GGI RapidNews R&D Product Development eZine: Volume 3, Issue 7- August 22, 2002
In This Issue
NEW BIENNIAL SURVEY - RD&E Resource & Capacity Management
NEWS & NOTES - New Personnel
MANAGEMENT PRODUCTIVITY - Use of NPD Checklists
RECENT TELEVISION EVENT - Alexander Haig's World Business Review
CONFERENCES OF INTEREST - Management Roundtable's 7th Annual Metrics Conference
NEW WEB CONTENT - New Gateways to Knowledge
NEW BIENNIAL SURVEY
2002 Product Development Metrics Survey - Resource & Capacity Management: Every other year, on even-numbered years, GGI conducts a survey on Product Development Metrics. GGI's 2002 Product Development Metrics Survey covering Resource & Capacity Management for R&D, RD&E, and Product Development was sent out as a PDF attachment last month.
The deadline to respond to the survey has been extended to Friday, August 30, 2002.
Please see the separate email sent today, with the survey attached, for more information. The survey is available in several file formats, including an interactive MSOffice 2000, 97, or 6.0/95. All formats may be found at http://www.goldensegroupinc.com/research-product-development-innovation-process-metrics.shtml.
The 2002 Survey focuses on five areas.
(1) Loading the RD&E Capacity Pipeline
New Member Of GGI's Team: Anne R. Schwartz has just joined the GGI team as RapidNews Editor and Manager of Research & Education. Anne was previously with Corning Lasertron, in Bedford, MA, as Manager of Customer Quality, handling customer needs and working closely with engineering and manufacturing to resolve field problems. Anne also worked for many years at GE Aircraft Engines, in Lynn, MA, as a design engineer then shifted to process improvement and training as Manager of Technical Education and Continuous Improvement Facilitation. She has been involved with new product development and process improvement for a number of years, through work assignments and affiliation with the Society for Concurrent Product Development.
Anne graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Mechanical Engineering at Tufts University and earned a MS in Mechanical Engineering at MIT, with a concentration in control system design. She was an exchange student at L'Institut National des Sciences Appliquées in Lyon, France and speaks fluent technical and conversational French.
Use of NPD Checklists (excerpted from "From Experience: Capturing Hard-Won NPD Lessons in Checklists" Raymond F. Riek, JPIM, Volume 18, Number 5, September 2001, pages 301-313.)
Application of best practice NPD processes is limited by user experience. There is still considerable art in doing NPD well. Minor project omissions or errors can have serious adverse project consequences. The use of NPD checklists comes from project trials and tribulations, not from the NPD success stories we more often hear about.
The author, who has 30 years of development experience, examines 15 case histories to cull the learnings each offers. The lessons are structured under managing technical and commercial risks and managing development personnel. Checklist learning has been organized by development stage, and can provide useful discipline to assure necessary planning, communication and cross-functional coordination takes place so that previous project omissions and errors can be avoided. These circular "learning loops" are vitally important to raise standards in product development organizations.
Managing Technical Risk
1. Analyze what the cost of commercialization will require, and its impact on the core business.
2. Make sure the financial projections in #1 include obsolescence of existing products and facilities.
3. Focus on the major project deliverable (like time-to-market) through employing both management and the product team in development of the project scope.
4. Uncompromisingly dedicate the team to development of the best product.
5. When project success is fundamentally critical to business health, do not bet the company store on a single project with high technical risk.
6. When project timelines are critical, develop concurrent alternative technologies despite the expense.
7. Do not skip development steps to increase speed-to-market.
8. Limit anticipated Nobel prizes to one per project.
9. Assuming that management makes consistent decisions is unwise. Management needs to understand what success is, and when product expectations are not being met.
The common theme in projects with poor track records in managing technical risk is that they rush into technical development without an adequate understanding of the consequences of project success or failure, and without sufficient planning and communication to achieve the former.
