Skyemar's Mission & Values
To enable the most efficient development & execution of business potential through holistic corporate planning & portfolio management process design.
Commitment to Clients: Develop a relationship that makes a positive difference for clients business
Integrity: Honest with facts & trustworthy with material
Loyalty: Support & allegiance towards the client
Diligence: Conduct careful & persistent work
Excellence: Develop the best possible product
Personally Accountable: Deliver on commitments
Ken Dobie: Founder & Principal
Ken is the founder & principal of Skyemar Consulting specializing in Corporate Planning & Portfolio Management. We facilitate the development of strategic priorities & translation into near term goals in conjunction with senior management. Prior to Skyemar, Ken was the Head of Corporate Planning & Portfolio Management at Illumina from 2007 to 2016 where he led the development of the annual strategic, operating, and portfolio plans, as well as resource management across 200 projects & 1,500 resources. Previously he was Associate Director at Ionis Pharmaceuticals where he performed genomic analysis of targets for drug development and is an author on more than 400 patents. Ken conducted a postdoctoral fellowship at the Salk Institute, La Jolla and has published five papers in peer reviewed journals.
Ken earned his B.Sc. with Honors in Genetics from the University of Glasgow, a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Edinburgh, and an MBA in Strategy & Healthcare from the University of California San Diego.
When not advising clients, Ken enjoys long walks with his dog Skye, collecting & enjoying wine, and cooking for his wife Amy.
Three management consulting firms including two of the "big three"
A Fortune 500 company
A >$10B market cap medical device company
A nonprofit portfolio medical device company
A sovereign wealth fund
Several global investment management firms
Several hedge funds
"Ken’s holistic approach to strategic, operational and project portfolio planning is a breath of fresh air in an often complex and misunderstood area. Ken navigates this area with ease, presenting a model that clarifies in simple terms what needs to happen at all levels—annually, quarterly, and monthly—while seamlessly integrating resource planning (a crucial, but often overlooked area).
These lofty topics have the potential to be quite complex and highly academic, so one might expect Ken, a trained geneticist, to present something beyond the reaches of the average business person. The reverse is true. Ken’s presentations are lively and his explanations crystal clear and immediately useable. Indeed, his knack for synthesizing his extensive knowledge and experience into such an easily digestible model is much needed in this arena. I, for one, will be recommending Ken’s approach as the de facto best practice standard for strategic, operational, and portfolio planning."
Jerry Manas, Author of Napoleon on Project Management and
The Resource Management and Capacity Planning Handbook
"Ken developed and led Illumina’s corporate planning and portfolio management functions during a period of extraordinary growth and success. I believe a key driver of that success was the strategic planning process that Ken led, with high-level priorities cascaded into business unit and functional operating plans. This provided the framework for unit, group and individual objectives and for an end-to-end alignment for employees at all levels to know what “success” meant, a key component of organizational performance. Ken showed great insight, thoughtfulness and leadership across a very complex process, proving over and over his ability to work very effectively with senior management to create real value."
Paul Bianchi, Senior Vice President of Human Resources
"Ken is an expert in the design and execution of strategic, operating, and portfolio management capabilities. Each capability has key deliverables at particular stages in the corporate planning cycle and Ken is very effective at leading exactly what is needed and when at the corporate, business unit, and functional levels. He ensured transparency of process and alignment across functional areas. I highly recommend Ken’s expertise for any organization seeking to establish better clarity around their core priority setting and review processes."
Melina Cimler, Vice President of Regulatory & Quality
"I’ve had the pleasure of working with Ken to develop and implement a database of research and development projects with associated resources. This capability brought the transparency needed to support quarterly reviews with senior management to prioritize projects across the portfolio, as well as systematic phase-gate product development reviews. This core portfolio management capability created a very effective trifecta when combined with strategic and operating planning capabilities also developed and managed by Ken."
Bob Kain, Chief Engineering Officer
"Ken took an integral role in working with Illumina’s senior leaders to manage core processes essential for developing and aligning priorities across the organization. Ken had primary responsibility for coordinating the production of our annual 5-year strategic plan document. The strategic plan detailed priorities at the corporate, business unit, and functional levels that was reviewed and approved by our Board. In addition, he implemented a formal annual project portfolio and resource management capability that was crucial for the best allocation of people and funding. Ken also developed and implemented an operating planning process to document, cascade, and review near term goals that served as a guide for departmental activities each year. These processes and their implementation were a large factor for Illumina’s 2011 Corporate Innovation Award by PDMA.
Ken was a pleasure to work with while supporting my roles managing Product Development and a business unit. I would highly recommend his expertise for any organization looking to implement or improve strategic planning and portfolio management capabilities."
Mark Lewis, Senior Vice President, General Manager
"Illumina’s strategic planning process is among the most comprehensive and disciplined in the industry – largely due to the plans and processes introduced by Ken. Ken was a key architect and administrator in overseeing this sophisticated process."
Matt Posard, Senior Vice President, General Manager