During the last almost four months, I have had the pleasure of improving the phased approach we use for projects (new product development, NPD).
Being an integral part of an organization that is focused on new product development as part of our growth strategy, it is extremely satisfying bring my process development, discipline of execution, and performance monitoring skills to drive improvement in this arena.
The first step of this effort was to examine the existing process and to interview all primary stakeholders to the process to determine what was working and what was not. The second step was to process map out the existing process with more detail than the previous documentation, showing decision points and detailed attributes required at each step. The third step was to create a schedule template to be used for the new product development process. The fourth, and perhaps most critical step, was to get buy-in from the organization on the process and “typical” time frame for each of the steps in order to deliver a quality product (meets customer requirements). The fifth and last step in this process improvement is to take the process flow and new product development artifacts (new/revised forms and project management software tools) and provide detailed training and expectations to the organization.
This last step is under development and will be implemented within the next three weeks. I am extremely excited to be leading this effort!