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Feature Article

People a Key to Innovation Capability
Dr. Scott J. Edgett (Reference Paper 53)

Top performing companies recognize that successful innovation is inherently complex. Scott Edgett explains that no matter how much money a company invests, or how efficient it makes its internal processes, the companies that are the most successful at innovation are those that invest significant time, effort and money in people. He also examines the impact of good team management and organization. The following companies are featured: Electro Scientific Industries, Inc.; EXFO; Becton, Dickinson and Company; and Ashland, Inc.


Articles

What’s Next?: After Stage-Gate
Dr. Robert G. Cooper (Reference Paper 52)

New approaches to Stage-Gate® are emerging from progressive companies that represent a new generation of the idea-to-launch model. In some cases, it’s an evolution of Stage-Gate to a better, faster model; in other firms, it’s closer to a revolution where they are moving to a very different process. There is anything but unanimity as to what the next generation idea-to-launch model should be. This article looks at what leading firms are doing and integrates these new practices into a next-generation model.


Innovation: A Critical Capability
Dr. Scott J. Edgett (Reference Paper 51)

An organization that believes in the importance of innovation takes the steps necessary to ensure it is a top performer. In this article, Scott Edgett suggests that the first step in improving your company's innovation capabilities is to understand where the strengths are and where improvement is needed. The ability to increase your business value through innovation is a major success driver.


Where Are All the Breakthrough New Products?
Dr. Robert G. Cooper (Reference Paper 50)

There is a real shortage of breakthrough initiatives in businesses’ development portfolios.  A major challenge in developing these high-risk projects is portfolio management - how executives make R&D investment decisions. An overreliance on financial tools favor incremental projects whose financial forecasts are reliable, however, it produces an abundance of small, low-hanging fruit projects and a failure to allocate resources to strategic projects. Different toolsets must be used to assess high-risk breakthrough initiatives. In this article Robert Cooper outlines five different toolsets to assess high-risk breakthrough initiatives.


Creating Bold Innovation in Mature Markets
Dr. Robert G. Cooper (Reference Paper 46)

For many firms operating in mature markets, there are only so many sources of growth open to them, which is why launching unique, superior products with a compelling value proposition is so vital. Yet company surveys show that bold innovation is down, while improvements and modifications to existing products are up. This only serves to maintain existing market share, rather than grow it. To succeed in bigger, bolder innovation, five vectors need to be in place, as they are at companies like Corning, Apple, Grundfos, 3M, Swarovski, HP, BASF, and Procter & Gamble.  The examples and illustrations provided in this article model the way.


Best Practices in the Idea-to-Launch Process and Its Governance
Dr. Robert G. Cooper & Dr. Scott J. Edgett (Reference No. 45)

Most firms now use some form of idea-to-launch process such as a Stage-Gate Model.  The question is: Do these processes really work? And what are the elements of a best-in-class idea-to-launch process that really make a difference. This article reports the results of a study of new-product development practices at 211 businesses, and provides insights into best practices in both the idea-to-launch process and its governance that are strongly connected to positive innovation performance.


The Innovation Dilemma: How to Innovate When the Market Is Mature
Dr. Robert G. Cooper (Reference No. 44 )

For most companies, product development has meant line extensions, improvements, and product modifications, and only serves to maintain market share. Furthermore, markets aren't growing, so firms increasingly compete for a piece of a shrinking pie by introducing one insignificant new product after another. In this article, you will discover how bold innovations — breakthrough products, services, and solutions - create growth engines for the future. Uncover the latest research findings and Cooper's five vectors that must be in place to yield bolder, more imaginative development projects.


Voice-of-Customer Methods: What is the best source of new-product ideas?
Dr. Robert G. Cooper & Angelica Dreker (Reference No. 40 )

If you are not employing VoC to generate new product ideas, then you are missing some major innovation opportunities. Robert Cooper outlines eight different VoC methods designed to generate robust or game-changing new product ideas. The majority of businesses today are not yet employing these methods extensively, or they are not using them correctly or consistently. Find out how the best performing businesses are reaping the benefits of using VoC to generate great new product ideas to feed their development funnel.


