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Dr. CooperPD Metrics SummitPD Metrics Summit
 Agile Stage Gate for Manufacturers

Upcoming events

  1. The 21st Product Development Metrics Summit

    Workshop: Feb 28 - Mar 2 / Norwood, MA

  2. Three Keys to Making Roadmapping Stick

    Audio Session: Thursday, March 9, 2017 11:00am

  3. ISPIM INNOVATION FORUM: Fostering Innovation Ecosystems

    Conference: Mar 19 - 22 / Toronto, Canada

MRT News & Updates

Dr. Robert Cooper on Agile-Stage-Gate Methods

Recently published research by Dr. Robert Cooper documents how leading organizations are blending Agile techniques within their Stage Gate systems for all kinds of products, not just software. This emerging approach allows organizations to gain the speed and rapid customer feedback of Agile methods along with the control systems and longer-term planning capabilities offered by Stage Gate systems. 

Dr. Cooper will be offering an intensive two day workshop on January 26-27, 2017 on how leading organizations are combining Agile methods with their stage-gate systems and achieving superb results. This is a great opportunity to get expert guidance on how to update your innovation process for faster development and greater customer satisfaction. For more information and to reserve your spot

Agile Practices in New Product Development – Guru Series to Help You Get Started


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 July 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. 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.  


So to help, we put together a webinar series led by top experts (some mentioned in the survey responses) specifically on how to implement Agile for physical as well as digital products. This guru series, Agile Product Development - Driving Speed, Delighting Customers kicks off October 11 with agile/lean guru Katherine Radeka,  author of The Shortest Distance Between You and Your New Product. Other sessions feature Jake Knapp, the creator of Google Venture's sprint process, SCRUM guru Kevin Thompson, and rapid product development experts John Carter and Jeanne Bradford (who will faciliate and synthesize the whole series). Attend one, two, three or all sessions - bring your team. Seats will go quickly. Sign up online or call 800-781-8080.

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.



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.

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