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  1. Design for Uncertainty: Audio Session Summary Locked

    Research | Posted: 2006-07-22

    Related Links: Slides(29 pages)| Transcript (22 pages)|AudioIn this audio session, Preston Smith, of consultancy New Product Dynamics, presents techniques for enhancing flexible product development. He discusses why flexibility is valuable and mentions some of the tradeoffs involved. Smith also discusses the role of customers and their requirements in a flexible environment. He presents some detailed techniques for fostering a flexible product development process through product architectures, experimentation and the use of set-based design. He also examines the impact of flexible product development on internal factors such as development teams, decision-making, project management and the product development process. This presentation provides a comprehensive overview of some of the latest thinking on innovative, flexible approaches to product development. (11 pages)

  2. Rethinking the Stage-Gate® Process – A Reply to the Critics Locked

    Research | Posted: 2006-07-12

    with Bob Becker, Product Development Executive, Advisor and MRT FastTrack Expert Panelist In this article, Bob Becker responds to recent criticisms of the Stage-Gate process. Becker argues that Stage-Gate remains a useful model but the key is in the implementation. Most of the defects in Stage-Gate implementations are due to rigid applications of the process that do not take advantage of common opportunities to perform some activities in parallel or to adapt the process to the type of project at hand. For Stage-gates to be a success, says Becker, it is necessary to plan projects to be right sized and efficient. The gates in the process should serve as business checkpoints; these checks should be performed with both the marketplace and the portfolio in mind. Becker also answers, point-by-point, the critics of the Stage-Gate framework. Concludes Becker: “A process that leverages historical learning and best practices from industry leaders, and which is also right sized for the mission at hand, is as close to optimal as you’ll get.” (5 pages)

  3. Achieving Speed in New Product Development:  Summary of Audio Session Locked

    Research | Posted: 2006-01-20

    Related Links: Audio - mp3 or wma | Transcript (18 pages) In this summary of a member’s-only audio session, Lawrie Cunningham (Black & Decker) and Preston Smith (New Product Dynamics) discuss a broad range of issues related to product development speed including: the role of decision-making in fast cycle time; the advantages of co-located teams and the pitfalls of outsourcing product development; critical trade-offs between time, cost and quality; enabling technologies for fast cycle-time; a ‘first-to-market’ vs. a ‘fast-follower’ strategy; and the requirements of highly regulated and highly complex product development environments.(8 pages)

  4. Achieving Speed in New Product Development:  Transcript of Audio Session Locked

    Research | Posted: 2006-01-20

    In this transcript of a member’s-only audio session, Lawrie Cunningham (Black & Decker) and Preston Smith (New Product Dynamics) discuss a broad range of issues related to product development speed including: the role of decision-making in fast cycle time; the advantages of co-located teams and the pitfalls of outsourcing product development; critical trade-offs between time, cost and quality; enabling technologies for fast cycle-time; a ‘first-to-market’ vs. a ‘fast-follower’ strategy; and the requirements of highly regulated and highly complex product development environments. (18 pages)

  5. Fast & Flexible Development Insights from Harvard Business School Locked

    Research | Posted: 2006-01-13

    The argument for flexible product development is that there is not one best way of conducting design and development. Rather, the development process should be designed to suit the specific context of a given project. Tthe first stage of any development effort should be to define the most appropriate development process for the specific project. Thus, a phase-gate process is neither inherently bad nor always the most appropriate option. In uncertain development contexts in which many technology and/or market changes occur during the project cycle, an inflexible phase-gate model is not the most effective approach. Alan MacCormack, an assistant professor in the Technology and Operations management area at the Harvard Business School, conducted research in the software industry during a time of high uncertainty (1996-1998). His work shows that levers of control can exist in a flexible development world, although they are not the same levers as those applied in a traditional phase-gate model. Download the slides (41 pages) for a presentation in which Alan MacCormack shares his findings and then download a summary of his remarks below. (6 pages)

  6. Using the Design Structure Matrix to Manage Product Development Risk Locked

    Research | Posted: 2005-06-23

    The Design Structure Matrix (DSM) is a tool that maps information flow and its impact in product development processes. DSM represents visually the network of interactions among development activities and facilitates analysis of the results of changing the sequence of these interactions. The tool reveals trade-off options and implications between cost and schedule risk. This report summarizes a talk by Dr. Tyson Browning, Assistant Professor of Enterprise Operations at the M.J. Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University. Tyson is a former Senior Project Manager in Integrated Company Operations at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, where he served as the technical lead and chief integrator for a number of teams in developing the enterprise process architecture for the company. In this talk Tyson presents DSM as an approach for managing development project cost, schedule and risk. Click here for presentation slides (34 pages), and then download the summary below. (6 pages).

  7. Fast & Flexible Insights from Tektronix: Using the "Bounding Box" to Accelerate Development Locked

    Research | Posted: 2005-06-10

    The bounding box is a tool used jointly by project teams and management in the early stages of development to set project parameters rather than deadlines and targets. This approach allows a team to manage its own efforts as long as it remains within the parameters that define success. As new and better information becomes available, a team and management can re-negotiate and adapt the boundaries accordingly. The tool ensures that the critical success factors of an individual project are identified up front, allows education of management about potential risk factors, establishes criteria for management intervention, and allows teams to move forward with incomplete information. Laura Doyle is a former Program Manger with Tektronix, where she managed and applied new product development process improvements. This report summarizes of Laura's remarks on using the bounding box approach to speed development in uncertain markets. Click here to download the presentation slides for Laura's talk. (Summary: 9 pages; Slides: 22 pages)

  8. Fast & Flexible - A Lean, Rapid and Profitable Stage-Gate Framework: Transcript of Audio Session Locked

    Research | Posted: 2005-04-22

    Dr. Robert G. Cooper is the creator of the stage-gate process and President of the Product Development Institute. He is a widely-published author on product development, R&D, and innovation. Dr. Cooper recently spoke with MRT members about how to use stage-gates in the development process to maximize productivity, flexibility, and speed. In this transcript, you'll read how a stage-gate process can be adapted to enhance innovation in different types of development programs. Dr. Cooper also discusses how cross-functional teams are essential to stage-gate processes, and the role of process leaders. He also tackles some of the challenges of senior management involvement in an increasingly busy world. (16 pages)

  9. Fast and Flexible - A Lean, Rapid and Profitable Stage-Gate Framework: Summary of Audio Session Locked

    Research | Posted: 2005-04-12

    Related Links: Audio | Transcript (16 pages) |Slides Dr. Robert G. Cooper is the founder of the Stage-Gate process and President of the Product Development Institute. He is a widely-published and best-selling author on product development, R&D, and innovation. Dr. Cooper recently spoke with MRT members about how to use stage gates in the development process to maximize productivity, flexibility and speed. This report summarizes his comments. (5 pages)

  10. Rapid Product Development Isn't For Everybody Locked

    Research | Posted: 2005-03-24

    “Too many companies have climbed on the rapid-development bandwagon without any understanding of why they were there,” claims Product Development expert Preston Smith. In too many cases, executive fail to communicate the business imperative behind the demand to decrease cycle time. In fact, across-the-board compression is often inappropriate, because some projects demand more, some less, argues Smith. Some projects should not even be accelerated, because profit drivers for these projects are in other areas, such as cost, quality, or reliability. If you wish to get your new products to market sooner, says Smith, clearly understand and communicate to the lowest levels of the organization why the marketplace demands this. As you get into your calculations, you will discover where acceleration will pay off most and where it is not the prime objective. (3 pages)

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