--Philip Kotler, Professor of International Marketing, Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management
"This book is an invaluable guide...It's full of best practices, practical methods and real-world illustrations that demonstrate how to succeed at product and service innovation."
--Dick Arra, Chief Technology Officer, ITT Corporation
"This book provides insights into the new approaches and offers very useful guidelines for creating a powerful innovation setting in your organization."
--Hannes Erler, Vice President of Innovation, Swarovski K.G.
From the Author
The emphasis in this fourth edition of Winning at New Products is on bold innovation. I've watched as companies, a few industries excepted, have shifted their innovation efforts from true innovations and major projects to much smaller and less ambitious attempts over the last decade or so. It's somewhat disheartening to see what these companies are calling "innovation," versus what it should be. In some firms, product development has been totally trivialized - it's "renovation" rather than innovation. I hope this fourth edition does sound a wake-up call telling you that true innovation and bold product development is within your grasp. So let's get back to basics and to what made companies great in the first place: The success drivers outlined in the first few chapters and the Stage-Gate system are all based on bolder innovation--let's use them!
The first edition of this book was published in 1986, before I had even begun to use the term "stage-gate." That first book reported the results of a number of research studies that colleagues and I had undertaken on new-product success and failure. And it proposed the use of a systematic idea-to-launch business process for the first time. To my surprise, the book had a profound impact on the way many companies approached product development, and firms such as P&G, DuPont, and Exxon Chemicals immediately embraced the concept of my stage-and-gate system.
But those were the early days of management of the innovation process. More research was undertaken, including some that focused on these early adopters of Stage-Gate. More success factors were uncovered in our NewProd research series and in our major benchmarking studies that followed; and more experiences were gained with the use of Stage-Gate methods (I first used the term "Stage-Gate" in an article that appeared in the Journal of Marketing Management in 1988). And so the second edition was published in 1993. It went on to become the bible for those businesses trying to overhaul their new-product process and implement Stage-Gate. And the third edition in 2000 continued the tradition, but with an emphasis on accelerating idea-to-launch.
This current edition is more than a simple updating of the third edition, however. There is much that is new in it. Some years have passed since I wrote the previous edition, and much more has been learned. Colleagues and I have undertaken major benchmarking studies to uncover and validate best practices in product innovation methods, portfolio management, strategy development, and idea generation. Some practices were well known and our work served to validate them and quantify their effects; but others are new. These new research avenues and their findings have been incorporated into this current book. Additionally, we now have much more experience and insight into the installation of Stage-Gate in leading firms worldwide. And these new insights have also been built into the current edition.
But there's another reason for this new book: Stage-Gate itself has evolved and morphed--it's an evergreen process, not because of my colleagues and me and our research, but because of the many users globally! In other words, inputs from many people and firms--open innovation--have helped to redefine Stage-Gate. With thousands of users globally, it's inevitable that new twists, approaches, and methods are uncovered, tested, proven, and incorporated into their idea-to-launch systems. Stage-Gate is now faster and more streamlined: Many firms have borrowed the concepts of lean manufacturing and built these into Stage-Gate. The next-generation Stage-Gate process, or elements of it, has been implemented by a number of firms. Portfolio management has been integrated with gating methods, and the concepts of "lean gates" and "gates with teeth" have been fashioned into the system in order to make sharper and more effective investment decisions. And Stage-Gate approaches have even been extended to other types of projects, including technology developments. And there's more: Stage-Gate has been made more adaptive, agile, and flexible; it's been modified to suit the new world of open innovation; and it's been automated. So much that's new makes today's Stage-Gate hardly recognizable to early adopters of the original process!
A number of people have provided insights, guidance, content, and encouragement in the writing of this new book. A close colleague is Scott Edgett. Scott is recognized as a leading researcher in the field of innovation management and was a co-researcher and co-author of the series of research studies, reports, and articles on the topic of portfolio management and benchmarking best practices. He is also a director and CEO of the Product Development Institute Inc. Elko J. Kleinschmidt is both a longtime colleague and friend. He and I have undertaken many research studies over the years, and many are referenced in this edition. The folks at Stage-Gate International, who are the professionals who implement Stage-Gate in firms globally, are a constant source of new thinking and validation of concepts. In particular, I thank Michelle Jones, vice president at Stage-Gate International, for insights and materials regarding implementation.
Several other people merit special attention. Jens Arleth in Denmark is managing director of Innovation Management U3 in Copenhagen, a consulting firm that specializes in Stage-Gate and portfolio management. He has introduced these concepts into Scandinavia, where they are now employed at leading firms throughout the region. He is also the co-developer of the ProBE diagnostic tool, the predecessor to Benchmarker™ (in Appendix A). Angelika Dreher and Peter Fuerst, managing partners at Five I's Innovation Management in Austria, have taken up the challenge of implementing Stage-Gate in German-speaking countries and have provided insights and examples that have found their way into this book. Gerard Ryan, managing director of Prodex Systems in Australia, implements Stage-Gate and automation software for the system in Australia and New Zealand, and also provided many useful insights and experiences.
Direct assistance was provided by several people: I would also like to thank my publisher, John Sherer of Basic Books (Perseus Books), who provided encouragement and adeptly steered the progress of this book from inception to launch. And thanks to Michelle Welsh-Horst, senior project editor, Perseus Books Group, for ensuring that this book came to press so efficiently and effectively. And I especially thank Michele Wynn, copy editor, who suffered through my writing and helped craft this fine finished product... a great job!