A New Approach to Early-Stage Portfolio Decision Making

Comparing investments with long lead-times can be an exercise in futility. Trying to obtain credible inputs for outcomes 15 to 20 years hence is fraught with challenges and conventional methodology, such as modeling net present value, is of limited effectiveness. As a result, portfolio decisions—in industries from genomics to technology to energy—often skew toward low-risk choices, effectively cutting off the innovative pipeline necessary to achieve corporate growth.

A more-effective approach has emerged that can guide decision making for early stage, long-term investments. In this webinar, we demonstrate an approach that starts with corporate objectives and combines multi-attribute utility theory and value-focused thinking to create new and better distinctions for decision making. By separating discussions of preferences and corporate objectives from the scientific evaluation of individual project opportunities, decision teams can better evaluate investments—even those that are decades away from results.

Using an example from the pharmaceutical industry, we will demonstrate the benefit of this approach for early-stage portfolio decisions.

View this webinar to learn:

  • Why conventional assessment methods can’t properly account for long-lead-time projects.
  • The challenges of obtaining credible inputs when potential outcomes are 20-plus years in the future.
  • How leading companies are fostering innovation using multi-attribute utility theory combined with value-focused thinking.


Deepak Veeraraghavan leads SDG’s global life science practice and strategy consulting practice in Europe. He leads client teams in strategy development, portfolio management, change management, and decision process design. Based in Düsseldorf, he has served clients in Asia, Europe, and North America.


Mark SeidlerMark Seidler is chief executive officer of Strategic Decisions Group. He has more than 20 years of experience in structuring and developing strategies for global leaders in Europe, the US, and Asia.


Original Webinar Date: June 9, 2021

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