Defining, communicating, and tracking the PD process

Problem

A leader in branded industrial hardware manufacturing found that existing, informal processes were inadequate to ensure the integrated and timely development of an innovative new line of products into a new market. In order to hit a series of firm market dates they needed simple tools to plan, communicate, and track concurrent development projects.

Approach

Gather company-specific information with one day of on-site background interviews. Adapt visual product development management tools to clarify the development process and bring it into agreement with external calendar dates. Ensure adoption and proper use through follow-up training meetings.

Results

In less than three months, the development team was fully tooled, trained, and performing by using a range of concurrent product development management tools. The portfolio planning tools included an Innovation Matrix, multi-year product/category development plan, and project portfolio analysis models. A new, step-by-step, calendar-driven standard operating procedures and related checklists and gates processes were in place. A Deliverables Roadmap focused attention onto completed deliverables and a visual concurrent project status board supported weekly coordination meetings.