Author Archives: John Carter

Innovation Roadmaps: What Are They Good For, Anyway?

At the heart, product roadmaps show the major milestones of a project’s lifecycle. Maintaining Product Roadmaps is a useful discipline in just about any organization that has more than one product. But aside from capturing product timelines, what good are they?  If a roadmap is just another deliverable you owe an executive, that checks a box on their need to ...

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Stop Overloading Engineers, While Increasing Project Throughput

Scenario: WebCo, a company with about 200 contributors, was having trouble keeping projects on schedule. An analysis of the root causes showed that engineers worked long days. Many of these workdays included many meetings that were not about their highest priority project. The VP of Engineering suspected that her staff were getting stretched too thin. She did some quick research, ...

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Getting to the Root Cause of Project Headaches

Scenario: a product development team at a medical device company had a testing phase that ran far longer than expected. This delay rippled throughout the project and had serious implications downstream. After the project was complete, the team leader wanted to go back and figure out why the test phase had not gone as planned. She received pushback from the ...

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Want To Manage Innovation? Let the Creators Create!

Innovative cross-functional teams in technology companies often depend on individuals with highly technical, specialized skills. They’re on the edge, extending their disciplines where they haven’t been before. Teams like this require upper management support that enables their success. It does not need micromanagement – or its opposite, chaotic management that is no better than neglect. What innovative product teams need ...

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Three Keys To Meeting The Challenge of Multi-Platform Product Development

Scenario: A technology company is creating a consumer electronics solution that involves hardware, software and web components. Three separate teams, located in different parts of the company’s facility, create three platforms. Each platform has its own development team, its own Program Manager and its own Project Manager. There are no clear and distinct processes for integrating these three elements until ...

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Ten Questions to Answer Before Using Social Tools for Product Innovation

Social media is incredibly effective for conveying marketing messages and for receiving rapid customer feedback. The effectiveness of social media for outbound marketing activities, i.e. getting the news out about new products offerings, and interacting with customers, is well known. But social media is also a tool for inbound marketing – for understanding the customer requirements that become inputs for ...

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How To Create a Strategic Planning Process for Innovation

Every innovative product begins as a concept in the mind of someone or some group of people. These concepts are the seeds of your company’s future growth. How is your company cultivating these seeds? How do companies manage this asset, the portfolio of product concepts, even before they enter the pipeline? In our experience, product portfolio management is a missing ...

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Empowering Teams Through Metrics at Apple

Apple is an iconic brand noted for disruptive innovation. In the heat of the digital revolution that it helped spark, Apple’s products became a portfolio of increasingly complex and diverse offerings. At a crucial point in its growth, the company had to reign in its exuberance and created a disciplined, cross-company product development process. The challenge: the lack of a ...

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