Most of our clients are ideating, developing and launching anywhere from 10 to 50 new product styles per year, each with multiple sizes, colors and variations. These products range from single-component, durable outdoor products, to complex mechanical systems used in marine applications, to performance clothing. Because of market structure and consumer expectations of annual innovation, the quantities sold of these new SKUs are limited, meaning that business is often not large enough to support dedicated project managers. This results in the need for simple, versatile systems for organizing and managing multiple projects, in parallel, with as little overhead as possible.
We help by bringing in visual process management methods, adapted from a variety of fields, that address process management in straightforward ways. These methods are pragmatic and affordable. They use readily available hardware, and rely on common desktop software. They are versatile enough to have been successfully used by companies with revenues as low as $1M and as high as $300M. In most instances, our process management methods are up and running in two to three months with only modest investment of in-house time and support.
We set up straightforward project management systems for concurrent development work that include:
- Clear, easy-to-use, versatile visual control boards designed to:
- clearly communicate the status and health of large numbers of concurrent product development projects
- give early warning to commercialization and launch problems months in advance
- focus attention on areas of the company that would best benefit from improvement initiatives
- support on-the-fly reallocation of resources
- stimulate and focus communication between diverse groups across the company
- Modified phase-gate project management that allows you to minimize investment and expense risk without hampering speed to market
- Deliverables roadmaps that drive action and personal ownership and accountability, clearly communicate the product development process and aid in on-boarding of new hires
- Stand-up meeting protocol that dramatically reduces the time spent in weekly meetings while focusing on deliverable execution
- Deliverables checklists that are linked to a market-driven development calendar, substantially reducing late and problematic new product launches
- Process definition and documentation that can be used to directly support planned or anticipated Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software integration
- Methods that are adaptable to multiple (remote) locations
For more information
Read more about a Process Management success story.