Innovation’s Latest Frontier: Business Models


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For most companies, innovation is a relentless pursuit, forever in the chase but rarely crossing the finish line. Many are currently finding they’ve reached a ceiling on improving their products and services that can’t be solved with anything less than a reboot.  Clever companies are instead discovering ways to change the game completely by reinventing the entire business model to grow and expand their market and change the economics more in their favor.

Many mistakenly judge this approach to be too time consuming or too large of a problem to swallow.  However, there are approaches and tools to make business model innovation a manageable and worthwhile endeavor.  Today, most product developers are well aware of the “disruptive innovation” approach that highlights lucrative opportunities, while the recent “Lean Startup” movement has fueled numerous entrepreneurs to use relentless experimentation as a key ingredient to quickly and effectively capture new markets.

bizmodelvennAnother increasing development is the era of partnerships and co-development. Businesses exist in markets that are increasingly referred to as “ecosystems” where aligned companies collaborate to combine strengths and create a more robust market that can better meet customer needs. Whether you need a technology, a manufacturing capability or a service infrastructure, the right partner can create market leverage that is unattainable separately and can provide unique value that wins on customer choice.

Management Roundtable has partnered with Michael Docherty of Venture2, Inc., on a new workshop designed to help companies who need a plan for developing new business models to achieve growth goals and ensure long-term profitability.  Docherty brings many years of hands on experience in both the corporate and entrepreneurial arenas and has helped develop numerous business models for companies and clients.  He has developed some very helpful tools and processes for leading executives on how to uncover and tackle the best business opportunities.

Joining Michael Docherty as a co-instructor is Asoka Veeravagu, Vice President of Transformational Innovation at Jarden Consumer Solutions.  Asoka brings his extensive industry experience leading teams chartered with identifying, developing and commercializing new growth opportunities at companies including Jarden, General Motors, Ariba, Inc., and Motorola.

Vice Presidents, Directors and other decision makers from R&D and product development areas are invited to attend this important seminar that will feature experiential exercises and illustrative case examples to guide participants towards creating their own custom strategy and gameplan for business model innovation.

Innovating New Business Models: Building a Playbook
February 17-18, 2015 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Click Here for More Information
$300 Early Bird Discount when you register by 12/31/15!

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Is your unbalanced product portfolio the root cause of NPD failure?


Time is money

According to New Product Innovation expert Dr. Robert G. Cooper, one of the most important ways to win at product innovation – effective portfolio management and making the right investment decisions – is missing in most firms.  He has studied top product development firms around the world and his research has identified common weak points that can be sourced to the product portfolio management process.

Did you know that…

  • 76% of businesses have too many development projects for the limited resources available – projects are greatly under-resourced! So they take too long.
  • 81% of businesses have unbalanced portfolios – far too many ‘small’ projects.
  • Almost 90% of businesses have “few or no” high value projects in their development pipelines.
  • Three-quarters of businesses confess to “poor project prioritization”.
  • And less than one-quarter of businesses have an effective portfolio management system in place.

Dr. Cooper is working with Management Roundtable to provide an intensive two-day seminar that focuses on strategic portfolio management – how to develop your product innovation strategy, and then how to use that strategy to make better development investment decisions. It is based on principles outlined in his two popular books: Winning at New Products – Creating Value Thru Innovation and Portfolio Management for New Product Development.

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How do Agile Software Development Practices Translate to Hardware Development?


In this short video segment, Andrew McCaskey of SDRNews speaks with TechZecs‘ Scott Elliott on the latest successful efforts to apply best practices in agile software development to physical product development environments.  Scott answers such questions as how scrum and other techniques are adapted and applied outside of the software realm and on hardware components such as ASICS design.  You’ll also hear how advancements in prototyping have accelerated R&D cycles, a key factor in achieving lean product development.

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10 Most Critical Dimensions for Successful Product Innovation


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Managing new product development and innovation is a road with many forking paths and few helpful signposts (just like driving in downtown Boston!).

NPD expert, author and executive advisor, Wayne Mackey, has identified what he believes are the 10 most critical dimensions facing product development leaders.  Each builds upon the other and encompasses the complete value stream of the development process from the highly strategic to the minutest of detail.

Viewed as a whole, the challenges these dimensions present can seem daunting and unmanageable, but according to Wayne, once broken down into constituent parts, each area can be addressed with specific tools that can quickly use data to identify root causes and guide you to an immediate course correction.  For example, properly staffing project teams with adequate resources can be simplified and improved using a simple spreadsheet tool known as a “skills matrix.”  Each dimension has similar tools and methods for deconstructing a problem without wasting a lot of time.