Developing a Product Innovation and Technology Strategy for Your Business
Dr. Robert G. Cooper & Dr. Scott J. Edgett (Reference No. 39 )

Design your innovation process for today’s innovation requirements - a faster, leaner, more agile and more focused system. Reinvent your process to build-in the latest thinking, approaches and methods to move to the next-generation Stage-Gate system. In this article you will learn some of the ways that companies have modified and improved their idea-to-launch methods. If your idea-to-launch system is more than five years old then it’s time for a serious overhaul.


How Companies are reinventing their Idea-To-Launch methodologies
By Dr. Robert G. Cooper (Reference No. 38 )

Design your innovation process for today’s innovation requirements - a faster, leaner, more agile and more focused system. Reinvent your process to build-in the latest thinking, approaches and methods to move to the next-generation Stage-Gate system. In this article you will learn some of the ways that companies have modified and improved their idea-to-launch methods. If your idea-to-launch system is more than five years old then it’s time for a serious overhaul.


EFFECTIVE GATING
Make product innovation more productive by using gates with teeth

By Dr. Robert G. Cooper (Reference No. 37 )

Most firms suffer from having far too many projects in their product development pipelines, for the limited resources available. Worse yet, the great majority of initiatives are low value projects to the corporation. While your company might have installed a Stage-Gate® system, the gates - vital decision-making and resource allocation points - often lack teeth.

This new article, authored by Dr. Robert G. Cooper, explains how “Gates with Teeth” help to prune the development portfolio of weak projects, and deal with a gridlocked pipeline.


What Leading Companies are Doing to Re-invent their NPD Processes
Dr. Robert G. Cooper (Reference No. 34)

The original design of Stage-Gate® was based on Dr. Robert Cooper’s research results of his groundbreaking studies of successful NPD project teams - how they drove their projects to market quickly and effectively.  Today, leading companies are reinventing their innovation processes, making them faster, leaner, and more effective.  At the same time, they are building in best practices in portfolio management, voice-of-the-customer methods, open innovation, ideation techniques, and so on.  In this article, Dr. Cooper outlines some of the actions that leading firms - such as Emerson Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, ITT Industries and GlaxoSmithKline - are taking as they move toward a NexGen Stage-Gate system.



Benchmarking Best Practices: Performance Results and the Role of Senior Management

Dr. Robert G. Cooper and Dr. Scott J. Edgett (Reference No. 32)

Senior Management must lead the way in New Product Development by providing both the leadership and commitment of necessary resources. The Best Performing Companies identified in the ‘Best Practices in Product Innovation Benchmark Research Study’ conducted jointly by Dr. Robert G. Cooper and Dr. Scott J. Edgett with the American Productivity and Quality Center, clearly demonstrate leadership commitment on a variety of dimensions. This executive summary highlights the top 8 practices of leaders of the top performing companies.



Perspective: The Stage-Gate Idea-to-Launch Process - Update, What’s New and NexGen Systems
Dr. Robert G. Cooper (Reference No. 30)

Stage-Gate has become a popular system for driving new products to market; but there are many misconceptions and challenges in using Stage-Gate. Challenges faced in employing Stage-Gate are identified including governance issues, over-bureaucratizing the process, and mis-applying cost cutting measures such as Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing in product innovation. Solutions are offered, including better governance methods: “gates with teeth”, clearly defined gatekeepers and gatekeeper rules of engagement; and ways to deal with bureaucracy, including leaner gates.


Ideation for product innovation: What are the best methods?
Dr. Robert G. Cooper and Dr. Scott J. Edgett (Reference No. 29)

Surprisingly, little research has been done to evaluate the burgeoning number of techniques and methods used in the front end of product innovation, particularly ‘ideation’, where ideas come into the funnel before they are weeded out and evaluated.  In this first-of-a-kind study, Dr. Robert Cooper and Dr. Scott Edgett shed light on the comparative value of 18 of the most popular ideation sources including Voice of the Customer, Open Innovation and the Disruptive technologies methods.  This article outlines the results of the research.


Maximizing Productivity In Product Innovation

Dr. Robert G. Cooper and Dr. Scott J. Edgett (Reference No. 28)

Recent evidence suggests that productivity in new product development (NPD) is declining; that is, we are seeing less output (measured in terms of impact on the business) for the same relative spending level.
This article outlines seven practices or principles which, according to studies of NPD practices and performance, will increase NPD productivity after they are embraced.


