September 2016

20th R&D-Product Development Metrics Summit: Oct 18-20, 2016

A quick note to let you know that our 20th R&D-Product Development Metrics Summit is coming up, October 18-20 in Norwood, MA.  Our conference facility is equidistant between the Providence and Boston airports, and a comprehensive renovation has just been completed.  The place is beautiful and the food is great.

20th R&D-Product Development Metrics Summit

New Participants & Alumni Too

Since 2005, when we held our first Metrics Summit, the structure of the Summit has remained the same.  But, now a decade later, near 100% of the content is updated; as are the course books.  Last year, folks that had attended our initial Summits (back when) started returning for an update.  They were not disappointed.  If you participated before 2012, almost 100% will be new material to you.

Latest Updated Content

Just this past year alone, updates include a number of new CXO-level metrics that hit critical mass in 2015.  And, we have a fresh look at the Top 100 Metrics used in industry.  The great recession created significant change in the metrics corporations now use to drive productivity and performance.  This new information is statistically accurate.

Plus, with all that is going on the world, the science of measuring Risk is getting attention.  Most companies, ERM system or not, have little actual knowledge of the business, portfolio, and product risks they face.  We have taken the view of a CFO for the advances in risk science that we will be presenting.

New-To-The-World Internet-of-Things [IoT] Metrics

The Internet of Things is evolving rapidly. The IoT affects the product lines and process environment of just about every company, yet no one is systematically measuring the IoT at this time.  In ten years there will be two types of companies, those adept in IoT and those that will get bought by those that are adept.  To that end, as GGI has done in each decade, we have been developing forward-looking new-to-the-world metrics for critical areas where metrics do not yet exist.

We will be rolling out IoT and IIoT Metrics for the first time at the 20th Metrics Summit.  The new module will be presented during the Workshop along with our more recent modules on Intellectual Property, Advanced Development, and Functional/Technical Competency metrics for product development.

In the years ahead, it will be necessary to measure IoT prowess at the top of the organization.  It will be necessary to measure IoT capabilities added by projects and those delivered in products.  It will be necessary to measure the IoT abilities of professionals as relates to their functional and technical responsibilities.  And, of course, it will be necessary to measure IoT improvement efforts.  We are not sure that everything we have created will become mainstream over the next decade, but we have a track record for the last thirty years of being among the first to anticipate the next great waves of metrics.

Much of our developmental work becomes mainstream.  The most recent example of this is what we did to tie both Advanced Development activities and Intellectual Property into Product Development, and then into Sales and Profits.  We are not allowed to tell you which companies, but they did attend our Summits and you know their names.

Please Join Us In October

Senior executives wishing to put themselves and their colleagues in a better position to direct and drive product creation and commercialization should strongly consider attending. Many participants have said, “this Summit covers everything an officer and senior manager needs to know on the subject of Metrics.”

Please join us. Content is stimulating, and our Summit discussions and Workshop are great fun too.

Measuring Product Development Effectiveness & Output

Measuring Product Development Effectiveness and Output

Most folks that follow my writings know that I’ve been authoring the inside back page article for Machine Design for several years now.  You have probably recognized that my goal is to make each article a stand-alone piece.  On a few occasions there have been a Part 1 and Part 2.  For the months of August, September, and October 2016 there are three articles with separate and unique titles, but whose content is interrelated.  All three start with “Measuring Product Development,” which is then followed by the topic for that month.  This is important because it is possible to legitimately nitpik each article for incompleteness of thought. (Being limited to 600 words every month presents several challenges.)  But, if one takes the three articles as a whole, a clearer picture emerges.  At this time, two of the three have been published.  The third article is due out soon.

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Measuring Product Development Productivity and Efficiency

The August article is entitled “Measuring Product Development Productivity.”  [Machine Design – August 2016]  Productivity is an extremely important topic, especially in challenging economic times.  It is absolutely appropriate for today’s corporate leaders and managers to emphasize productivity.  However, productivity measurement is becoming too pervasive across all business functions.  And, productivity measurement is being applied at levels that are too low in many organizations.

Too Pervasive

The August article makes the point that not all business and technical functions have achieved comparable levels of maturity.  Let’s discuss logistics, manufacturing, and product development to make the point.  Logistics became mature in the late 1970s.  Barring a force majeure, delivery times could be predicted with near perfect accuracy.  In 1983, FedEx was born.  For the last thirty-plus years, the delivery of goods and packages has been performed with near 100% accuracy.  Today, there are a number of competitors.  Their output (delivery) is equivalent and they are all competing on reducing the input (cost).  Manufacturing was next to become mature.  By the early 2000s, again barring a force majeure, goods were manufactured on time to near perfect quality levels and were made available to the logistics function to ship.  Today, nearly every organization is filled with professionals holding Six Sigma Certifications.  Poor quality, scrap, and rework, that used to be measured as a percentage of cost of goods sold, is now measured in parts per million.  There are no comparable analogies for Product Development.  Product Development is still on the path to maturity.  Productivity may not be the best “top priority” metric for Product Development.

Too Low

The discipline of “operations research” teaches, among other things, that if a system is optimized at too low a level in the system that the system as a whole will not be optimized.  The August article makes the point that each manager at each level of the product development organization hierarchy is now trying to optimize the productivity of their organization.  By definition, this means that the R&D-Product Development organization as a whole is being sub-optimized.

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Measuring Product Development Effectiveness and Output

The September article is entitledMeasuring Product Development Effectiveness.”  [Machine Design – September 2016]  This article delves further into the appropriateness of productivity as the primary measure for functions that have not yet matured.   It makes the case that “Effectiveness” may be a preferable primary measure for immature functions and disciplines.  Product Management, R&D, and Product Development (among others) all have several decades remaining before maturity is reached.

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 Measuring Product Development Maturity and Predictability

The October article is entitledMeasuring Product Development Maturity.”  [Machine Design – October 2016]  It would not be right to use “maturity” as the factor to distinguish between “productivity” and “effectiveness” without also offering a definition of “maturity” for immature functions.  As it turns out, the definition of maturity will differ by function.  The October article will focus on Product Development maturity.  The Carnegie-Mellon Software Engineering Institute “Capability Maturity Model” is also discussed.

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GGI’s 20th R&D-Product Development Metrics Summit is October 18-20, 2016 in Norwood, MA.

We are sure to positively affect your thinking and capability on the subject of measurement.

New England is beautiful in the fall.

Please consider joining us.