Unclogging the Innovation Pipeline

by Michael A. Dalton

What are you doing to improve new product throughput and to get more high-impact new products to market in less time?

CFO Magazine Article

Unplugging Innovation Pipeline

You’re sitting in a senior leadership team meeting and someone asks the vice president of manufacturing what the improvement goals are for this coming fiscal period. “How much can we expect to reduce production costs and improve quality?” She looks across the table and responds “We’ve had a pretty good run at this continuous improvement thing, but I’m afraid we’re all tapped out.”

There are few manufacturing companies where the next question wouldn’t be, “How long will it take to find a new manufacturing VP?” Continuous improvement has become so critical that ignoring it is no longer an option.

Now ask the same company what it is doing to get more out of its investment in new product innovation and you’ll hear a different story. 

Read our CFO Magazine article to hear the rest of the story 


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I recently received a question from a reader, named Eric, asking about the right balance between so-called incremental product development and breakthrough projects.  That’s also a question I  get all the time in my coaching work. Since striking the right balance is critical to speed-to-market in execution, I thought it was time for an article […]

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The cost of a day’s delay – Revisited

If speed to market is important to your company, does every one of your new product project teams have a clear project charter and understand the cost of a day’s delay? You can’t  assume anything here. Ask members from the same project team what the loss in new product cash flow is for every day […]

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Milestones or Millstones? Why a deadline focus actually makes projects finish late

Imagine that you are Pat, a design engineer with Doitallnow Corp. You’re in your office with a design calculation running in the background while sketching out some ideas for an upcoming project. You take a sip of your energy drink, and in walks your boss, Lee, along with Terry, one of the company’s project managers. Lee […]

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Early Warning in Project Management

Since the introduction of Critical Chain Project Management in 1997, I’ve been surprised several times to run into talented project managers that nonetheless just couldn’t see how much of an innovation CCPM  was over traditional project management methods like critical path and PERT. Never-mind that  only 56% of  typical projects finish on-time and 70% finish with a […]

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