Winning Business In Product Development: The Critical Success Factors

Dr. Robert G. Cooper and Dr. Elko J. Kleinschmidt (Reference No. 26)

A formal new product process isn’t enough - you need a high-quality process, a clear and visible strategy, enough people and money, and a respectable R&D budget. How does your program rate on these 10 metrics?


Managing Technology Development Projects - Different Than Traditional Development Projects

Dr. Robert G. Cooper (Reference No. 25)

The fact is that traditional systems just don’t work for Technology Development projects. Why? Traditional new product processes are designed for fairly well-defined and predictable projects. But TD projects are, by their nature, high risk projects with many unknowns and great technical uncertainties. Download this article and learn what leading companies are adopting to handle these vital TD projects.


10 Ways to Make Better Portfolio and Project Selection Decisions

Dr. Robert G. Cooper & Dr. Scott J. Edgett (Reference No. 24)

Good portfolio management (PM) is a key to success in New Product Development (NPD). But good PM still frequently eludes even the biggest brightest corporations. In this article, Bob Cooper and Scott Edgett outline ten ways to make better portfolio and project selection decisions.

Keywords: NexGen Stage-Gate®, lean, rapid, innovation productivity, scalable


Formula for Success in New Product Development

Dr. Robert G. Cooper (Reference No. 23)

Many businesses use the Stage-Gate® process to conceive, develop, and launch new products. As proficient companies have implemented, modified, adapted, and improved methodology, it has morphed into a faster, leaner, and more effective tool. The next generation process, or NexGen Stage-Gate® builds in seven principles of lean, rapid, and profitable new-product development to maximize productivity in product innovation.

Keywords: NexGen Stage-Gate®, lean, rapid, innovation productivity, scalable


Winning at New Products: Pathways to Profitable Innovation

Dr. Robert G. Cooper (Reference No. 22)

What are the secrets to success in new product development (NPD) that these winning businesses share? This whitepaper highlights the key factors and drivers that distinguish the best performing business in NPD from the rest. Those factors and drivers that are common across high-productivity, best performing businesses in NPD were uncovered in a recent and major APQC study into best practices. Prescriptions on how to translate these best practices into action in your business are also outlined in this paper.

Keywords: Stage-Gate®, APQC, benchmarking, success drivers, best practices


Succeeding at New Product Development the P&G way: A key element is using the “Innovation Diamond”

Dr. Robert G. Cooper & Michael S. Mills (Reference No. 21)

New products are engines to growth and profitability for many companies, including Procter and Gamble (P&G). In this article, the authors explore the drivers of new product performance with a particular focus on P&G’s best practices. The “Innovation Performance Framework®” is used as an integrative and guiding framework to help management focus on what’s important to success: innovation strategy, a solid idea-to-launch process, portfolio management, and the right climate and leadership.

Keywords: Stage-Gate®, The Procter and Gamble Company, Innovation Performance Framework®™, Leadership, Portfolio Management


Your NPD Portfolio may be harmful to your business’s health

Dr. Robert G. Cooper (Reference No. 20)

Recent NPD studies contain a number of surprises: Most shocking is that the impact of new product development (NPD) on the sales and profits of many corporations is down, when looked at in terms of contribution to total sales and profits. How has this happened, and why? In this article, Dr. Robert Cooper takes a hard look at the facts and examines a number of possible reasons for this trend. He also provides recommendations on how companies can rebalance their NPD portfolios to become more profitable.

Keywords: Portfolio, benchmarking, speed, incremental projects, new product projects


From Experience: The Invisible Success Factors in Product Innovation

Dr. Robert G. Cooper (Reference No. 19)

Dr. Cooper lowers the microscope on the state of product innovation and examines the common reasons for poor results. The critical success factors are noticeably absent from the typical new product project. The article outlines how companies can recognize one of the seven common innovation problems that Dr. Cooper refers to as the new product development “Blockers” to avoid repeating the same mistakes.

