Speed Up Time To Market

Most new product development processes take much too long to get new products from product concept to market. The reason for this is quite simple – most companies use the stage gate process. The fundamental problem here is that while the stage gate process may be widely used, it also happens to be inherently flawed.

Let me dive a little deeper into the failure of the stage gate process, as a process. Many readers are probably familiar with the old engineering paradigm, “Fast, Good, or Cheap – Pick Two”. The stage gate process, if implemented properly, focuses on “good”. Unfortunately, a stage gate process normally achieves this goal by sacrificing “fast”. This is not something that can be dealt with by a quick fix. A stage gate process – by its very nature - dramatically delays time to market.

I am not suggesting that we should eliminate all the gates in every stage gate process, as some of them probably are beneficial. (Moreover, removing all the gates would, most likely, not be politically feasible.) I am suggesting, rather, that we should spend some time going through the maps of our product development processes, in order to identify those gates that we can beneficially either eliminate, or ignore for all practical purposes, so as to speed up our product development processes.

My next post will be on to identify which gates to eliminate, or ignore, so as to speed up our time to market.

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