Advanced Project Management for NPD – Wikis, Outsourcing and Virtual Personal Assistants


Many interesting insights and out of the box tips and tricks were shared at our webinar on May 22, 2013, “Advanced Project Management for Product Development: Leveraging Others–Working with Suppliers & Partners” led by John Carter and Scott Elliott of TCGen, Inc.

See the form below to request a link to a recording of this webinar and a copy of the slides that were presented.

Among the most intriguing recommendations from the webinar:

  • A diverse set of visual tools and charts to organize and manage global distributed teams and complex reporting hierarchies;
  • Modern team communication tools such as Wikis and cloud-based software to replace disjointed email threads; and
  • Tapping into non-traditional external labor resources such as “Virtual Personal Assistants” from service providers like oDesk, Elance and Task Rabbit for various research projects or administrative tasks

Other sections of the webinar covered supplier integration practices and the integration of Agile Software Development methods into traditional product development environments as a response to the increasing inclusion of software components to products that were previously software-free.

This webinar was a sample course of a 5-module workshop covering a focused set of tools and techniques for addressing the specific challenges of current day product development projects.  The full workshop is available as a customized in-house offering and will also be presented as a public workshop, Advanced Product Development for Product Development on August 22, 2013 in Chicago.   A limited time $500/person discount is available for the public workshop until May 31, 2013.

To request a link to the webinar recording and a copy of the presentation slides:



Video: Connect+Develop Co-Founder on the “Old Wine” of Open Innovation

In the above video from a recent OI conference, several experts address the current state of open innovation initiatives and the reasons behind many company’s commitment and investment in the practice. 
Among the panelists is Dr. Edward Getty, currently the Global External Alliance Lead at Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, and also one of the original co-founders of Procter & Gamble’s famed Connect+Develop program.

Dr. Getty addresses several key issues regarding Open Innovation, drawing from his extensive experience and diverse corporate background.  Some of the things he specifically discusses include:

  • Is Open Innovation just “old wine in a new bottle”? [06:25]
  • Why “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” [15:35]
  • What to do with technologies and ideas you don’t end up using and how to still benefit from them. [21:40]
  • The difference between “open innovation” and “open source” and how intellectual property needs to be managed. [31:45]

Dr. Edward Getty will be the featured guest speaker at Management Roundtable’s upcoming one-day intensive workshop, the Open Innovation Master Class with Gene Slowinski on June 20, 2013 in Chicago.


Create Kano Surveys for Free on

kano-analysisDr. Noriaki Kano’s customer satisfaction model revolutionized the science of quality and gave a voice to the abstract concepts behind what draws customers to specific product offerings. The heart of Dr. Kano’s methodology was his customer survey designs and how to plot responses in a way that uncovered what customers truly care about with a degree of specificity that exposed the product features that trigger customers to choose one product or feature set over a competitive offering. Created in 2009 by Agile Coach, Sergei Dmitrev, is a free website (registration required, though) that can guide you through templates to create your own Kano surveys.  While this is intended for software developers, it should work with any types of product features you wish to populate the survey with.  Even if you don’t or can’t use the survey for your specific project, it can be a valuable exercise in general Kano survey design if you are just starting out with employing these methods.

Learn more about putting the power of Kano to work for you at Management Roundtable’s Kano Innovation Collaborative.


Advanced Project Management for NPD – Top 4 Concerns of Webinar Participants


Below are some quick insights from a survey recently conducted in conjunction with our upcoming webinar on May 22, 2013, “Advanced Project Management for Product Development: Applying Lean and Agile Principles to Managing Partners” led by John Carter of TCGen, Inc.

Webinar registrants were asked to rate the following 8 categories on a scale of 1 (not interested) to 5 (highly interested).  The average rating for each category appears in parentheses:

  • Product Development / Project Management Metrics (4.53)
  • Agile Development Techniques (4.15)
  • Culture & Communication (4.15)
  • Risk Management (4.00)
  • Managing Distributed Teams (3.97)
  • Innovation & Ideation (3.71)
  • Open Innovation & Social Technologies (3.69)
  • Lean Engineering Methods (3.65)

Approximately 100 participants were surveyed with a 34% response rate.

The top concern is hardly surprising, as methods for measuring performance seem to be an evergreen issue for every business function.  As a company evolves, so does it’s leadership and corporate priorities, which can make the focus of a business’ metrics rather fluid and unstable.  There is often much internal disagreement about what should be measured and how to measure things accurately, which can lead to troublesome misalignment, especially in engineering-heavy environments.

The bottom two issues were somewhat surprising.  One could have easily assumed that “Open Innovation and Social Technologies” would be of higher interest considering their high profile and mindshare in business and overall society.  Similarly, “Lean Engineering” has historically been a highly popular subject area and is rather similar to “Agile” that took a top spot, which could signify that Lean has reached a maturity level or there could be some dissatisfaction with the lean methods that have been in practice for quite a number of years now.

Please note that these are observations and not scientifically backed conclusions.

This webinar is part four of a five-part series on the skills, tools and methods that compose the “Advanced Project Management” discipline.   The May 22nd session will provide an introduction to the key concepts and provide practical, tools-based knowledge on managing partnerships and collaborative innovation.

Related Links:


GGI R&D survey focuses on “Organic R&D,” Open Innovation & IP and Corp. Metrics

surveyGoldense Group, Inc. (GGI), a Massachusetts-based market research and consulting firm specializing in R&D/Product Development, has just announced its latest survey on industry innovation practices.

Over the past 15 years, GGI’s R&D surveys have provided a wealth of insight into the direction and initiatives at R&D organizations across the globe. These surveys are carefully constructed and thoughtfully analyzed by experienced R&D practitioners and are designed to capture meaningful insights into what R&D practitioners can expect in the coming years.

The focus of this year’s research is on Organic R&D-Product Development, Open Innovation, Intellectual Property, & CXO Corporate Metrics. The research is aimed at culling-out industry’s current deployment and utilization of selected innovation and intellectual property strategies, processes, practices, techniques, and metrics.

The questionnaire is intended for manufacturing companies, R&D labs, and Contract Design/Development companies that are actively creating and commercializing new products. Responses from industry service and advisory firms will not be accepted.

All responses will be kept strictly confidential. No data is shared with any identifiable information to a person or to a company. The questionnaire has been designed to minimize the need for permissions or approvals from your company in order to participate.  On average, it should take approximately 30-35 minutes to complete.

All research participants will receive a comprehensive document, complete with text and graphs, that summarizes each question across the population of respondents.

If you would like to participate or get additional information, please contact Alex Cooper at or call 781-891-8080.

Video: The companies & statistics behind many Open Innovation successes

Filled with statistics and examples, this nifty video by Hyve AG, a German-based innovation company, provides a quick and highly informative introduction to Open Innovation.  In approximately 7 minutes, this video provides numerous case examples of successful co-development projects at many different companies and industries.  Throughout these case studies, they have also sprinkled a healthy dose of statistical information that helps illustrate and emphasize the benefits and real world results that companies are achieving by leveraging communities around the Internet as well as their own lead user customers.

These types of videos remind me of the short film strips they used to show us in elementary school, quick, to the point, and with enough production value to keep your attention.