the portfolio concepts taught in the course and the way such concepts can be applied to the given case study. The report draws on my knowledge and experience of portfolio management. The report concludes with an action plan for future learning and practice. The aim is of this self-evaluation is to assess the progress I achieved during this term and to determine the key areas in which I need to improve myself.

The Given Situation

The given scenario of InnovaLast is in accordance with the principles of portfolio management taught to me in my course. I feel that the case study further expanded my knowledge base by allowing me to understand the way theoretical concepts are applied to real-life situations. Moreover, I feel that analysing such case scenarios can be helpful for students to reflect upon the challenges businesses face while undertaking project portfolio management. The given situation presents the background of InnovaLast and illustrates the way it transformed itself from a company offering a single product to one which provides a broad and diverse product portfolio. In addition to this, the review of the given situation was quite complex and showed me that despite the presence of clear theories and principles of portfolio management, their application in changing environment of the real-life situation is not simple and straightforward.

After the liquidation of the company Olivia Long was working in, she realized that positioning the products as premium offerings is not an effective business strategy in the electronic appliance market. Long with her peers looked into the market need for irrigation and water management systems. They followed the portfolio life cycle management which includes planning, authorizing, monitoring and controlling. The situation provided a detailed review of the way portfolio lifecycle management can be used in real life in order to identify the master list of projects and the opportunities which should be considered as a part of the portfolio.

I feel that I am better able to implement the principles of portfolio management in practice after reviewing their application and the challenges project managers faced during the process. I would further like to engage in similar activities which facilitate a better understanding of the way concepts can be applied for effective portfolio management. This is especially important in my case as I think I am not as proficient in the application of theoretical concepts as I should be.

Reflection on Action/ Evaluation

Throughout my course, I got to work with my peers and teachers to improve my understanding of concepts which will be of significant help in my professional career. While it was easy for me to understand the key concepts like portfolio life cycle management and stakeholder engagement etc. I find it difficult to apply them in a real-life scenario because they need to be very specific. This self-evaluation allows me to get such insights into what I learned from the course and in which areas I need to improve myself. I also used the SWOT analysis to better understand my strengths and weaknesses; however, while thinking about my strengths was a pleasant experience, thinking about my weaknesses was unpleasant as it required to analysis my shortcoming.

However, I know that it is an important step for me to stretch my thinking and to solve my downsides myself. Furthermore, the evaluation of my experience provides a stage to place down my thoughts and opinions and to learn from them. For instance, by assessing that I need to work on the implementation of theoretical concepts in real life, I started reading case studies and journal articles describing the implementation of portfolio management which facilitated my improvement. However, I think it is difficult to be completely honest with oneself while revealing perspectives especially given the lack of experience of students in writing such reports.

During this course, I also participated in group discussions which made me understand that I need to improve my communication skills in order to express my point of view and I started to work on the same with the help of my teachers and peers which was encouraging and helped me to improve my interpersonal skills. The self-reflection activity was also a productive experience which allowed me to analyse my journey throughout the course, what I learned from it and how can I improve upon it for professional development.

Reflection on Teaching/ Analysis

The teaching of the project management course included topics like key concepts of portfolio management, portfolio management and organisation, portfolio life cycles management, portfolio strategic management, and portfolio governance. In addition to this, the teachers also taught us portfolio capacity and capability management, portfolio stakeholder engagement, portfolio value management and portfolio risk management structure. The said topics gave me a broad and thorough understanding of portfolio management and the way it is used in project management in order to choose the right projects. The aforementioned concepts are pertinent to the situation mentioned in the case study. With the help of portfolio management, Liv was able to assess the market needs to identify business opportunities.

Moreover, it helped her to clarify business objectives in order to select the best projects using differentiators which align the projects with business objectives. Liv defined the business value is in its sustainability features and cost-effectiveness, which allowed her to work on a project aligned with the same objectives. Furthermore, the concepts of stakeholder engagement can be used to solve one of the key problems mentioned in the case study. We also learned about portfolio risk management structure which can be applied to the given scenario to identify key risks and to form a risk management plan in order to mitigate the impact of such risks. This will facilitate the external and internal risk analysis of the organization, and classification of risks into distinct categories. Leaders in the case study can also assess the risk tolerance of their organization through the risk management process.

Connections

As mentioned earlier, the given case study illustrates the application of key portfolio management principles. Drawing on my knowledge of portfolio management and the concepts I learned through this course, I can say that my learning is according to the real-life application of such concepts. The case more or less successfully applies the portfolio management concepts and allowed InnovaLast to improve venture into new markets and gain competitive advantage. My learning enabled me to assess the business opportunities mentioned in the case study and to clarify business objectives defined by the leaders of InnovaLast.

From there on, the customer value and learning and growth potential of the company were analysed according to the portfolio management process. My practice and knowledge are pertinent to the given case and allow me to assess that stakeholder management is the biggest problem in the organization and that stakeholder engagement should be analysed for proper stakeholder management. In this sense, my practice not only allows me to identify key aspects from the case study, and the challenges faced by the organization. But also allows me to analyse the problem in order to work upon a potential solution.

Conclusions

Through this reflective assessment, I got to recognize that my understanding of project management is not as thorough and deep as I assumed it to be. There are several learning gaps in my understanding of portfolio management. First of all, as I have already mentioned, I need to work upon my knowledge of the way theoretical concepts are implemented in real-life scenarios. Moreover, I need on improve my knowledge of risk management in portfolio management, in order to develop effective risk management plans. In addition to this, I will also learn about the way portfolio management works as a part of the entire project management process and the way it should be executed for successful project management.

Action Plan

Objectives

Tasks

Success criteria

Time frame

Status

To improve my understanding of the real-life application of portfolio management concepts

Working on case studies

Group discussions

To effective analyse the way theoretical concepts apply in real-life scenarios

Within 2 months after the implementation of the action plan

In progress

To learn effective risk management

Risk management workshop

Learning from teachers

To be able to form an effective risk management plan

Within 2 months after the implementation of the action plan

In progress

To improve my understanding of incorporating portfolio management in project management

Workshops

Online courses

To get a better understanding of the way portfolio management works with other aspects of project management

Within 2 months after the implementation of the action plan

In progress

Remember, at the center of any academic work, lies clarity and evidence. Should you need further assistance, do look up to our Portfolio Management Assignment Help

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