Before projects become products, they are ideas in the minds of your teams. They begin their life as product concepts, germs of your company’s future growth. How can companies manage the portfolio of product ideas, those as-yet unformed concepts that will eventually enter the pipeline and pass through a gated product development process? In our experience, too many companies do not adequately manage this portfolio of product concepts. They are … [Read more...] about A Strategic Planning Process for Innovation: A Long Term Horizon for Product Planning
In a previous post, we advocated two systems for managing your company’s early stage product innovation activities. The first is a yearly planning process that ties the company’s vision to a strategy and provides a set of roadmaps that drive the annual budgeting process. This strategic planning process takes into account not only product concepts, but also projects under development, and those in the current marketplace. Such a yearly, 30,000 … [Read more...] about A Front-End Management Process For Innovation: Removing The Fuzz from the Front-End
In too many companies, the front end of development remains as fuzzy as it was decades ago. The same companies that will micro-manage IT, or spend time simplifying a portion of their manufacturing operations, show little interest in improving the early stage innovation activities that drive future top line growth. Within product development, companies spend time endlessly revising budgets, while ignoring the strategic management of the ideas that … [Read more...] about Innovation: Are Two Systems Better Than One?
The rate of technology and market change today is staggering. For example, who could have imagined Google and Apple displacing auto companies? Yet, too many companies lack a Portfolio Management process that enables them to respond effectively to such shifts in markets and in the labs. Even many companies that have an adequate portfolio process lack the ability to make the decisions that allow them to alter course quickly. This results in … [Read more...] about Program Managers: Linchpin of Product Development Agility
Can you imagine an organization that had no interest in improving its factory output, upgrading its IT, or in optimizing its financial investments? Can you imagine a company that had used the same processes for manufacturing or the same financial investment strategies that it used 10 years ago? Can you imagine a successful company that used the same IT infrastructure it had five or ten years ago? Management would never tolerate such inaction … [Read more...] about Your Company Is Not Investing Enough in Engineering Productivity, And You Know It!
New product development is the lifeblood of your organization and all levels of management are involved in some manner in the process. Although most of the work of developing products is accomplished at the team level, it is the management that establishes the environment in which the team operates and writes the rules of engagement that govern its activities. We have found several behaviors that help product teams and senior managers mutually … [Read more...] about How Should Product Teams Engage Senior Management?