In today’s competitive world, thesuccess of a new product is determined by fulfilling the customer’s need andrequirements. As a product design director in an electro-mechanical industry,it is highly important to bring out a new product to survive in the market. Thekey drivers of innovation are Technological advancement, Changing Customerneeds, Product Life-cycles and World Competition(Robert.G.
Cooper, 2001). Aconcept should be created which should fill the gap with deep market researchin the electro-mechanical sector. The process from concept to delivery of a newproduct development is a tough and complex task, in order to win in the marketplace. The new idea or concept generated have to tackle a number of practicaldifficulties in terms of technical, shape, size, adaptability, cost, lead-timeetc to a finished product which will meet expectations. Since the competitionin the market is getting close-packed there should be a more structured newproduct introduction approach such as the ‘Stage Gate Process’.
The ‘Stage GateProcess’ which is discovered by Robert. G. Cooper; is a conceptual and workingmodel of effective New Product Development (NPD)(Gronlund, et al.
, 2010). The structure of the Stage Gate process is aresult of substantial examination on the successful companies on how the NPDtask is done. The Development Management of an NPD couldbe done integrating technical and developmental processes with respect to time,resources and quality (Bruce.T.Barkley, 2007).Project Management tools are used for development of the product to the market. The business perspective, sales, marketing andthe type of production are chosen by the project management tools andmethodologies. The various drawbacks of the product are analysed and accordingto that business strategy is developed.
When a new product is coming to amarket, it should create a change or replacement of the existing system whichsaves time, money and increase in productivity. Further on, NPD with stage-gateprocess in product design and development management with the Projectmanagement tools are discussed. 2.The Stage-Gate Process for NPD The innovation process whichbreaks into a set of stages where each stage is a set of prescribed,cross-functional and parallel activities (Robert.
G.Cooper,2001). A five-stage five-gate model with Discovery and Post-LaunchReview are the main elements of the stage-gate model. The innovation process isdisintegrated into a set of activities which control the process and passes onwith the required quality checks and further moves to the checkpoints whichgives decision of go or kill is decided. Figure: 1 (Robert.G.Cooper, 2001) The Stage-Gate Process given abovein the figure (1) are divided into discrete stages which is designed to collectinformation for the project process towards the decision point. The ideas andpre-work designed to discover opportunities.
Every gate serves quality controlcheckpoints and prioritized decision points. The structure of each gateconsists of Deliverables, Criteria and output. The proposal is checked with thecurrent market that would fit the business strategy. The expectations are drawnin the deliverables section. The proposed project undergoing the environmental,health and safety criteria are taken into consideration to turn out a qualityproduct. The output of the gate is a decision that would be approved or killedto the next stage.
1.1 Gate 1: Idea Screen The Idea screen is the first gate toscreen and commit the project. The project is generated after this Gate 1point. If the project moves into examination or the Scoping Stage.
Thecriteria’s of the Gate1 ‘should meet and must meet’ the discovery process. Thecriteria deal with strategic alignment, project feasibility, magnitude ofopportunity and market attractiveness, product advantage, ability to leveragethe company resources and policies. The Idea screen is clearly mentioned in thefigure 2 below. Figure: 2 In the Idea Screen checklist twomethods criteria divided into Should-meet model and Must-meet models arecreated according to the project idea. The should meet model could be used tohelp focus the discussion and ranking of the projects are done. The must-meetcriteria are created with a checklist with a point rating scales.
There arealso Yes/No questionnaire format is followed. The basic questions are Strategic Fit: Proposal fit with the market or technology area? Market Attractiveness: Market Size, growth? Technical Feasibility: Product could be developed and manufactured? Killer Variables: Legal, Environmental, Issues? At the start of the project ideasare reviewed by a set of people who are higher officials including technicaland business departments. The project getting ‘Yes’ to the following questionsmentioned above would lead to the next process and Gate2. If the Gate1 didn’tpass (If answer is No) the project may lead to rework or kill the project idea. After the Gate1 pass it moves on to theStage1 process. 1.
2 Stage1: Scoping TheScoping given above in figure (2), is a primary stage in which a preliminarymarket research is actuated with the help of the library research, journals,Internet Research and the customer who requires it for their purpose etc. Thisstage 1 could also actuate some surveys and feedbacks to make a record andimprovise according to the preferences of the customer. The purpose of scopingis to understand and determine the market potential, size and acceptance. The nextstep in scoping with the technical feasibility.
How far the project idea couldbe turned into a relevant and practical design which could be manufactured intothe product. Sometimes the hundred percent idea couldn’t achieve technical andpractical feasibility. Thegathering of market and technical information from the overview of the projectidea is done in very short span within a month almost, and very low cost whichare usually handled by a team involved within the NPD. 1.3 Gate 2: Second Screen Figure: 3 The Gate 2 Second Screen shown inFigure (3) is the second step in the Stage Gate Process. The project fromScoping has to pass the Gate 2 with much more regulations to pass with muchmore extended aspects. The Gate 2 has toundergo a set of original ‘must-meet and should-meet’ criteria models used atthe Gate 1.
For the Gate 2 it will deal withthe sales team and finds out the response of customers with NPD launching. Thedata of technical, political and regulatory aspects are taken into a checklistof scoring chart. The financial aspect such as Investment, Machineries, Space,Payback period are calculated briefly. TheGate 2 passes on to the Stage 2.