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Establishing a Metrics Control System for Product Innovation

Enhancing creativity, focusing attention and calling the organization to action.

The goal of the Product-MASTERS Metrics Workshop is to shorten the calendar time for companies to establish a consistent Product Innovation Metrics Control System that drives improvement to the performance of their product innovation system.

Key Issues
A recent study showed that product development organizations with robust metrics systems have improved management communication, identified Product development problems earlier, reduced cycle times and increased throughput. However relatively few companies have built, implemented and maintained a successful metrics control system for product development and innovation. The problem for most organizations is that designing, testing & implementing an effective metrics system is a big effort that takes a long time and often requires multiple iterations over many years.
The key barriers include:
  • A difficulty generating urgency and focus… sticking to it.
  • A belief that product development and innovation is primarily a creative activity and therefore can’t be measured.
  • A lack of consensus around which metrics to monitor, how often and what actions will be taken based on these metrics.
  • The time it takes to build a satisfactory metrics baseline… to compare current with past performance.
  • Lack of comparative data. Many desire to compare progress and performance with others.
  • How to collect and where to keep the data.
  • Concern over what we’ll do with the metrics when we get them.
Target Clients
This workshop is designed for in-house delivery, in multiple sessions to companies that have implemented the basics of good product development governance – a process and more and which desire to move to the next level by improving their ability to focus on performance in a structured manner.
Executives, management and individual contributors involved with product development, research, and product support which represent functional areas such as marketing, product management, quality and manufacturing will benefit from participation.
Participant companies will often be experiencing some of the following issues:
  • Too much information … not enough useful actionable info; people ignore current management info
  • Weak communication… an inability to describe status and agree on priorities.
  • An inability to focus on overall performance… unclear agreement on how to define performance, results drivers etc. A feeling that performance is declining (or improving) but there is no concrete info
  • Improvement initiatives with unclear results… can’t track progress
  • Uninformed, perhaps biased decisions due to lack of facts
  • A feeling that compared to other parts of the business (sales, finance, mfg, quality, logistics, product development is managed in an ad hoc manner.
The Workshop
The Product-MASTERS Metrics Control System workshop provides the foundation for rapidly building a successful metrics program and a step-by-step process for creating effective metrics.
  • Step 0: Defining Current Product Development Performance; Metrics Practices Baseline
Cross-functional interviews, on-line surveys, the Product-MASTERS Innovation Maturity Model and the Metrics Maturity Map are used to build a baseline which documents:
    • The performance of the product development system
    • The past use of metrics in NPD governance.
    • Potential data sources and availability
  • Step 1: Building a Common Metrics Vision
The first workshop session brings together relevant stakeholders in the metrics system to build a common metrics vision. Topics may include:
    • Why Measure?
    • Barriers to an effective metrics system
    • Establishing principles of effective New Product Development.
    • Establishing Principles of effective metrics systems.
    • Establishing metrics value and Cost of metrics systems (Development and Operation).
    • Defining roles: Metrics stakeholders, users and contributors.
    • Building a charter statement for the metrics effort.
  • Step 2: Defining Your Direction and Strategy
    • Define overall business strategy (Excellence; Innovation, Intimacy) and business goals and objectives.
    • Defining the role of product development in achieving these goals including:
      • Target comparative, competitive NPD proficiency.
      • Product development improvement goals; The executive view; the associates view.
      • Defining the PD system optimization parameters.
      • Key areas of improvement focus; root causes; critical ratios; throughput parameters; unproductive behaviors; csf’s and issues preventing (risks)
      • Areas of strategic PD competencies (The Jewels); Doing what others can’t.
    • Selecting scorecard major segments
    • At what processes must we be excellent in order to consistently deliver superior products?
    • Define Metrics trees: customer value; quality, strategy, project, portfolio etc.
    • Define significant metrics “questions”.
  • Step 3: Designing Your Metrics System
    • Translate goals into metrics. Assess causal action and appropriateness of level.
    • Metrics selection criteria
    • Metrics selection process
    • Metrics selection and designing the mix of metrics types
    • Detailed metrics definition and formulation
    • The collection plan
    • Setting standards and targets
    • Defining metrics based management actions.
  • Step 4: Implementing the Metrics System
    • Selling/communicating the metrics system and its role
    • Building tracking collection systems.
    • Maintaining and updating the metrics system
    • Building a baseline; test causality relationships
    • Setting improvement targets
    • Link to existing processes, practices and systems
  • Step 5: Operating and Improving Your Metrics System
    • Compare to targets
    • Assess metrics based management actions
    • Identify metrics system improvement opportunities: Metrics design; collection; action

Deliverables
  • A “Balanced Scorecard” for managing product development and innovation.
  • A plan for operating and implementing the metrics control system.
  • Faster, stronger, broader buy in to the implementation of the metrics control system within the organization.
  • Improved product innovation management decisions: confidence and speed.
  • Improved organizational alignment and consensus around performance goals and targets.
  • More effective tracking of the effect and impact of improvement initiatives.
  • An improved foundation for a performance based, fact based culture for product innovation and organizational change.
   
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