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Choosing the Right Adjacency Moves for Profitable Growth Locked

Quick Insight | Posted: 2009-09-30

While companies continue to pursue growth opportunities, a recent survey by Bain & Company shows that CEOs plan more than half of targeted growth coming from adjacency expansion, i.e. moving into areas close to those the company already does well. Adjacencies indeed make a convincing business case; they are readily accessible and less risky than “new-new” ventures. Still, not all adjacent efforts succeed. The trick is choosing wisely. Having solid decision criteria and staying close to the core are key.

Leading Innovation in the Great Disruption Locked

Quick Insight | Posted: 2009-09-24

Scott Anthony, author of "The Silver Lining" and managing director of Innosight Ventures, discusses how to find new opportunities and successfully innovate despite uncertainty and difficult economic times. He offers insight on seeking and evaluating new ideas, pruning the portfolio, de-risking projects, and learning to "love the low-end."

Tapping Into Government by Leveraging the Stimulus Package: Questions and Answers Locked

Quick Insight | Posted: 2009-06-22

A recent Management Roundtable audio session, "Tap into Government: Leveraging the Stimulus Package," generated a great deal of interest and numerous questions among members. The audio-session presenter, Susan Ward, President of ITECS, answered participants' questions in a follow-up to the audio-session covering such topics as IP ownership, the availability of grants to large, profitable companies, and the position of sub-contractors in a funded project.

Cutting Costs This Year? How to Slice Expenses While Remaining On Schedule Locked

Quick Insight | Posted: 2009-05-27

More and more companies are being forced to take measures this year to reduce expenses. But is there a way to cut expenses and still keep product development projects on schedule? It is all in where, how, and when to wield the knife, says David W. Paulson, President of consultancy Accuer. Paulson suggests how to use tools from Lean Product Development and Theory of Constraints to cut expenses while keeping product development projects on track.

Leveraging the R&D of Federal Labs for Strategic Advantage Locked

Quick Insight | Posted: 2009-05-21

Learn the advantages of working with the federal government on R&D projects as well as the process to uncover and engage with these institutions. This is not a procurement program, but a method to bolster your R&D depth by leveraging federal assets.

Killing Projects for Success: Proprietary Process Enhances Portfolio Decision-Making Locked

Quick Insight | Posted: 2009-05-15

A talcum powder developer found a clearly expressed customer need – a package that offered greater product control while not leaving a mess in the bathroom. The idea of repackaging their product in a more controlled and less messy package was thoroughly researched and clear goals for the project were established. The result? The project was cancelled. And yet management declared this project a success. Why? Because the decision was made the right way. That way was enabled by a method called the Boost™ process. Adapting a select subset of tools from Six Sigma, the Boost process ensures that "decisions are based on data, rather than the strongest opinion," and enables teams to "objectively evaluate projects against objective criteria," said its creator Helen Tai. The Boost process enables developers to innovate successfully through customer database building. It also emphasizes strong project charters and thorough stakeholder analyses early in the PD process.

Study: Economic Downturn Threatens Intellectual Property; IP Security Now Key Business Enabler Locked

Quick Insight | Posted: 2009-05-01

A January 2009 study conducted by a research center out of Purdue University in partnership with McAfee, Inc., examined where vital information such as Intellectual Property originates, where it is stored globally, and how it is transferred and lost. The study found that the global economic crisis has placed large amounts of Intellectual Property at risk, since IP has now become an international currency and, as a result, an emerging target for cybercriminals. Even with the risks involved, information is on the move; the study found that average company has $12 million (USD) worth of sensitive information residing abroad. The research also found that cutting investments in information security -- on the assumption that security is a cost center and not a vital business enabler -- could prove to be a fatal error.

A Missing Opportunity? The Materials Engineering Side of Product Development Locked

Quick Insight | Posted: 2009-04-24

The absence of a materials engineering perspective on product development, may lead to unnecessary struggles and unrealized opportunities claimed Michael Pfeifer, President of Industrial Metallurgists, LLC in an April 2009 audio session. Pfeifer argued that materials engineering is a critical and strategic aspect of product design. He finds that "many products are not as successful as they could be" because they have neglected to consider the materials engineering perspective. Pfeifer outlined three major principles of materials engineering for product development and presented a four step process for better materials selection decisions.

User-Centric Design Drives Innovation – And the Organizational Structures to Support It Locked

Quick Insight | Posted: 2009-04-19

Danfoss A/S, a Danish company whose product portfolio includes a wide range of pumps, sensors and other components critical to the operation of water and wastewater treatment facilities, used ethnographic techniques to explore their end user's use of its products and overall work environment. The company engaged in a ten-month study to better understanding of how end users work with Danfoss’s products and the work processes in which these products are used. The methods used included interviews, continuous videotaping of end users, scenarios, and filmmaking techniques. The research suggested that Danfoss consider restructuring its product development activities to better mirror the environment in which their customers used its products and the values their customers espoused.

A Process and Metrics for Technology Scouting at Nokia Locked

Quick Insight | Posted: 2009-04-10

At a Management Roundtable conference on technology scouting, Nokia's Hitesh Anand presented his company's "venture capital-like approach" to scouting innovations for new business opportunities. Anand described how to build a wide network of partners, while prioritizing a few deep relationships within specific nodes. He also discussed how to triage rapidly a large number of opportunities without weighing down the organization. Nokia's process includes scanning for opportunities, screening and consolidating the best possibilities, and then validating each of them on both the technology and business sides. Downstream, a new business case emerges, which may include licensing, partnering, internal development, or mergers and acquisitions.

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