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Where Are All the Breakthrough New Products?

Robert G. Cooper


There is a real shortage of breakthrough initiatives in businesses’ development portfolios.  A major challenge in developing these high-risk projects is portfolio management – how executives make R&D investment decisions. An overreliance on financial tools favor incremental projects whose financial forecasts are reliable, however, it produces an abundance of small, low-hanging fruit projects and a failure to allocate resources to strategic projects. Different toolsets must be used to assess high-risk breakthrough initiatives. In this article Robert Cooper outlines five different toolsets to assess high-risk breakthrough initiatives.