In the first three articles of our series on product development with the Stage-Gate® process, we dealt with the theoretical basics. This article is about the implementation, using the project management software InLoox. You also get the idea-to-launch process as a free template to download.
Product Development with the Stage-Gate® Process (Part 4): Implementation with InLooxKathrin Jungwirth, Thursday 24 March 2022 | Reading time: 5 min.
In the first three articles of our series on product development with the Stage-Gate® process, we covered the theoretical basics. This article is about the implementation, using the project management software InLoox. We also provide you with a free downloadable template of the idea-to-launch process described in part 3.
As already mentioned several times, the Stage-Gate® process model is a simple phase-milestone plan. It structures the innovation project on the basis of milestones and activities and is characterized by the fact that it is presented on a timeline for the chronological classification of the milestones and activities. If the Stage-Gate® process is illustrated with a phase-milestone plan, then:
- a gate corresponds to a milestone
- and a stage corresponds to an operation.
With the help of InLoox, the process can be easily visualized in a Gantt chart as project plan. Here is how you proceed:
Step 1: Create an InLoox project
First, create a new InLoox project for your innovation project. To do this, you store all relevant basic information about your project on the management page, such as project name, start and end dates, and the project team.
Step 2: Create the project plan
Then switch to the Planning area in the project via the Start tab. Here you can now create the process using milestones and activities. Create the following activities and milestones one after the other (here based on the Idea-to-Launch model):
- Activity: Idea generation
- Milestone: Gate 1: Selection
- Activity: Stage 1: Exploration
- Milestone: Gate 2: Go: Feasibility study
- Activity: Stage 2: Conducting feasibility study
- Milestone: Gate 3: Go: Product development
- Activity: Stage 3: Development
- Milestone: Gate 4: Go: Test and validation
- Activity: Stage 4: Product test and validation
- Milestone: Gate 5: Go: Market launch
- Activity: Stage 5: Production and market launch
Select all the elements created in the project plan using the mouse and the shift key and click on Automatically link in the Edit tab.
Step 3: Individualization and adaptation to your company
The Stage-Gate® process models often serve as a guideline for similar projects. Now consider whether the model needs to be adapted to the requirements in your company or to the requirements for the corresponding product. Individualize the process so that it represents all the necessary steps and intermediate steps for product development. This means that you can flexibly remove, add or modify stages and gates.
Step 4: Work out details in the project plan
Then it's down to the details:
- Consider exactly how long the individual stages will take and store the respective duration in the tasks.
- Schedule fixed dates for the gates to create commitment. Store the deadline in the restriction of the individual milestones.
- Work out together in the team the necessary work steps that occur in the respective stages. Store these, for example, either with further sub-activities and associated tasks or solely with the help of tasks. You can easily move sub-elements to the right position in InLoox using the Arrange arrows in the Edit tab, as well as move them in and out.
- Assign the individual tasks to the responsible persons.
After you have fundamentally set up your process, you can start your project. The more often you have implemented projects using the established process model, the more precisely you can adapt the model to the individual requirements of your products/projects and refine and improve the process step by step.
If you want to get started right away and simply skip step 2, download the free InLoox planning template for the idea-to-launch model and import it into your project planning.
If you are not yet an InLoox user, you can create a free trial account for 30 days at www.inloox.com/free-trial/.
More about the Stage-Gate® Process
- Part 1: Product Development with the Stage-Gate® Process: Definition and Basic Principles
- Part 2: Product Development with the Stage-Gate® Process: Strengths, Weaknesses, Pitfalls
- Part 3: Product Development with the Stage-Gate® Process: Procedure and Structure
Stage-Gate® is a registered trademark of Robert G. Cooper, Product Development Insitute Inc. and Jens Arleth, Innovation Management U3. Further information can be found here: www.stage-gate.com."