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Research & Publications

Research & Publications is a growing collection of case studies, presentations, research reports and other resources focusing on product development, R&D, and innovation management.  These concise reports provide practitioner insights, company examples, benchmarks and thought-leading viewpoints. 

MRT's FastTrack is the leading network of industry practitioners responsible for new product development, technology development, and business development from all industries. Access to the full content of the following articles is for members of Management Roundtable FastTrack. Memberships are offered to individuals on an annual basis for just $495.  For more information on joining FastTrack click here.

To see all the material available in this knowledge repository, use the search engine, click on focus topic, or see our most recent updates below.

Defining Metrics for Resource Capacity Management: Interactive Exercise Where You Are the Experts Locked

Research | Posted: 2007-03-30

In this slide presentation, Wayne Mackey of Product Development Consulting Inc., defines a set of three simple steps for metrics success: 1) define and connect the improvement goal, 2) determine the ‘causal actions’ that lead to each goal and 3) determine the ‘critical few’ causal actions and then set metrics. The presentation draws the distinction between process and results metrics and provides a simple example. A tree diagram illustrates an example of engineering metrics demonstrating how metrics cascade down from a strategic goal to the executive, functional VP, project manager, and project metrics levels. The presentation then asks the participants in the exercise to define metrics for resource capacity management, through several stages, providing a checklist to make sure that goal is adequately and clearly defined and another checklist to ensure that ownership of the metric is properly managed. (17 slides)

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Assessing Technology Readiness and Maturity - A Step-by-Step Process Locked

Research | Posted: 2007-03-23

A Presentation by Has Patel, Founder and President of Infologic Related Link: Audio (mp3)Emerging technology-based projects are often plagued by cost overruns, schedule delays and performance problems. In most of these cases, technology maturity analysis hasn’t been properly conducted, and immature technologies are inserted into products and systems. In this slide presentation, Has Patel discussed current technology due diligence processes and their pitfalls and presented NASA’s developed technology maturity matrix, called Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs), now widely accepted by the Department of Defense. Patel also presented a technology maturity matrix which extends the TRLs, by incorporating technology life cycles, such as the technology hype and technology adoption. Finally, the presentation also included a methodology that allows an organization to select, insert and integrate emerging technologies throughout the lifecycle of a project. (36 pages)

Encouraging Innovation Through Accurate IP Valuation Locked

Research | Posted: 2007-03-16

A Presentation by James W. Markwith, Attorney, IP&L Microsoft CorporationIn thispresentation, Intellectual Property (IP) expert James Markwith posits that without accurate IP valuation proper investment decisions are impossible. To help meet this challenge Markwith first reviews the nature of IP valuations and explains exactly why accurate IP valuation is important. He then discusses components for success,those factors thatmay determine whether or notinnovations will be profitable. In this sectionhe examines, in particular, the issue ofdependencies on third parties and alsoprovides a checklist for IP value. Markwith characterizes four common IP valuation techniques: cost-based, income-based, market-based and real options-based approaches, including a brief case study of the latter. The presentation concludes with a review of the consequences of inaccurate IP valuation and a summary of the findings of the presentation. (19 pages)

Seven Keys to Avoiding the Traps that Annual Planning Sets for Product Development: Audio File Locked

Research | Posted: 2007-03-15

Audio file for the session "Seven Keys to Avoiding the Traps that Annual Planning Sets for Product Development" 2/28/2007.

Seven Keys to Avoiding the Traps that Annual Planning Sets for Product Development: Audio Session Transcript Locked

Research | Posted: 2007-03-05

Transcript for the audio session "Seven Keys to Avoiding the Traps that Annual Planning Sets for Product Development" 02/28/07.

Seven Keys to Avoiding the Traps that Annual Planning Sets for Product Development: Audio Session Locked

Research | Posted: 2007-03-05

A presentation by Bob Becker of Product Development Advantage Group Related Links: Audio | Transcript (24 pages) | Slides (40 pages)In this audio session, Bob Becker posits that an over-emphasis on detailed annual planning often leads to dysfunction. In addition to strategy shifts, product development portfolio changes should be driven by customer needs, market opportunities, resource availability, and new technological capabilities, which operate on a different cadence than the fiscal year. The best product development situation is where there is a continuous flow of products moving through the pipeline with a mix appropriate to meet both the sales targets and longer-term strategy. In this session, Becker describes seven symptoms of dysfunction often associated with annual planning and offers seven approaches to reconciling fiscal years with the many benefits of continuously generating, vetting, and then driving the best product development efforts forward. (11 pages)

Seven Keys to Avoiding the Traps that Annual Planning Sets for Product Development: Presentation Locked

Research | Posted: 2007-03-05

Presentation slides for the audio session, "Seven Keys to Avoiding the Traps that Annual Planning Sets for Product Development," 02/28/07.

A Disciplined Process for Innovation: Armstrong's Marketplace Teams Clarify the Fuzzy Front End: Presentation Locked

Research | Posted: 2007-02-23

Presentation slides (56 pages) for the article: "A Disciplined Process for Innovation: Armstrong’s Marketplace Teams Clarify the Fuzzy Front End."

Co-Development Conference Highlights Intellectual Property, Shows Open Innovation a Maturing Strategy Locked

Research | Posted: 2007-02-18

A January 2007 conference on Co-Development moved the conversation about collaborative product development a notch forward. The conference participants and presenters took for granted that the business case for CoDev had been made. The focus has turned toward leveraging open innovation models and managing intellectual property (IP) around a core business strategy. Keynote speaker Henry Chesbrough, as well as other speakers from IBM, Kraft, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Medtronics and others discussed such issues as the question of protecting and managing IP as a major building block of any open innovation opportunity; the growing range of open innovation options, various intellectual property strategies, and the business models that integrate both; developing a supplier capabilities matrix to help determine which suppliers showed greatest promise as co-development partners; forging an IP strategy to meet the challenge of creating a collaborative product based on customer experiences, and other issues around open innovation and IP. (5 pages) Related links: Special Report on Open Innovation Practices; CoDev Conference 2008

A Capacity-Based Governance Method for Improving Engineering Performance: Audio Session Summary Locked

Research | Posted: 2007-02-05

Related Links: Audio | Transcript (19 pages) | Slides(24 slides)In this audio session, Ross Seider, a senior partner of On-Fire Associates describes a visual, spreadsheet-based model for capacity governance that looks at capacity planning from the standpoint of the complete project portfolio. This capacity management process creates a visualization that allows participants to prioritize activities, allocate resources, and evaluate shifting resources. Eventually, the participants in this process agree on the drawing of two horizontal lines on the visual model that distinguish between high priority projects, which are likely to be fully funded, a second level of partially-funded projects, and projects that will not be given resources during the planning horizon. This process is owned by engineering and product management; it encourages participation from all other groups in the development chain and from other stakeholders; it runs periodically; it is very efficient in terms of management time sinceit is performedmultiple times per year; it is a distributed process that expects subject matter experts to make 80 percentof the decisions and focuses senior management on the boundary conditions where there are conflicts. Finally, it is a zero-based activity – each project must re-certify its importance to the company relative to all other projects and potential projects at every iteration. (10 pages)

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