APH “Phase-Gate” New Product Development Process
Terms we hear in today’s changing marketplace include “essentialism,” “minimalism,” and “rationalization.” APH has been considering these concepts and how they relate to product development. In our quest to decrease product development cycle time and improve quality, we have looked to the market for best practices in new product development.
In response to this information, APH has developed a revised “Phase-Gate” New Product Development (NPD) process. This process allows stakeholders to approve or reject projects at many points through the entire development process, resulting in a more efficient model that allows more strategic input across the life of the product idea.
There are six gates spread from ideation through product launch. At each gate, representatives from all departments will review and discuss product design and design changes. In addition, the Product Advisory Review Committee (PARC) will provide oversight of the entire portfolio of products, making recommendations regarding project priorities and resource allocation. The new process has been approved by the PARC committee and was reviewed by the Department of Education liaison and the EPAC and ESAC committees.
How does the new process affect you as an APH stakeholder?
The revised process has allowed us to look carefully at the way we select product ideas and assign those to project leaders. APH is now using a decision-making matrix to score every current product in the pipeline and all newly accepted product ideas. This will allow us to align each product idea with our strategic goals and move only those products with greatest need and potential forward. As we pilot the matrix, trustees and educators may see a reduced number of accepted projects going forward. This will allow us to move those projects forward more quickly, resulting in more of the right products landing in the customer’s hands in less time.