A global transportation company with large, autonomous business units had recently identified the need to provide customers with consistent information and business practices across all business units.

In the past, the company’s business units had prioritized and pursued product development programs regardless of the impact on other parts of the company.

While product development portfolio management practices were already established at the company, these practices did not incorporate cross-enterprise criteria.

There was concern that the cross-enterprise analysis would be compromised if it was not both user-friendly and well-aligned with the existing process. The company had decided to pursue both process/workflow improvement and automation.

As a Fortune 200 organization, there were highly restrictive IT security protocols in place that limited options for tools that could enable process/workflow automation.


We first identified the activities that were essential for completing a meaningful cross-enterprise analysis within the context of the existing portfolio management process. We also worked with the process owners to define the desired outcomes of the analysis and how those outcomes would drive executive-level decision-making.

We then created user-friendly tools for completing the analysis and feeding the outputs into the decision-making process for product development projects.

Once the manual tools were developed, we turned our focus to automating the analysis and integrating it into the existing process. We took the following steps to complete the tool automation in the highly restrictive IT environment:

  • We analyzed the IT infrastructure to identify a “typical” user desktop image and determine potential tools for enabling automation
  • We then conducted four focus groups with likely users of the automated tools and incorporated enhancements/fixes as appropriate
  • To finalize development, we conducted a series of demonstrations with senior management personnel to ensure the automated tools were operating as intended


The automated tools have become a cornerstone element of the company’s overall effort to provide customers with consistent information and business practices across all business units.

User feedback has consistently exceeded expectations for efficiency, user friendliness and compatibility with existing processes.