Keywords: Product innovation process, critical success factors, blockers, portfolio approaches, and capacity analysis

Download (.pdf - 1.17 MB)


NPD Practices: The dark side of time and time metrics in product innovation

Dr. Robert G. Cooper & Dr. Scott J. Edgett (Reference No. 16)

Dr. Cooper and Dr. Edgett examine how time and time metrics are having a negative impact on product innovation today. The effects of two manifestations of this problem are examined in detail: too great an emphasis on measures of short term profitability and too sharp a reduction in time-to-market. The paper examines what can be done to counteract these negative pressures and how to enhance the product innovation process.

Keywords: Profitability, metrics, resource planning, speed-to-market, and go/kill decisions


Optimizing the Stage-Gate Process - Part 2

Dr. Robert G. Cooper, Dr. Scott J. Edgett & Dr. Elko J. Kleinschmidt (Reference No. 15)

Dr. Cooper, Dr. Edgett and Dr. Kleinschmidt focus on the methods and techniques that help companies achieve better project selection and prioritization. The paper examines how to build more effective go/kill decisions points - tough gates - and to move towards successful portfolio management.

Keywords: Stage-Gate®, portfolio management, prioritization, gate meetings, and go/kill decisions


Optimizing the Stage-Gate® Process - Part 1

Dr. Robert G. Cooper, Dr. Scott J. Edgett & Dr. Elko J. Kleinschmidt (Reference No. 14)

Dr. Cooper, Dr. Edgett and Dr. Kleinschmidt report on their observations and experiences working with a multitude of companies, and on the practices the companies have incorporated into their product innovation processes. The following practices are explored in the paper: the addition of a discovery stage at the front end of the innovation process, harnessing fundamental research more effectively, and building in more effective go/kill decision points to move towards portfolio management.

Keywords: Stage-Gate®, discovery, voice of customer research (VoC), fundamental research, and technology developments


Portfolio Management for New Product Development: Results of an Industry Practices Study

Dr. Robert G. Cooper, Dr. Scott J. Edgett & Dr. Elko J. Kleinschmidt (Reference No. 13)

This paper reports the results of a survey questionnaire sent to IRI member companies participating in an ongoing best practices study (results as of October 2001). Dr. Cooper, Dr. Edgett and Dr. Kleinschmidt examine the consequences of poor portfolio management practices. They outline the results of the study including the role of portfolio management at the participating companies and why industry considers it to be so important. The article then examines popular tools, methods and models employed by these companies to make go/kill decisions and to help prioritize projects.

Keywords: Industrial Research Institute (IRI), portfolio management, tools, models, and methods.


New Problems, New Solutions: Making Portfolio Management More Effective

Dr. Robert G. Cooper, Dr. Scott J. Edgett & Dr. Elko J. Kleinschmidt (Reference No. 9)

This article incorporates the results of management interviews conducted with IRI member companies in an ongoing best practice study (results as of March/April 2000). It isolates the four common difficulties experienced by the participants along with the proposed solutions. Dr. Cooper, Dr. Edgett and Dr. Kleinschmidt discuss the benefits of each of the two approaches to integrating a portfolio management process with a product innovation process, and outline common portfolio management methods and tools used by the companies in the study to help them to do the right projects.

Keywords: Stage-Gate®, Industrial Research Institute (IRI), portfolio management, resource capacity analysis, and methods.


An Investigation into the New Product Process: Steps, Deficiencies, and Impact on Performance

Dr. Robert G. Cooper and Dr. Elko J. Kleinschmidt (Reference No. 6)

In a comprehensive study of 252 new products histories at 123 firms, Robert Cooper and Elko Kleinschmidt looked critically at the new products management process. Each company was shown a set of 12 activities which formed a general "skeleton: of a new product process.


How New Product Strategies Impact on Performance

Dr. Robert G. Cooper (Reference No. 5)

What is involved in a successful new product program? Is it high spending on risky R&D? Is it close contact with customers? Is it the overall competitive strength of the firm? Well, it might be any of these things, and more according to Robert G. Cooper, depending on your definition of success. In an exhaustive examination of the new product strategies and performances of 122 industrial products firms, Cooper found that the strategy that a firm elects for its new product program is closely linked to the performance results that firm achieves. But what’s performance?


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