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"Are We Working on the Right Projects?" Value Stream Mapping at Altec Industries, Inc. Locked

Quick Insight | Posted: 2009-01-09

By 2007, Altec, a provider of equipment for the electric utility, telecommunications and contracting industries found that its product engineering teams were struggling with heavy backlogs of projects. Teams had little way of knowing either the full extent of the backlog or whether they were “working on the right things.” Requests for work continually poured in, often displacing earlier requests; workflow might be dictated by the perceived urgency of a particular problem, without regard for what was waiting further back in the queue. At a recent conference, Judd Clark, a principal engineer with St. Joseph, MO-based Altec Industries, Inc., described how his firm used value stream mapping to help to manage its pipeline of engineering projects.

Goldense Group Inc. Survey Finds Product Development Managers Focused More on Execution than Innovation: Part Three of a Five Part Series - Innovation Identity Locked

Quick Insight | Posted: 2008-12-30

Goldense Group Inc. [Needham, MA] published its fifth biennial research study on leading practices in R&D/Product Development in May of 2008. The latest survey focused on innovation: its strategies, tactics and operations. This article continues a monthly series presenting select findings from the GGI Survey. In the innovation identity portion of the survey, GGI examined the branding of product development processes and whether or not the term “innovation” has made its mark on process branding. First, the questionnaire explored whether the name, phrase, acronym or icon used to describe the product development process emphasized innovation or execution, or attempted to balance the two. The questionnaire then explored whether the product development process nomenclature contained the word “innovation” or a synonym such as “invention,” “creation,” “ideation” or some other term, and whether the nomenclature had changed since 2002 to include the word “innovation” or a synonym. The questionnaire also explored the degree to which the process was actively or passively promoted, both externally and internally, regardless of process nomenclature. The survey found that product development managers are still emphasizing execution more than innovation.

Getting the Most From Technology Assets: Evaluating Technology and Assessing the “IP Landscape” Locked

Quick Insight | Posted: 2008-12-19

At a recent Management Roundtable conference Technology Sourcing for Faster Innovation & Business Growth (October 29-30, 2008, Boston, MA), Dr. Paul Germeraad, President, Intellectual Assets, Inc., discussed evaluating and maximizing the value of assets – internal and external. In his presentation, Dr. Germeraad presented a tool that can help companies assess the business value of technology. He also stressed the importance of researching what he calls “the Intellectual Property (IP) Landscape” – the overall IP environment around a given technology.

Open Innovation in a Tough Economy: Two Approaches to Ideation Locked

Quick Insight | Posted: 2008-12-12

A recent Management Roundtable conference, Technology Sourcing for Faster Innovation & Business Growth (October 29-30, 2008, Boston, MA), explored numerous approaches for integrating ideas derived from external sources with internal development processes. Insights offered by representatives from Avery Dennison and Corning, Inc. focused on the ideation process.

Six Key Methods For Voice of the Customer Research Locked

Quick Insight | Posted: 2008-12-05

A 2008 article by renowned product development expert Robert G. Cooper and his co-author Scott J. Edgett (“Maximizing Productivity in Product Innovation,” Research Technology Management, March-April 2008) suggests that Voice of the Customer (VOC) is one of the differentiators between high and low productivity innovators. Cooper and Edgett describe six major ways that productive innovators gather VOC information, some obvious and some less so. Equally important than naming the methods, the authors also suggest ways to apply them.

From Ignition to Wildfire: Lean Product Development at Pfizer Locked

Quick Insight | Posted: 2008-11-28

Participants at an October 2008 conference on Lean Product Development (Profiting From Lean Product Development: Toyota Methods and Beyond, Chicago, IL) heard a broad cross-section of speakers assessing the lean landscape for product development today – and tomorrow. The conference demonstrated that for all the insight and knowledge accumulated thus far, lean product development is still in its infancy. However, with budgets facing growing pressure and new constraints daily, lean practice offers an expanding set of opportunities for leveraging thin resources. It also points the way toward more effective decision-making that can reduce risk. In a case study presented at the conference, Dr. Terence Barnhart, Senior Director for Strategic Management at Pfizer Global Research and Development, reported that lean methods had contributed toward both leveraging resources and reduced risk in the form of a substantial cut in product development lead times. This article is available to registered users of FastTrack. Please note that becoming a registered user of Fast Track is free, and every month we make exclusive, member-only, Fast Track articles available to our registered users. Join Today!

Goldense Group Inc. Survey Reveals Rapidly-Growing Trend Toward Greater Discipline In Earlier Stage Research: Part Two of a Five Part Series – Innovation Processes Locked

Quick Insight | Posted: 2008-11-21

Goldense Group Inc. [Needham, MA] published its fifth biennial research study on leading practices in R&D/Product Development in May of 2008. The latest survey focused on innovation: its strategies, tactics and operations. This article begins a monthly series presenting select findings from the GGI Survey. In the innovation processes portion of the survey, GGI examined the types of R&D activities in which respondents were engaged and whether or not respondents had documented processes or guidelines to control them. The research found that there is growth in early-stage R&D activities and that companies are supporting these activities with new process-ware.

New Research Examines Development of Open Innovation In the Food Industry Locked

Quick Insight | Posted: 2008-11-17

A recent study of the food industry examined the development of open innovation as a key startegy in this sector. It examined successes in this area and indicated areas for further maturity and development in the future

A Buyer's Market for Intellectual Property? Locked

Quick Insight | Posted: 2008-11-14

A quick view of the market for Intellectual Property based on the results of the recent Ocean Tomo auction.

Mitigating the Risk of Intellectual Property Theft Locked

Quick Insight | Posted: 2008-11-07

In a November 2008 audio session, John Avellanet, an internationally renowned expert on intellectual property security, presented a detailed approach to preventing IP theft based on his more than 16 years of experience in R&D and new product commercialization. Avellanet first discussed the challenges involved in protecting IP in an age of portable information and Open Innovation. He then presented a basic plan for mitigating these risks and enumerated ten steps for establishing a measure of control over IP and trade secrets, especially when dealing with partners and contractors.

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