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  1. GUIDE TO LEADING PRACTICES: Team Management Locked

    Research | Posted: 2005-06-01

    This report presents several leading practices related to team management derived from practitioner experience and benchmarking research. Management Roundtable has culled these practices from its knowledge base and formulated them as simple, actionable, bullet-level statements. In addition, the GUIDE cites the source for each practice, presents a brief discussion of each, and provides links to further information. (13 pages)

  2. Map Day Builds Commitment to Project Deadlines at Intel Locked

    Research | Posted: 2005-03-18

    When an Intel chip set project team slipped its schedule, thereby holding up the introduction of an important new generation of microprocessors, the company decided it was time to take a hard look at the challenge product teams faced in meeting deadlines. An internal analysis revealed that imposing schedules from the top down was having a negative impact on managers and on projects teams. Intel’s solution was to expand on an exercise becoming common at Intel for project team kick-off events: map day. Map days involve getting a team in a room for a day to create whole-team commitment to a high-level project plan. These events examine the business perspective for the project, divide tasks from deliverables and sub-deliverables, with the aim of generating a paper map of the project. Participants locate on the map the deliverables they need to do their jobs, identify themselves as internal users of those deliverables, and state their purpose. Map day enables the team to move toward building a schedule, and to commit reliably to what it has the most information about. Intel’s results? Greater adherence to schedule, fewer design revisions, and faster “time-to-money.” (7 pages)

  3. Communicating Across Functions and Borders: A Framework & Overview Locked

    Research | Posted: 2005-03-16

    To enable partners and team members from other functions and cultures to understand the R&D perspective, new product development professionals must be able to recognize the assumptions taken for granted when communicating within the R&D function. It is then necessary to translate technical language and project ideas into a language that other functions and cultures can understand. In order to make the business case for projects, R&D professionals need to understand and apply concepts of business strategy to their work, and then communicate that strategic value to others. Moreover, R&D needs to understand the principles and operations involved in marketing, finance, supply chain management, quality assurance and production. This report provides an overview detailing the case for improved communications across functions and borders. It provides recommendations for improving cross-border and cross-functional communications and identifies the challenges involved in this practice area. (4 pages)

  4. Team Communication Insights from Mercury Computer Systems:  Communicating Across Functions Locked

    Research | Posted: 2005-02-25

    Robert Becker is Senior Vice President of Operations and Engineering for Mercury Computer Systems. In this interview, Bob speaks from his experience in managing teams that span functions, buildings and geographies, focusing on the differences in communication styles arising out of differing roles and functions. In his company, bridging these communication styles and functional foci is critical. It requires leading cross-functional teams to prioritize project success over individual or functional success. In this report, Bob outlines how his company corrects team communication that does not advance the goals of the organization as a whole. He discusses principles his company follows, how they confront some of the challenges involved, how they assess team communication, and he summarizes lessons learned from practical experience. (5 pages)

  5. Communication Across Functions and Borders: Summary of Member Audio-Session Locked

    Research | Posted: 2004-12-28

    For companies involved in collaborative product development with Asian-based teams, communication can be an enormous challenge. This transcript from a panel discussion with Management Roundtable Expert Panel members explores the unique characteristics of working with both India and China. It gives suggestions about protecting intellectual property, building trust, and ensuring quality results. Panel members advised participants to know their core competence, to communicate in terms that don't cause shame (avoid the word "failure"), and to be very clear about strategic objectives. (8 pages)

  6. Communication Across Functions and Borders: Transcript of Member Audio-Session Locked

    Research | Posted: 2004-12-23

    For companies involved in collaborative product development with Asian-based teams, communication can be an enormous challenge. This transcript from a discussion with Management Roundtable Expert Panel members explores the unique characteristics of working with both India and China. It gives suggestions about protecting intellectual property, building trust, and ensuring quality results. Panel members advised participants to know their core competence, to communicate in terms that don't cause shame (avoid the word "failure"), and to be very clear about strategic objectives. (17 pages)

  7. Five Ways to Burn Out Product Developers Locked

    Research | Posted: 2004-12-09

    In this commentary, Don Reinersten posits that excessive uncertainty in product development projects can lead to excessive risk, which can cause stress, which, in turn, can burn out product developers. The uncertainty and stress associated with product development is not always inherent to the task, says Reinertsen. In many cases, product development teams experience unnecessary stress because of the way they are managed. Reinertsen identifies lack of control, lack of information, lack of meaning, lack of connection, and incompetent management as leading causes of burn-out among product development professionals, and describes, briefly, how some companies have met several of these challenges. (3 pages)

  8. Setting Up for Successful Development Projects:  Thoughts from a Boeing "Man on a Mission” Locked

    Research | Posted: 2004-12-05

    How do you successfully launch a new program? What do you do up front? What are the barriers to a successful launch? Working for the part of Boeing that makes rockets, Andy Inkeles wanted to know what it would take to significantly improve the success of development programs that already enjoy a high success rate. A self-described “maniac on a mission,” Inkeles asked successful Boeing program managers what they see as key success factors for high-performance product development work. He discovered a number of high-impact actions you can take in your first ninety days to set up for success. It's not rocket science, says Inkeles, who files them under three broad headings: Planning, Communication, and Integration. This report captures Boeing’s wisdom in each of these categories, citing brief examples of best practices for team and program management. (5 pages)

  9. Stakeholder Interviews One Key to Success of Unilever R&D Project Management Change Initiative Locked

    Research | Posted: 2004-11-22

    Defining a project vaguely leads to problems – the team ends up delivering the wrong product, with weak features, and delivers it late. At the eleventh hour a major project can be blocked by someone it never occurred to the team to include in the process. Unilever Research made it standard practice for project teams to interview key stakeholders at the beginning of every project. Stakeholders are internal: key functional managers, upper management, or experts in specific areas, who often have different and conflicting needs. Unilever’s process identifies the stakeholders, and assesses their relative importance to the success of the project; it analyzes the organizational dynamics surrounding the project, and maps strategies for dealing with them. Rather than plan and implement a project based on preconceived ideas, or incomplete information, stakeholder interviews extract the critical information up front. The result is to help reduce the number of projects with a much higher quality yield from the pipeline. (6 pages)

  10. DataCard Puts a Structure in Place to Support Concurrent Product Development Locked

    Research | Posted: 2004-09-23

    Spending upwards of 40 percent of their R&D budget fixing already-existing products, and with their core market beginning to shift, DataCard, a credit and debit card personalization company, needed to modernize its approach. DataCard’s leaders decided that they needed to bolster quality, speed up development cycle time, develop greater process rigor, and shift from an engineering-driven to a market-driven focus. In this report on the first four years of a major change initiative, DataCard managers describe what allowed the company to develop fifty products and average more than 17 percent growth in the first four years of the initiative. Three factors are credited with most of the success: 1) the company's core team structure, supported by functional teams; 2) the deployment of significant resources to process facilitation; and 3) strong and visible senior management support. (5 pages)

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