Internationally recognized expert in the field of innovation management

Next Generation Stage-Gate® and What’s Next After Stage-Gate®

1. The 5-th Generation Stage-Gate Idea-to-Launch Process                                   

This Engineering Management Review article probes how leading firms have made major improvements to their NPD Stage-Gate systems. Some changes are relatively simple, such as using Value Steam Mapping to remove bureaucracy and waste, or adopting concurrency and parallel processing, but have major impacts. Building iterations in throughout the development process – a series of build-and-test steps – gets both customer and technical validation of the product. More focus on the development pipeline by toughening the gates — making them gates with teeth or investment decision points — leads to fewer but better projects. Finally, integrating Agile into your gating system has yielded very positive results for some physical-product firms.

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2. VIDEO: How to Drive New Products to MArket

Faster, Better, Smarter: Next Generation Stage-Gate Framework

Video provides insights into why new products fail, what separates the winners from the losers, and how to build these success drivers into your next new-product project. Then an introduction to his Stage-Gate system is given: how Stage-Gate works, what the Stages are, how Gates work, and how they help you select the best projects for development. Cooper then outlines the latest versions of Stage-Gate, including Iterative Development and Lean Development. Finally he  spends time on Agile-Stage-Gate, and how it integrates concepts from software development with tried-and-proven gating methods to achieve faster and more productive new-product development.

Recorded originally with, and made available from: Disruptive Innovation Hub, The Lassonde School of Engineering

York University, Toronto ON, Canada

Approx. 90 mins with Q&A

3. Stage-Gate® is Not a Waterfall... Find Out How & Why

Dr. Robert G Cooper, June 2024

Dr. Cooper, the creator of the Stage-Gate® process, clarifies the distinctions between Stage-Gate and Waterfall methodologies in product development. Stage-Gate, developed in the 1980s specifically for new product development and innovation projects, is a flexible, iterative process with cross-functional collaboration and formal decision points. In contrast, Waterfall, originating earlier for large-scale engineering projects, is a more linear and sequential approach often used in software development. Unlike Stage-Gate, Waterfall typically lacks explicit decision points between phases and has less flexibility for iteration.

Key differences include Stage-Gate's emphasis on cross-functional collaboration, incorporation of build-and-test iterations, and adaptability to various project sizes and types. Stage-Gate also integrates risk assessment at each gate, while Waterfall addresses risks primarily in the planning phase. The article also notes that according to the Product Development and Management Association (PDMA), both Stage-Gate and Phase-Review (Waterfall) are used for physical product development. Agile development, originally from the software field, is now often combined with these approaches for physical products.

To cite this article:Cooper, R.G. 2024. “Stage-Gate® is Not Waterfall… Find Out Why & How.” Libarry: Product Development Institute. Next Generation Stage-Gate® and What’s Next After Stage-Gate®. June 28. Article #3. Link:   Robert G. Cooper - Next Generation Stage-Gate® and What’s Next After Stage-Gate® (

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4. Beyond Stage-Gate: What’s Next in New Product Development

This article , from the CIMS Innovation Management Report, provides short summary of the previous and longer article – namely, the latest thinking about how to make your business’s new-product system more agile, more adaptive and faster. Like most CIMS reports, it’s a a good summary, but you need to get into the previous article to develop a real understanding of these novel approaches.

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5. Idea-to-Launch Gating Systems: Better, Faster, and More Agile

This article provides the latest thinning on how leading firms are rethinking and reinventing their idea-to-launch gating systems. They are adding elements of Agile to traditional Stage-Gate structures to add flexibility and speed while retaining structure and rigor. They’re also building in methods to make the process faster, less bureaucratic and also more adaptive and flexible.

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6. Next Stage for Stage-Gate?

This is a shorter version of the article above, namely “What’s Next After Stage-Gate” -- at look at what cutting edge firms are doing to take their idea-to-launch systems to the next level. The result is what Cooper calls the Triple A System: Adaptive and flexible; Agile; and Accelerated.

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7. What’s Next After Stage-Gate?

As the creator of the Stage-Gate® process, Cooper is often asked, “What’s next after stage-gate?” For years, no answers. Now, we’re seeing new approaches emerging from progressive companies that represent a new generation of idea-to-launch processes – systems designed to handle bolder and bigger innovations, and to overcome some of the deficiencies of the traditional gating model. For some firms, the changes are evolutionary, but some are revolutionary. The result is what Cooper calls the Triple A System: Adaptive and flexible; Agile; and Accelerated.

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8. Next Gen Stage-Gate – Interview in the Innovators Magazine

Doug Berger interviews Bob Cooper, for a lively discussion on how companies are moving to the next generation Stage-Gate system, and what this involves – what new practices and features in the idea-to-launch system. An entertaining and easy read.

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9. What Leading Companies Are Doing to Re-Invent Their NPD Processes

Yet another shorter version of the comprehensive “What’s New and NexGen Systems” article above, this version includes risk-adjusting and scaling the system, spiral development to get the product right, post-launch reviews and continuous improvement, handling Open Innovation in Stage-Gate, and building in portfolio management.

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10. Cómo las compañías están reinventando sus metodologías para llevar productos al mercado

The same “How companies are re-inventing” article, but in Spanish.

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11. How Companies Are Re-Inventing Their Idea-to-Launch Methodology

A shorter version of the “What’s New and NexGen Systems” article above, it highlights some of the key improvements in Stage-Gate made by leading companies. These include: more effective governance and lean gates; portfolio management built in; a leaner, adaptive, flexible and scalable system, and a Discovery stage bolted on the front end.

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12. The Stage-Gate® Idea-to-Launch Process – Update, What’s New, and NexGen Systems

The comprehensive article, an invited article in the prestigious Journal of Product Innovation Management, pulls together ten years of progress on Stage-Gate – how companies have moved beyond the basic gating model of the late 1990s, and introduces new features and functionality: spiral development, post-launch reviews and continuous improvement, context-based models for different types of projects, a more flexible and adaptive process, lean gates with teeth, more effective governance, lean NPD, and much more. A must read for anyone trying to modernize their current idea-to-launch system.

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13. Managing Technology Development Projects – Stage-Gate®-TD

Technology development projects are not the same as product development projects, nor should they be managed the same way. Cooper outlines a unique gating system designed for technology developments and technology platform projects – including the right criteria to use for making the Go/Kill decisions.

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14. The Latest View: The Stage-Gate® System for New-Product Development

This article takes a look at the Stage-Gate® system, developed and trademarked by Cooper. A bit of background is provided, followed by the most current view of the process (Stage-Gate has changed a lot in the last ten years; so if you’re using an older version, this section is a good update). How the key success drivers are built in is next outlined. The article concludes with a look at some of the more novel approaches that leading firms are building into Stage-Gate that take them to the next generation of Stage-Gate.

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15. The Stage-Gate® System: A Road Map from Idea to Launch – An Intro & Summary

Article summarizes a number of articles and books by the author to provide a superb introduction to the Stage-Gate idea-to-launch system. A must read for anyone starting out on the design (or re-design) of their company’s idea-to-launch system, or for anyone unfamiliar with how Stage-Gate works.

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