Responsive PPM is for Outcome Driven Product Teams

Becky Flint
Responsive Product Portfolio Management
4 min readJun 28, 2019


“Can you remind me why the Automated Reports feature has a much higher score than the App Market Redesign?” the head of product whispered to me in our stakeholder roadmap review meeting.

We spent quite a few days creating the prioritization formula and scored all product features and requests but nothing from the partner team came above the line.

In the room, the channel partner lead was very frustrated — “I shared my business plan with you in our last executive offsite. We all agreed that increasing distribution via partnership is a top goal for all of us. But the most needed feature is not on this roadmap.”

Right. When the goals were first set and communicated, everyone agreed. But when the product teams started prioritizing roadmaps, goals were in a completely different realm.

Sound familiar?

80% of product teams struggle with competing priorities

90% of teams dependent on other teams to achieve their goals

This means the old way of work no longer works, because

  • Linear, fixed-prioritization framework does not respond to evolving business needs.
  • Siloed roadmapping leads to local optimization, incrementalism and incongruent user experiences, and
  • Tangled or disconnected strategy and execution causes confusion between leaders and teams, and cross-teams.

How should we manage competing priorities in today’s dynamic environment to achieve the best outcomes?

Savvy leaders adopt a Responsive Portfolio approach to dynamically connect goals, strategies and execution in a holistic way.

What’s Responsive PPM?

Responsive PPM stands for “Responsive Portfolio Product Management.”

Responsive PPM is the framework connects objectives, initiatives, resources and outcomes iteratively and holistically to achieve the best portfolio outcome.

In the Responsive PPM framework, objectives and strategies are responsive to the desired outcomes, the activities and resource are responsive to these strategies, and the execution and subsequent outcomes will adjust the strategies and activities.

Why should leaders adopt Responsive PPM?

Unlike traditional “Portfolio Project Management”, Responsive Portfolio Product Management assumes the changing nature of all factors in building products. It does not treat product roadmap as a list of projects, but rather a portfolio of product initiatives to best achieve the desired outcomes.

Responsive PPM was born out of more than 10 million hours of portfolio roadmaps at companies like PayPal, Shutterfly and fast growing startups. Leading companies such as Netflix, Amazon, Spotify, also practice the principles of Responsive PPM.

The 5 Pillars of Responsive PPM

  1. Multidimensional Portfolios
  2. Three Horizons
  3. Double-diamond of Strategy & Execution Workflow
  4. MoAR replacing ROI to Assess Opportunities
  5. Responsive Portfolio Adjustment (Re/balance)

The Responsive PPM in Practice

1. Responsive PPM considers roadmaps as multi-faceted portfolios. Even with only one product, a roadmap is still a portfolio — a portfolio of various objectives, e.g. grow new customers, reduce churn, expand ACV; or as a portfolio of investment categories, e.g. grow core, adjacent expansion, new markets, and infrastructure investments; or as a portfolio of customer segments, e.g. large enterprises, SMBs, Consumers, etc.

Responsive PPM considers products as multidimensional portfolios

2. Responsive PPM adopts an inter-connected 3 horizons within an organization. At executive level, a yearly outlook with a quarterly focus, at leadership level, a quarterly outlook with a monthly focus, and individual level with a monthly outlook and weekly focus.

3. Responsive PPM adopts a double-diamond Strategic + Execution workflow. The Strategic Cycle aligns goals and strategies, and allocate resources, and the Execution Cycle provides feedbacks for responsive adjustment based on outcome. This approach provides autonomy in the execution cycle to empower innovation and faster decisions, while still enables everyone to row towards the same direction.

4. Responsive PPM adopts a dynamic prioritization framework using MoAR instead of ROI. MoAR stands for Metric over Available Resources. Based on the state of the business and the desired outcome, opportunities are evaluated based on their contribution to relevant objective as Benefit Metric, against the Resourcing needs. MoAR ties the potential benefit of opportunity (e.g. a product feature or an initiative) directly to the desired outcome which often is not just revenue.

5. Responsive PPM allocates (and re/balances) towards outcomes. The success of traditional PPM is on time on budget of project completion. The Responsive PPM measure product initiative success based on outcome progress. If an initiative achieves its goals faster than planned, resources can be freed up to allocate to other areas for better overall portfolio outcome.

Responsive PPM connects the product teams with the rest of company, dynamically aligning and allocating initiatives and resources to achieve both near term results and long term vision.

Originally published at on June 28, 2019.



Becky Flint
Responsive Product Portfolio Management

CEO of — #1 Responsive Portfolio Platform. Led 10 million hours of roadmaps along side the PayPal Operating Mafia