Kano Methods Uncover the Devilish Details of Customer Satisfaction

The Kano customer satisfaction model provides a disciplined process for using customer data to uncover hidden needs and the key features that trigger purchase decisions.  In the webinar posted below, expert Wayne Mackey walks us through the Kano methodology, provides some examples of how it is best employed and also talks about a new collaborative program to help people get the most out of what these important tools can offer.




10 Most Critical Dimensions for Successful Product Innovation


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.


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.


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.


Gregg Tong
Management Roundtable, Inc.

Our new blog: MRTplus

Will the 3D printer become the newest “Machine that Changed the World”?

I’ve been watching 3D printing and Additive Manufacturing for almost 20 years, when we used to refer to it as “rapid prototyping” and “stereolithography.”
  The industry has seemed somewhat dormant over that time, but as it matures and breaks free from the realm of “potential” into the role of “game changer,” it’s Q rating and industry mind-share are at an all time high.

In the short video above from GE, you’ll see a quick rundown on how additive manufacturing works, some samples of the types of wares it can produce, and a few of the top level business benefits for product development and engineering.  Back in the day, people used to hype the technology’s high ceiling of benefits the same way they do today, but now the economics, the sophistication as well as the need for it seems to currently be in a place that is brewing its respective “perfect storm” and putting us on the doorstep of something special.  It’s been a long wait, but the payoff may be worth it.

We are not as far from the Jetson’s future of a replicator in every house as it would seem.


To help you get up to speed with the latest trends, research and industry figures regarding how 3D printing, along with Big Data and the Internet of Things, could create a new industrial revolution, we’ve compiled some links to web resources and a couple recent white papers that will help you round out the big picture of what this could mean to your business and industry.

There are also 2 white papers that can be sent to you via email on request using the form below.  These white papers are:

  • Additive Manufacturing: Turning Mind into Matter (May 2013) by Neil de Beer for Sierra College/CACT.  This report describes the background and current trends of AM, covering a brief historical account of the past year; discussions on new applications for different industry groups; and ending off with a discussion on the emerging DIY maker community and a host of new business models that are challenging conventional ways of product development and distribution
  • Additive Manufacturing: Status and  Opportunities (March 2012) by Justin Scott, Nayanee Gupta, Christopher Weber,  Sherrica Newsome, Terry Wohlers, and Tim Caffrey for the Institute for Defense Analyses.  This paper provides a general overview of the AM industry, it’s opportunities, weaknesses and recommendations for future progress.


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.



The Product Development Butterly Effect – How Everyday Design Decisions Affect Bottom Line Profits

butterflyeffectIt seems that everyone has been talking about customer value and design to cost for years, yet few companies are satisfied that their efforts in either process translate directly to higher profits. One reason is that the two processes have been kept at arm’s-length from each other while designers have been in the dark about how their everyday decisions affect the final product’s price. It’s time to both update and to get real about integrating the price and cost sides of the profit equation in product development. This webinar is designed for Marketing and R&D leaders who are tired of hoping for better margins and are ready to take control of them.

Led by Wayne Mackey, principal at Product Development Consulting, Inc., this free, on-demand webinar will begin by resetting our past understanding of customer value using a simple but effective tool to gain insights into the distinction between what customers want and what customers will pay for. We then outline the progression of design for gross margin building blocks from business needs through market insights and platform strategies, ending in higher margin product realization. We will conclude with highlights from a B to B case study with specific examples of bottom line results. If you’re tired of hoping that your company’s innovation platitudes and buzzwords will make a measurable difference in your P&L, this webinar is your first step to proactively ensuring that it does.

To watch this free webinar (no registration required) – CLICK HERE

For more information on Wayne’s upcoming workshop, click the banner below: