Book Review: Optimizing Corporate Portfolio Management - Part 1

I just bought a new book on Portfolio Management called Optimizing Corporate Portfolio Management: Aligning Investment Proposals with Organizational Strategy, by Anand Sanwal (Wiley Press). To my amazement, the forward commentary is by Gary Crittenden, a long-time friend of mine. Gary and I lived near each other in Munich, Germany years ago. I believe my girlfriend at the time was a nanny for his kids. He led a group of us on a 5 day bicycle trek across Austria. Amazing experience. We went skiing together often in Der Schweitz.

Gary worked for Bain at the time, and later was the VP of American Express, and now has the CFO chair at CitiBank. (If your reading this, Gary, Here's a big 'Hello!') I'm eager to read the book because it details the challenges, solutions, and results American Express faced as it went through a Portfolio Management Revolution. Internally, they call the process Investment Optimization (IO), but it is known throughout the industry as Corporate Portfolio Management (CPM). This process scales very well to the software industry, except that only about 50% of all software companies in America have any kind of Portfolio Management process. Of those, few target Customer Value as the main driver for success. So there is a lot of work to be done in the software development industry in this area.

Mike J Berry

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