Internationally recognized expert in the field of innovation management

Best Practices in New-Product Development – The Success Drivers

1. Podcast: Doing Projects Right, Doing the Right Projects

From: Product Mastery Now:

With Dr. Bob Cooper, special guest

The host Chad McAllister poses tough questions to Bob. Topics include:

·      The toughest issues faction product development leaguers in thse uncertain times – a look of strategic issues in in novation

·      Doing projects right includes ways it makes the new product Stage-Gate process better. Most new-product processes are outdated and overly boreoarctic, and need an overhaul. The Lean methodology using Value Stream applied to the new-product process with dramatics results, Iterative development, including a series of “build-and-test” iterations is a vital way to get the product right.

·      A second topic is doing the right projects, which is about Portfolio Management. Most firms have too many projects underway for the available resources. Bob outlines ways to force-rank and prioritize projects: the Productivity Index and Strategic Buckets. Dealing with uncertainty and risk in the valuation of projects is also a topic, including the Expected Commercial Value (ECV)

·      Finally, Bob discusses some of the success factors in NPD which are highlighted in Ch 1 of the PDMA Handbook of New Product Development..

A lively and entertaining 35 minutes.

Click the link to listen:

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2. Accelerating Innovation: Some Lessons From the Pandemic

Awarded "Top Article for 2021-2022". The Pandemic taught us that accelerated new-product development is more important than ever, and provided examples of firms developing breakthrough products in record time. Five approaches to accelerated development are outlined here: The first two deal with adequately resourcing new-product projects, namely the use of focused teams; and effective portfolio management to prioritize projects and reallocate resources. Newer digital tools are outlined that speed new-products developments. Finally, two development methods are described that move development projects faster: Lean development and Agile development. Accelerated development also has hidden costs: undertaking less innovative projects and cutting too many corners.

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3. The Drivers of Success in New-Product Development

Why are some new products so successful and some companies outstanding performers in new-product development? The article identifies 20 success factors from numerous research studies into NPD (new-product development) performance in industry – drivers that separate winning new products and businesses from the rest. The details of each driver, along with their managerial implications, are outlined.

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4. We’ve Come a Long Way Baby and A Collection of Cooper’s Articles

This two-part article series begins with the introductory article “We’ve Come a Long Way Baby”, and is followed by “Collecting Cooper’s Articles”, which contains the other 17 articles Cooper has published in the Journal of Product Innovation Management.

When research into product innovation management began in earnest in the late 1970s, nobody knew much of anything about how to succeed in product innovation. Thus, the theme of much of the research in the years that followed was to probe the “drivers of success”. Some research looked at why new products win or fail; other studies lowered the microscope on businesses and their innovation performance, and sought reasons for their results, both positive or negative; and some focused on particular strategies and methodologies and their impact on performance. Read the complete file on this research and conclusions about what makes a winner in new-product development.

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5. The Impact of the Right Climate and Culture for Innovation and the Role of Senior Management on the Business’s New-Product Performance

Having an innovative climate is seen as one of the most important drivers of successful product development for the business. But what are the elements of a positive climate, how many businesses really embrace these, and what impact on performance do they really have? And what about the role of senior management? This article reports an update on an extensive study into best practices in product innovation. This report identifies the 12 most vital factors that constitute a positive climate and culture for product innovation, and provides illustrations and examples of how companies got these right. And the role of senior management – their practices and responsibilities – is also explored. This research-based report provides many guides to action to improve these two vital areas in the management of product and service innovation.

Citation: R.G. Cooper, “The Impact of the Right Climate and Culture for Innovation and the Role of Senior Management on the Business’s New-Product Performance”, Product Development Institute Inc., 2015.

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6. Meilleures Critiques – Reussir Grace Aux Nouveaux Produits

This article, in French, was produced by a French software group, and summarizes some of Cooper’s studies of success drivers – why new products succeed, and others fail: Ce white-paper examine les deux impératifs pour réussir en matière d’innovation produits: sélectionner les bons projets et mieux en assurer l.exécution systématique. Dr. Cooper examine notamment les facteurs critiques de succès qui font la différence entre un processus d’innovation gagnant ou perdant. Il détaille les composants clés de la méthodologie internationalement reconnue Stage-Gate et les quatre objectifs d’une gestion optimisée de portefeuille produits.

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7. Best Practices in the Idea-to-Launch Process and Its Governance

This article reports the results of another APQC study, with a focus on best practices used to manage the firm’s idea-to-launch system (stage-and-gate system) and the governance procedures around this system. A good read for anyone trying to overhaul their new-product idea-to-launch system.

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8. Winning With New Products: Doing It Right

This is an easy-to-read article that summarizes the 10 basic drivers of success – best practices – that lead to successful new products. Based on solid research that looked at hundreds of new products, both winners, and losers, this is an excellent introduction to best practices in new-product development. Read this first, then “Formula for Success” above.

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9. Maximizing Productivity in Product Innovation

This article highlights the seven best practices that distinguish top performers outlined in the “Formula for Success” article above, but drills down more deeply and gets into the research that uncovered these seven drivers. The impact on NPD productivity is probed, showing individual impacts of each best practice.

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10. Formula For Success

This easy-to-read article in Marketing Management Magazine summarizes the seven lessons for success at the project level uncovered in the APQC study highlighted in the “Pathways to Profitable Innovation” article above. Consider some of these practices as “more advanced drivers of success” than the basic ones often discussed; they include building in post-launch reviews, employing spiral development, and using portfolio management to create focus.

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11. Winning Businesses in New-Product Development: The Critical Success Factors

Why do some businesses do so much better at new products than others? This research-based article looks at both the impact of product innovation and its profitability in 161 business units. Four key success drivers are identified.

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12. How P&G Achieves Such Stellar New Product Results

Cooper and co-author Mike Mills (in charge of P&G’s Corporate Initiatives Delivery System) probe the main reasons why P&G fares so well at new products. The use of the Innovation Diamond in the company is highlighted, and how one major P&G business used the concepts and practices in the Diamond to grow and prosper with product innovation.

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13. Winning at New Products: Pathways to Profitable Innovation

Written for Microsoft’s webpage, in this article, Cooper focuses on the four major themes or forces that drive positive outcomes in product innovation for businesses. Based on an extensive study done on hundreds of firms with the APQC, the Innovation Diamond is introduced, along with a list of best practices that distinguish the top performing businesses in product development.

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14. New Products – What Separates The Winners From The Losers and What Drives Success

Provides a complete overview of the most important best practices and drivers of success in product innovation. In this article (Chapter 1 from the PDMA handbook), Cooper looks at success factors both at the project level – what makes new products succeed – and also at the company level – why are some businesses so much more successful than others. Integrates years of studies into a conclusive and compelling set of success drivers and best practices.

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