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Agile Stage Gate for ManufacturersExecution is Everything

Upcoming events

  1. Implementing the Agile-Stage-Gate Model for Manufacturers

    Webinar: Wednesday, July 27, 2016 10:00am

  2. Execution is Everything – AIM Makes It Happen

    Webinar: Wednesday, August 3, 2016 12:00pm

  3. The Power of the Customer Development Model

    Audio Session: Sunday, September 18, 2016 1:00pm

  4. Medical Device Product Development Using Lean and Agile Methods NEW!

    Workshop: Sep 27 - 28 / Chicago, IL

MRT News & Updates

Agile Practices in New Product Development – Over 70% Seek to Implement Beyond IT and Software

 

As agile practices are extending beyond IT into overall product development, we wanted to learn what specifically is being adopted by our community and how well these efforts are working. So we conducted a survey this past month in collaboration with TCGen. The findings, summarized in the following infographic, were quite surprising.

 

The biggest surprise to us was the gap between desire to implement and progress in doing so. Only 12% of those surveyed have been using agile approaches for more than one year, while over 80% are considering agile and 70% want to get started. The key reasons: 1) reduce Time to Market and 2) increase Customer Experience/Intimacy.


Respondents expressed interest in both strategic concepts (agile enterprise, integrating sprints and waterfall, and the role of managers) and tactics (length of a sprint, how to train the first team, etc.).  It was clear from the survey that people are struggling with where to start, not knowing what the first steps are, or what results to reasonably expect in non-software product development.

 

MRT and TCGen plan more research and educational offerings to identify emerging best practices. For more information, download our checklist 7 Steps to Conducting Agile Sprints for New Product Development, and/or sign up to receive an invitation to our upcoming webinar series Agile Product Development – Driving Speed, Delighting Customers. 

Leading Transformative Innovation – Gaining Speed, Agility and Higher Margins

An exclusive interview with Jean E. Spence
Former Executive Vice President, Research Development & Quality, Mondelez International, Inc. (formerly Kraft Foods, Inc.)
 

Most firms today have had to change their game to compete.  The economy, industry fragmentation, increasing cost of goods, consumer price-shopping, the Internet, globalization – the list of reasons goes on.  While everyone talks about innovation, the reality is that pressure is even higher to improve profit margins and productivity.  As a result, many organizations have been restructuring to boost ROI.  Often this means cuts, which can actually inhibit the creativity required to fuel growth.

Under such circumstances, how do you lead people to do their best?  Especially when you lead R&D – which is often viewed as a cost center, yet expected to innovate new products and technologies.

To find out, we talked with Jean Spence. Jean was a senior leader at Kraft Foods’ restructuring, three-year turnaround, and Organizing for Growth (OFG) initiative.  She then went on to lead innovation and collaboration initiatives at Mondelez International, the remaining company after the Kraft Foods spinoff. Jean was a key member of the executive team that spearheaded both the people and product side of Kraft’s major transformation.  If anybody could speak to the implementation challenges and success factors, it is Jean.

Here is what she shared >

Healthcare Product Innovation and The Internet of Things – Opportunities, Challenges and Future Directions

Management Roundtable recently co-facilitated a virtual Think Tank on digital innovation for healthcare, Leveraging the Internet of Things to Improve Patient Outcomes, in partnership with Convetit and Benefunder. 

Strategic Planning for products and technology - how roadmaps ensure innovation and corporate growth

Does your organization have a clear innovation strategy that is understood and supported at all levels? Do you know where to focus R&D resources?  Where the market is headed, what your best opportunities are, and what disruptions are possible?

If you want to gain more control over your innovation future, one of the most powerful strategic planning tools is roadmapping -- in particular landscape maps and route maps.

Landscape maps link together market and technology factors, business drivers, capabilities and competitors. Route maps tell you what to do. Dr. Jay Paap has developed a proprietary framework around these maps and has helped many leading companies implement -- with significant results.

For a brief overview and visual picture of Landscape, Route Maps and Dr. Paap's framework, click here.

Smart Connected Products Meet Lean Start-up: GE’s Imagination Really is at Work!

While General Electric has been around forever, the company certainly doesn’t rest on its laurels.One of GE’s most impressive new innovations is its FirstBuild Microfactory in Louisville, Kentucky. The idea is to rapidly prototype next-generation home appliances and market test them before scaling up. Using 3D printing and related technologies while offering an incubator of sorts to inventors, entrepreneurs and students, FirstBuild combines the best of ‘Lean Start-Up’ with IoT. The result? Some winners, some failures – but all pretty darn smart.

 

Continue>

Can millennials help predict the future of corporate innovation? Management Roundtable and MindSumo launch a challenge to find out

We often hear our customers talk about crowdsourcing to find the ‘next big thing,’ so when we were offered the opportunity to tap the minds of bright college students, how could we say no?  

Unlike many challenges, however, the one we just launched in partnership with MindSumo is not to come up with new product ideas (though that would have been good, too). We set a somewhat loftier goal -- to predict the future of corporate innovation.  

Read more > 

Open Innovation -- Growth Engine or Resource Drain?

Does Open Innovation really pay off for firms?  Who's getting the most bang for their buck - and how are they doing it?  One of the foremost experts on Open Innovation, Dr. Gene Slowinski has seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of strategic alliances for over 25 years. His advice: Go for alliances that shake up an industry.  It is too easy to underestimate resources and end up spending more than planned without much return. Far better to do a few powerful deals than many which are  marginal. For quick tips on generating profitable growth through Open Innovation, check out our FREE article  Making Open Innovation Alliances Pay Off: 5 Keys to Success.  

Are Your Innovation Investments Paying Back?

Perhaps you're not measuring and managing the right things. If your company is still caught up in the decades-old "sales % from new products" quagmire, you need better metrics. What's wrong with "sales % from new products" as a measure of innovation? The same thing that is wrong with pushing R&D investments down to whatever projects barely clear the hurdle of "new product" and the same thing that is wrong with killing a product that owns the market and has a ridiculously high margin. The popular, but misguided "sales % of new products" drives both of these negative behaviors and reduces your R&D return on investment. 

  • A metric such as "margin growth over sales growth" backed by the following measurable actions including:
  • Patent or idea diffusion (not the number of patents, but how good they are)
  • Portfolio balance based on cash flow and payback 
  • Portfolio rate of return 
  • Customer value to feature match 
  • Early phase research decision autonomy

will drive better returns on your innovation investment. Check out Dr. Robert Tucker's tips on improving innovation metrics.

Tech Scouting & Open Innovation: Practices of Industry Leaders - Free Download

How are companies such as Procter & Gamble, Unilever, GE, GlaxoSmithKline, Kraft, Monsanto, Corning and other global leaders innovating new products, expanding boundaries and growing their businesses? How do they choose their scouts, their partners, and the best opportunities?  For an overview, please download our recent research on the top practices.

Voice of the Customer Research Technique that Works (Free Download)

Visiting customers can be a very effective way to gain insights that can help differentiate your product in the marketplace by discovering unmet customer needs that your next release can help address. However, it is important to conduct customer visits properly. Dr. Ed McQuarrie author of Customer Visits offers 16 tips to make your customer visits as effective as possible in this free download.

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