Uncertainty management in product development portfolios: the impact of global sustainability agendas

DS 122: Proceedings of the Design Society: 24th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED23)

Year: 2023
Editor: Kevin Otto, Boris Eisenbart, Claudia Eckert, Benoit Eynard, Dieter Krause, Josef Oehmen, Nad
Author: Filipovic, Andy Mattulat (1,2); Welo, Torgeir (1); Willumsen, Pelle Lundquist (2); Oehmen, Josef (2)
Series: ICED
Institution: 1: Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology; 2: Department of Technology, Management and Economics, Technical University of Denmark
Section: Design Methods
Page(s): 3681-3690
DOI number: https://doi.org/10.1017/pds.2023.369


Increased focus on sustainability significantly impacts product development portfolio management in organizations. This paper focuses on the significant unaccommodated uncertainty caused by the green transition for current mid- and long-term portfolio management processes. These uncertainties arise in areas such as the regulatory environment, market demands, and technical capabilities. This paper makes four contributions: First, current product portfolio management literature is mostly employing deterministic practices. Uncertainties are incompletely addressed, and current methods fail to address the deep uncertainties of the green transition. Second, building a literature-based conceptual framework of the sources of uncertainty in 6 areas: Business Models, Technology, Regulation and Legislation, Finance and Insurance, Market and Consumer, and Organizational Context. Third, preliminary empirical evidence supports the usefulness of our model for product development portfolio management. Fourth, concluding with a suggested empirical research agenda to develop a deeper understanding of challenges towards method and theory development to support the green transition on the portfolio management level.

Keywords: Portfolio management, Uncertainty, Sustainability, Green transition

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