Tools To Manage Risk in New Product Development

Imagine this scenario: You’re a project manager in the Engineering department of a manufacturing company. You have a couple successful new product projects under your belt, and feeling confident. You’re proficient using Microsoft® Project and have an opportunity to manage the company’s next big, high-profile project. After a team meeting to kick off the project, you create a detailed Gantt chart. After all, that’s what you have used in the past, what could go wrong?  Continue reading

How Risk Impacts New Product Development

The only way to avoid risk in new product development is to never develop any new products. For most companies, that is not an option since new products are, or should be, an important growth driver.  Understanding, managing and mitigating risk, therefore, is inherent in innovation.  Continue reading

The Biggest Challenge in Product Innovation May Surprise You

Ask senior executives at manufacturing firms what their biggest challenge is managing new product innovation and you might hear answers such as lack of creative thinking, development teams need to work harder, or maybe that the organization does not have the right skill sets. The truth might surprise you: consistently year-in and year-out, the single biggest pain point in managing product innovation is too many projects for available development resources.  Continue reading

Software Development Challenges for Traditionally Hardware Oriented Manufacturing Companies

softwareFor manufacturing companies software is an increasingly important aspect of their product’s value proposition. From consumer to industrial products, nearly every industry is affected. Incorporating software presents greater challenges to companies whose products have traditionally been hardware oriented. Continue reading

A 5-Step Approach to Reduce Time-to-Market

faster

Getting products to market faster is a common objective for every company. While the motivation varies, there are clear benefits including capturing more sales, beating competition to market, providing market flexibility and maintaining a leadership position. Reducing time-to-market can also be a focal point for improving the overall innovation management process (1).  Continue reading

Aligning Manufacturing and R&D in New Product Development (NPD)

New product development (NPD) is about creating knowledge resulting in new products that drive revenue and earnings growth. It is arguably the most important business process and one of the most difficult to manage (1). Why? Because it encompasses a series of workflow, information and decision flow across the entire organization. It is unique as well since every other process in the business can be driven to maximum efficiency. NPD is not just about efficiency, which often is the focus.  The real concern should be how to make it more effective.  Continue reading

Understanding Risk in Medical Device New Product Development (NPD)

risk_managementNew product development (NPD) consists of workflow, decision and information flow across multiple functions in an organization. Managing and mitigating risk for each project and the entire portfolio of projects is an essential management activity during NPD. A company’s ability to understand and manage risk can mean the difference between financial success and disaster. In developing products for the medical device industry, meeting FDA requirements presents an additional risk factor not found in other industries. This article will address three important sources of risk in developing products for the medical device industry and suggestions on how to manage. There will also be an opportunity to register for an upcoming free webinar that will provide additional information. Continue reading

Innovate Your Innovation Process

innovateAre you a small to mid-sized (SME) manufacturing company with a singular focus on understanding your customer needs, providing superior products to meet those needs and growing your revenue and earnings? It goes without saying that for every company, these goals should and do consume significant management bandwidth. The problem is that most organizations become too inwardly focused (1). They do not consider what might be happening outside their company, and even beyond their industry, and leverage that knowledge to create new customer value. This has driven the popularity of the concept of “open innovation”. Maybe we should extend the concept of open innovation to other important aspects of a business such as the innovation management process. Why not, in other words, “innovate your innovation process” by learning from others? Continue reading

Looking Beyond Your “Four Walls”: Revisited

Four WallsSeveral months ago, I wrote an article on a topic of great interest to me (1). A consistent problem with many companies I work with is that senior management and those in position of leadership in new product development (NPD) do not consider what might be happening in other industries.  There is a need, as I like to say, to look beyond your “four walls”. Continue reading

Assessing Your New Product Development (NPD) Process

continuous learningFor anyone responsible for managing a new product development (NPD) process, continually assessing your process and learning from other’s experiences is a must. These whitepapers available at no charge cover a wide range of topics including the role of management in NPD success, metrics, project definition, portfolio management and online tools, project risk, among others.   Continue reading