To optimize the investment in new products, an organization must excel at managing its product portfolio(s). This requires visibility into the value, risk, expenses and resource requirements of various portfolio projects. Without fully integrating resource planning into new product development (NPD) processes, there can be no visibility into and — by extension — no optimization of resources. It’s like driving at night with your headlights off: you can’t see far enough ahead to know where you may run into serious problems.

There has been considerable debate about whether top-down or bottom-up planning is “better” when resource planning. While support can be found for both approaches, Sopheon’s experience suggests that for organizations aiming to align limited resources with the most strategic and lucrative new product opportunities, one approach provides the best balance of benefit to effort.

This paper clarifies the differences between top-down and bottom-up planning and examines the cost/benefit trade-offs between the two approaches. It also shows how — by integrating long-term, top-down resource planning with a standardized NPD process — you can shorten time-to-market and increase product quality without overly burdening project managers with low-value administrative tasks.

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