Our first portfolio analysis was for SmithKline Beecham in 1992. SKB hired two consulting firms to analyze their research portfolio - a top 5 consulting firm, and us. Each was asked specifically to recommend what area to cut (see above). Our analysis was significantly different in two respects. First, we correctly identified and assessed the potential impact of Marshall’s work on H. Pylori for the gastro-intestinal (GI) research group. Marshall’s work later proved to be very disruptive to GI research. Second, SKB noted that the top 5 consulting firm had generated a solution that was essentially political - their recommendation was to disinvest in one of the smaller groups. It’s relatively easy to tell who does and doesn’t have political power. It’s much harder to accurately assess research strengths and the attractiveness of the research environment. We are committed to the latter, even if the results go counter to political winds.
A description and comparison of these two analyses was written up by the client and published in a peer-reviewed journal as an illustration of the increased accuracy from science mapping.
Source: Norling et al., ‘Putting Competitive Technology Intelligence to Work’.
Research-Technology Management. Sept.-Oct. 2000. 43:5. p.26.