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Firmenprofil Innovation Produkte Projekte Referenzen

The rising complexity of the development of new products and services sets high requirements on development teams and their skills. It is no more possible to keep 'everything' in mind, or to develop innovations just from the long term industry experience. The things are easy forgotten or are rated as not critical. This causes at the end - troubles and high costs. 

Many companies have created their own structure in order to 'seal up' their projects and process them with least risk. They have developed their own activity- and check-lists and defined milestones. This gives essential support to the project leaders, especially those with less experiences. A widespread version is the Stage Gate Process, developed in 1988 by Robert G. Cooper.


Stage Gate Process
… is a guideline which consist of stages and decision gates where cross-functional tasks shall be completed by project teams. This reduces the probability of proceeding with ideas and innovation projects which later could have no success on the market.

 

Benefits:

  • Danger of going ahead with wrong development projects will be reduced
  • Due to less correction, less time is required for development of products and services
  • Smaller steps in the innovation process are easier to keep an overview and to steer
  • High efficiency due to the intense cross-functional link of teams and processes
  • Contentual and process learning from past and running projects brings further efficiency increase
  • Clear visualisation of the project progress makes monitoring and decisions easier

 
Effort:

Stage Gate projects require between 5 and 40 days of support by I.C.I.C.

About the method: 

Stage Gate divides an innovation process into the phases (stages) which are divided by gates. In particular stages, projects will be pushed on by clear action steps. At gates, projects will be evaluated – it will be decided if they can be forwarded into the next phase (stage) or not (so- called Go/No-Go- decisions).

An exemplary Stage Gate process consists of following phases:

  • Screen – pre-investigations in order to reduce the number of projects
  • Definition of business case – definition of product, market value and planning
  • Development – design, development of the product and marketing plan
  • Validation – in laboratory, in action and on the market
  • Market introduction – production, marketing, sales/distribution, market introduction and quality management on the market

Stage Gate in practice: 

It is unfortunately not possible to recommend a general Stage Gate process for all organisations. In the practice different organisations are handling it in different ways: Simple product developments are getting along all right with the basic package, complex product developments as by car industry, developments of appliances and aviation have developed very sophisticated versions of this innovation process.

When considering the accuracy of the Stage Gate process, it is important to reach an optimum between 'not too little' und 'not too much'. Too much detail will act contra productively – things will be skipped on the costs of process quality.


At the Stage Gate process, the primary issue is security. Creativity and innovative breakthrough are just background topics.