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A zero-based approach to Stage-Gate®


Stage-Gate® is a risk management methodology that allows you to bring winning products to market. There are several concepts of stages and gates, and gates are where the decision is made to continue the work and enter the next stage. Gates fund the development work or activities to be done in the next stage. Gatekeepers—the people who are active in those gates, evaluating the products and deciding if the company should continue investing and making go/no-go decisions—look at things called deliverables. The deliverables are usually documents that gatekeepers review to better understand the product and its likelihood of success. The governance framework sits on top of all this and defines what the process is, what the gates are, who the gatekeepers are, and the decisions that need to be made. In today's episode, I discuss four concepts of the zero-based approach to Stage-Gate®. I dissect the core deliverables identified by Dr. Robert Cooper and identify when companies need more deliverables than those described. I highlight how a high number of deliverables and activities in the gates slow down processes in consumer packaged goods (CPG) and how this drives the need for agility in the product process. I share how a zero-based approach to Stage-Gate® empowers product teams and how the governance framework changes to advise product teams. I also divulge how a zero-based approach to Stage-Gate® focuses on relevant work without overcomplicating the process.

"You start from a core minimal set of deliverables. The software brings in that core set, and then the product team will add additional deliverables as they go along." - Paul Heller


This week on Innovation Talks:
  • Four core concepts of Stage-Gate®: gates, gatekeepers, deliverables, and governance framework
  • Robert Cooper's core set of deliverables and scorecards
  • When companies need more deliverables and tracking key activities that product teams will undertake
  • Additional deliverables that will help prepare the final gate deliverables
  • How the number of deliverables and activities is slowing down the process and causing complications in consumer packaged goods
  • How to empower your products teams and starting with a zero-based approach to Stage-Gate®
  • How a zero-based approach to Stage-Gate® shifts the role of the governance framework
  • The minimal viable process framework versus a mandated list of deliverables
  • Putting the power and control in the hands of innovation teams and ensuring best practices and standards
Resources Mentioned:

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