R&D

How to Manage Early Stage Innovation

Product concepts are the lifeblood of your company. Flowing through your company’s system, like blood through the veins of a human body, new product concepts are the future of your company’s health and the source of its growth. Unfortunately, many companies lack a strategic planning process for innovation, or they manage it poorly. Too many companies insist that the early ...

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Increased R&D Doesn’t Mean Innovation

A recent PwC study looked at a large rise in global R&D spending in 2018, more than a 17% gain over 2017. Many pundits shared the article as evidence of an innovation revolution despite the warnings in the article. Silly, huh? The piece states, “rising R&D spending is an indication that companies are committing to the future, and should portend ...

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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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How a Shortage of Innovation Leads to Unemployment

Some believe that robots will take over all our jobs and therefore innovation (specifically in the area of robots) will cause unemployment. But in reality, it’s the other way around. You may be familiar with the product life cycle diagram. Every product (and when I say “product” I also include service, process, or business model) has a life cycle, typically ...

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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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