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Product Innovation Engine Overhaul

Client's Product Innovation Engine -- Before
Client's Product Innovation Engine -- Before
Client's Product Innovation Engine -- Before
Situation
A proposal to upgrade its Product Data Management system caused management at a division of a major manufacturer of consumer building products to begin asking broader questions about it’s overall product innovation competency.
  • Is this system acquisition truly our top priority?
  • What should be the overall architecture of systems for product development? Are we heading toward another island of automation?
  • Should we focus on people, process and organizational issues before investing in an expensive system upgrade?
  • What are our key improvement priorities?
Realizing they would never have the time, experience or independent perspective to explore the situation internally, management asked Product-MASTERS to provide opinions about the need and payoff from a new PDM system and to define management, process, organizational and system priorities to drive improved innovation performance.

In short we helped structure what should be done to strengthen the client’s “Product Innovation Engine”.

Approach
Over a three week period we conducted a Product Innovation Engine Assessment.
It included a management workshop, an on-line survey, a review of specific practices using our proprietary Integrated Product Development Maturity Model and a summary of metrics data on throughput and product development loss streams.

During the course of the multi faceted analysis people who were previously unwilling to share views opened up. For the first time management was exposed to the full story of frustration and provincialism of silo based views and practices.
Client's Product Innovation Engine -- After
Client's Product Innovation Engine -- After
Client's Product Innovation Engine -- After
Conclusions & Recommendations
The framework for a comprehensive innovation improvement initiative was defined refined and shared throughout the organization.
It included:
  • PDM System - A recommendation to replace the current PDM system was developed including a business justification, system requirements from which a vendor was selected. Seeing the opportunity in the context of a full improvement roadmap drove rapid approval and aggressive implementation.
  • Schedule Compliance Initiative - A baseline of schedule compliance on past projects was established and the economic impact on the enterprise determined along with root causes of schedule delays. Action plans to simplify the overall product development process and to modify project management practices were defined, staffed and approved.
  • Portfolio Guidebook - The project sanctioning and capacity management process was revamped. A Portfolio/Capacity guidebook was created to provide additional context to the existing product development process.
  • Resource Management Methodology - A long-term staff development plan was defined based on a project typology model that defined typical resource loads and linked to the three year product plan.
  • PD IT Architecture - An IT plan for satisfying future NPD needs for project management, idea harvesting, portfolio management, requirements definition and tracking and knowledge management was defined. A pending acquisition of a point solution was redirected to a system with a broader fit to the IT roadmap.

Payoff
Within 14 months the following outcomes and payoffs had been achieved:
  • PDM system was implemented a delivering a 22% shortened document release cycles and 31% reduction in design change execution cycles.
  • Time to commit to new projects was reduced, on average by one month, milestone achievement was tracking at about 88% - an important improvement in predictability.
  • Pipeline value had increased by 13% with an expectation for a similar improvement in throughput.
  • Revenue from new products was beginning to rise.
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