The evolution of project portfolio selection methods: from incremental to radical innovation
Keywords:Radical innovation, Portfolio management, Decision support, Project selection methods
Abstract Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify how project portfolio selection (PPS) methods have evolved and which approaches are more suitable for radical innovation projects. This paper addressed the following research question: how have the selection approaches evolved to better fit within radical innovation conditions? The current literature offers a number of selection approaches with different and, in some cases, conflicting nature. Therefore, there is a lack of understanding regarding when and how to use these approaches in order to select a specific type of innovation projects ( from incremental to more radical ones). Design/methodology/approach – Given the nature of the research question, the authors perform a systematic literature review method and analyze 48 portfolio selection approaches. The authors then classified and characterized these articles in order to identify techniques, tools, required data and types of examined projects, among other aspects. Findings – The authors identify four key features related to the selection of radical innovation projects: dynamism, interdependency management, uncertainty treatment and required input data. Based on the content analysis, the authors identified that approaches based on different sources and nature of data are more appropriated for uncertain conditions, such as behavioral methods, information gap theory, real options and integrated approaches. Originality/value – The research provides a comprehensive framework about PPS methods and how they have been evolving over time. This portfolio selection framework considers the particular aspects of incremental and radical innovation projects. The authors hope that the framework contributes to reinvigorating the literature on selection approaches for innovation projects.