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Is one of your NPD process managers core responsibilities ensuring that your stage gate process works.

This week we are moving on to discuss best practice ideas around the role of the NPD Process Manager.

Some of you may ask who?

The NPD process manager, as defined by these best practice ideas, often has different job descriptions, such as:

  • Project Manager
  • NPD / Innovation Coordinator
  • NPD / Innovation Manager
  • Process Manager

In our experience the person doing this role is often running around in a constant state of stress, nagging, chasing, threatening, to get colleagues to complete tasks and sometimes end up completing tasks themselves to keep the project moving. This person also tries to organise and chair frequent progress review meetings which struggle to deliver clear outcomes.

This is not best practice in our opinion.

This week’s best practice is:

NPD Process Managers Ensure The Process Works

What we mean by this is, the process manager, regardless of actual title, should be responsible for reviewing the process carefully and ensuring it works.

If you have implemented the previous 5 best practices outlined in these blog posts you will have a stage gate process that:

  • Is visible and documented at an operational level
  • Is really used
  • Enables project teams to access the resources they need to succeed
  • Incorporates compliance checks to ensure the process is followed
  • Is adaptable and scalable

Now your NPD process manager can review the compliance checks to ensure the process is followed, this will identify areas of poor compliance. Areas of poor compliance can be taken through a corrective action and preventive action (CAPA) cycle resulting in process improvements, user retraining, or sanctions against users who are repeat offenders.

The process manager will be actively involved in the post launch reviews and implementing improvements identified.

This is a fundamentally different responsibility than is often currently the case.

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