The 10 critical dimensions of product development innovation are:

  1. Cycles of learning – Information flow and risk retirement rates
  2. Resource management – Innovation skills assessment, staff ratios and roles & responsibilities
  3. Organic versus outside growth – Open innovation and strategic supplier /partners
  4. Portfolio investment balance – Translation of the voice of the NEXT customer
  5. Strategy – Innovation, business and development roadmaps and SWOTs
  6. Project management – Schedule and cost predictability, stochastic project planning and incubator projects
  7. Intellectual Property – Protection and management in today’s open environment; the disruptive emergence of 3D printing
  8. Business cases – Financials and how to normalize near-, mid-, and long-horizon opportunities
  9. Value streams – Waste identification and mitigation
  10. Automated data and management information systems

Wayne Mackey will be holding a special executive session to go in-depth on these important decision making areas and showing how to apply a comprehensive suite of tools that product development leaders can use to make data-driven decisions that team members yearn for and the business’ bottom line requires.   The one-day, intensive “Innovation Leaders’ Reboot Camp” will be held July 15, 2014 in Chicago, visit the Reboot Camp’s website for more information and to register online.

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R&D and Open Innovation Analytics


This recent webinar with product development metrics expert, Wayne Mackey from Product Development Consulting, Inc., outlines a sensible approach towards managing the inherent risks of open innovation and collaborative partnerships. In this 1-hour session, Mr. Mackey walks us through a model for analyzing the goals of your project and matching them to performance measurements that help monitor risk factors and focus your resources on their mitigation.

This webinar was produced by Management Roundtable in association with a new public workshop: “R&D and Open Innovation Analytics” being held March 4-5, 2014 in San Francisco.

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Product developers to gather at San Francisco Tech Shop to chart the impact of 3D Printing




3D printing is absolutely everywhere right now.
I’ve seen news articles about the wings printed for Victoria Secret lingerie models, 3D printed body parts and pizza and even McDonalds interest in using the printers in their restaurant chain. More and more companies with traditional manufacturing and prototyping methods are increasingly asking themselves: “When is the right time to start paying REAL attention to this?” That time is, apparently, yesterday.

See our previous article with links to additional resources
on 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing.

robotic-hand-graphicWhile everyone agrees the field is exploding and cemented into our future, the acceleration of technology is quickly outpacing the attention span of in-the-trenches NPD professionals trying to eke out every last bit of efficiency from their outdated development systems. At a workshop conducted by Management Roundtable (MRT) in Chicago last October, representatives from various companies including Kellog’s, Federal Express and Monsanto, among others, shared their perspectives and current challenges with 3D printing and Additive Manufacturing in the real life business environment, things such as:

  • What are the real business opportunities that this technology opens up and what are the negative tradeoffs?
  • How are most companies currently using 3D printers, and what levels of resources do they dedicate to them?
  • How can 3D printing change your relationship with the customer and how can it improve quality and customer satisfaction?
  • How does the technology correlate into expanding into new markets or improving current market share?

MRT will be conducting this workshop again on March 6, 2014 at the San Francisco location of Tech Shop, a chain where members of the public can have access to and experiment with industrial tools and equipment. See the video above for a quick look at 3D printing at Tech Shop. During this workshop, participants will benefit primarily from:

  • Exclusive participation in the additive manufacturing maturity model benchmarking session
  • Hands-on exercises using 3D printing technology to solve a real product development challenge.

Product development professionals of all industries are invited to join in this important conversation with their peers, as they search for real world answers and existing best practices for this emerging field and how to best make the transition and avoid being left far behind.

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Gregg Tong
Management Roundtable, Inc.
http://www.ManagementRoundtable.com

Our new blog: MRTplus

Are sound metrics missing from your product & technology roadmaps?


Product and technology roadmapping is increasingly identified as a critical tool to a company’s innovation efforts, but at most companies the quality of these roadmaps varies across the board.  As innovation executives try to remove as much guesswork as possible from their crystal balls and chart their next several paths to new markets and growth, many resort to blindly throwing darts at their targets.  The critical piece they are missing to help illuminate the correct course of action and investment for their business is metrics.

We talked to Wayne Mackey, a principal at Product Development Consulting and co-author of Value Innovation Portfolio Management, about what can be a critical ‘blindspot’ for many.  Specifically, how do good metrics give you the confidence in your planning process and investment decisions?

According to Wayne:

“If we‘re not measuring our roadmaps, then they’re just wishful thinking.”  That was the short, but to-the-point company president’s kickoff for his R&D investment planning session. Are you measuring the “critical few” predictive metrics that drive your technology, project and portfolio performance? Getting them right is a fundamental business need of every R&D organization.  If we don’t consistently fund the right portfolio of projects, executing them well won’t make us successful. If we don’t consistently execute our high value R&D projects well, our portfolio of investments will be squandered.

At some point we have to pause to sharpen our ax if we have a mighty forest to cut down. As an R&D leader, the wrong metrics are your dull ax, causing critical decisions to be based on missing or conflicting data while the marketplace has become unforgiving of even the smallest miscalculations. Too many companies have too many metrics that are too disconnected from the “real” work of the enterprise. Available “early warning” information is either not captured or not acted upon.

Links:

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