Managing Commercial Risk
1. Test commercial pricing and sales forecast assumptions (and other keys) early and often.
2. Understand and track the use of competitive technologies affecting product success.
3. Execute joint development agreements with clear and explicit ownership of IP rights.
4. Plan early how to launch and understand who approves purchase of the new products.
5. Understand how customers make purchasing decisions, and discuss any required demonstration periods and projected conversion rates.
6. Make necessary project skills (technical and commercial) available to development "skunk works."
7. Beware of "multinational" organizations that fight for market share, rather than an organizational understanding of individual market drivers.
8. Field test the product early for all potential environments in which it may be used.
9. Understand early in development all new product and process manufacturing impacts/needs.
10. Confirm material supply contracts early in project validation or test.
The common theme in projects with poor track records in managing commercial risk is that the team gets immersed in product technology, and does not adequately understand existing market conditions or product commercialization requirements until the product's technical success is assured.
Managing NPD Personnel
1. Project milestone "gates" must address major technical, commercial, legal and IP issues.
2. New project incentives must include quality and performance goals, in addition to reduced costs and cycle times.
3. The role of senior management is to determine product priority and strategic fit and to provide project resources and guidance. They alone determine NPD performance goals. Together with the project team, they select technologies to satisfy those goals.
4. Concurrent (multifunctional) NPD teams need team building. Personality conflicts must be mediated as soon as they occur.
5. NPD teams must be encouraged to voice opinions, particularly about unintended consequences and improved alternatives.
The common theme in projects with poor track records in managing NPD personnel is when team roles and conflicts are not proactively managed. Management understanding, support and firmness are equally important, especially when mutual agreements on assigned responsibilities have been agreed at the project's inception.
Alexander Haig's World Business Review: Brad Goldense discussed Concurrent Product Development (CPD) on Alexander Haig's World Business Review (WBR) on CNBC as paid programming, Sunday August 4, 2002. Also featured in this broadcast was John Caezza, President of the Broadband Communication Products Division of C-COR.net. Thank you to John Caezza for sharing his expertise on the program, and for the support of his staff and the use of C-COR.net's facilities.
Brad has been invited to tape a longer segment in the studio in person with Alexander Haig in late August. This seven-minute segment is expected to air in late September or early October. We will advise you of the date when it becomes available.
Streaming video of both segments will be available on WBR 's website approximately 30-60 days after airing (http://www.wbrtv.com). We will post the same to GGI's website shortly thereafter.
WBR also airs on U.S. Public Television, PBS's The Business & Technology Network, and on United Airlines' In-Flight Programming. WBR is distributed to ABC, CBS, FOX, and UPN. We will advise RN readers of additional air times as they arise.
Management Roundtable - 7th Annual Metrics Conference: The Management Roundtable will offer its 7th Annual Metrics Conference in Chicago on October 28-30, 2002. The focus of this year's conference is Metrics for Portfolio & Resource Management. The conference features keynote speaker Arthur M. Schneiderman, Former Vice President of Quality and Productivity Improvement at Analog Devices as well as expert clinics, pre-conference workshops and many case studies from a variety of companies.
In these times of scarce resources and escalating financial pressure, knowing which projects to invest in and which ones to cut is vital. This conference can help you to determine where the real economic value is in your product portfolio, to implement practical metrics for effective resource allocation and to collect and benefit from real-time metrics.
Brad Goldense will be making two presentations at this conference. He will introduce a newly developed one-day seminar entitled "Developing Metrics Portfolios: Defining & Selecting Key Measures for Product Development Performance. He will also make the first public presentation of the results of GGI's 2002 Product Development Metrics Survey.
For more information go to: http://www.managementroundtable.com/Event_Center/MET02/MET02.html or visit GGI's Calendar at: http://www.goldensegroupinc.com/gateway/metricsconf02.shtml.
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GGI RapidNews is an e-mail publication from Goldense Group, Inc (GGI). Its subject matter includes survey findings, company news, book reviews, key industry conferences and R&D information of interest to clients and associates. Please send communications to rn(at)goldensegroupinc.com. Thank you.