Stage-Gate® Mitigates Risk and Facilitates a Flawless Launch
Robert G. Cooper is one of the most influential innovation thought-leaders in the business world today. He pioneered many ground-breaking discoveries in product innovation, including the Stage-Gate® Idea-to-Launch Process, now implemented by almost 80% of North American companies. Having spent 40+ years studying the practices and pitfalls of 3000+ new product projects in thousands of companies, he has assembled the world’s most comprehensive research in the field of product innovation management.
Users of Stage-Gate® process tools will significantly reduce the risks associated with a new product launch. The process has been proven to:
Get the product to market 2.3X faster
Achieve profitability objectives 72% of the time
Be 12X more productive
Provide greater visibility to enable better governance
Improve collaboration within internal company teams and with external partners
Enable earlier detection of failures and higher success rates
Maintain projects on budget and on time
Provide a better product launch with higher customer satisfaction
The Critical Success Factors of the Stage-Gate® Process
The following seven aspects of the Stage-Gate® process are considered the most critical for success in the developmental process at Empower Medical Devices.
Identify differentiating features that deliver unique benefits.
Capture voice of customer – not just what engineers think.
It’s a front-loaded process; conduct due diligence before product development.
Obtain early and clear product definition.
Incorporate a feedback loop: build, test, get feedback and revise.
Have a well-conceived and executed launch plan.
Emphasize the speed of execution.
The Empower Medical Devices Process Model
The process model adopted at Empower Medical Devices is a direct take-off of the Stage-Gate® Idea-to-Launch process model.
Critical to the Stage-Gate® process, gatekeepers are a decision-making group comprised of company executives and managers, and the medical professional/inventor.
Have the authority to approve action plans and commit resources
Represent cross-functional areas: sales, marketing, engineering, manufacturing, etc.
Commit all needed resources
Seek alignment across all functions
Own the resources required for the next stage
Commit functions to projects and establish priorities
A formal Gate Review is conducted after each step in the process, with the medical professional included – this is a key decision point involving the doctor. If the project passes the review, we decide to move onto the next step, determine time frames, actions required, etc.
The Gatekeepers’ function is to make decisions.
Establish prioritization level
Agree upon action plan & deliverables
Set the date and deliverables for the next gate
The team is informed in person – immediately
Some of the procedures followed:
The project leader and team are present
The team has 15 minutes to present… uninterrupted
Q&A session follows
Project is discussed
Process manager takes gatekeepers through list of criteria (scorecard)
Project is scored and discussed
Consensus (decide in advance how consensus will be reached)