Viewpoints on Innovation

Q&A: Improve NPD Effectiveness with PLM Accel for NPD

Process Improvement IT Enablers

Struggling to improve your New Product Development (NPD) effectiveness? A pre-configured accelerator may be just the thing. Here are answers to your most pressing questions.

Q – What are today’s key challenges in New Product Development effectiveness?

The window of opportunity to successfully bring products to market is very small, and it narrows more when combined with today’s challenges, including intense global competition, demands for higher reliability and lower costs, and ever shortened product lifecycles. With little room for error, the pressure to maximize return on R&D investments and increase profit is greater than ever before.

With many organizations fighting to consistently meet their product development effectiveness objectives for time, cost and quality, they will need to fire on all cylinders if they want to beat competitors to market.

To meet product development objectives, top-performing organizations rely on new product development (NPD) execution excellence as a source of competitive advantage. And they must execute flawlessly to remain at the front of the pack.

Challenges like these are driving companies to re-examine the effectiveness of their NPD processes. While there are differing methodologies to help companies formalize and optimize the NPD process, defining the process alone is not enough. Your internal systems, governance and decision making approach, and organization must be configured and tuned to support process optimization.

Q – What can companies do to address these challenges?

An accelerator that provides leading NPD practices helps companies to see immediate improvements in NPD effectiveness from PLM software implementations. A good accelerator offers a pre-configured software solution based on leading practices in innovation and product development, built on an enterprise product lifecycle management (PLM) solution like PTC Windchill. Using proven practices for NPD, an accelerator helps minimize configuration needs, accelerate PLM implementation, facilitate user adoption and deliver immediate value.

Q – What key features will help?

Look for a pre-configured solution for document management and approval workflows that support a gated product development process. It should provide a utility to help project managers set up a defined deliverable structure with minimal effort and a dashboard to view phase completion status and deliverables in a single view. It should also enable companies to quickly get NPD processes up and running within the PLM system, managing product information, processes and decisions throughout the development lifecycle.

Key features should include:

  • Document creation utility - Create deliverables and project planning template structures from pre-existing templates
  • Pre-defined security model - Add/assign pre-defined organizations, roles and privileges for users
  • Pre-defined workflows - Pre-defined workflows represent a best practice approval processes
  • Pre-configured dashboards - Provide users with a single place to view all project status, decision gate templates, guidelines, and deliverables

Q – What are the benefits of implementing an accelerator?  

Accelerators provide a low-risk option for companies to jumpstart their PLM journey. Reduced implementation time and lower resource demands enable companies to gain PLM benefits faster and more successfully than ever before. Some key benefits of choosing an accelerator are:

  • Reduced setup time
  • Profiting from leading industry practices, specifically for NPD
  • Swift user adoption by leveraging more out-of-the-box features
  • Structured, repeatable product development processes
  • Leading practice approval process workflows
  • Project team tools and flow guidelines
  • Metrics reporting capability

Q – What should I look for in a pre-configured accelerator?

Make sure the accelerator draws on deep industry experience to quickly apply proven processes and technology tailored to meet specific industry needs. This helps remove uncertainty from the solution design process, building confidence in PLM across the organization and shortening the time to implement a solution.

In addition, the accelerator should be informed by a comprehensive focus on strategy, technology, people and process to help build strong stakeholder alignment and faster benefits realization.

Look for a solution that will expand over time to help your company enable more functionality. If the NPD accelerator starts in document and workflow management, be sure there’s a plan to offer opportunities for added benefits when integrated with other functionalities such as quality management, requirements management and supplier collaboration. 

Finally, to ensure a successful implementation, find a team to guide your key people, processes and changes throughout the implementation process.

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Originally published on September 26th, 2013

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Topics: Innovation, New Product Development, New Product Development Consulting, New Product Development Execution, Noel Sobelman, NPD, NPDE, Phase Gate, Phase-Gate, PLM, PLM Accel, Product Development, Reinier Stomp, Van Gresham

About the Authors

Van Gresham

Van Gresham

Van has over 20 years of extensive cross-industry, business process and product development experience and is an avid Virginia Tech Hokies fan.
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Noel Sobelman

Noel Sobelman

For the past 25 years Noel has worked extensively in the areas of innovation strategy, product development, portfolio management, product commercialization, and the software systems that enable innovation. His industry background includes experience with high technology, life sciences, consumer packaged goods, industrial, and renewable energy companies. He is a frequent speaker, researcher, and writer on innovation effectiveness, disruptive innovation, and time-to-market reduction. 
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Reinier Stomp

Reinier Stomp

Reinier is a manager with Kalypso, bringing extensive knowledge in portfolio management, product lifecycle management (PLM), innovation strategy and new product development execution.
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