- What is New Product Blueprinting?
- How is Blueprinting learned and applied?
- How does Blueprinting fit with a stage-and-gate process?
- How does Blueprinting fit with strategic planning?
- How does Blueprinting fit with Design Thinking?
- How does Blueprinting fit with Lean Startup?
- How does Blueprinting fit with Minesweeper de-risking?
- How does Blueprinting fit with LaunchStar product launch?
- What innovation metrics should we use?
Market Segmentation (Step 1)
Discovery Interviews (Step 2)
- How to plan Discovery interviews
- Preparing your interview team
- Convincing customers to be interviewed
- How to handle confidential info in an interview
- How to conduct a Discovery interview
- Finding & using a digital projector for interviews
- How to conduct a customer tour
- How to debrief & follow-up a Discovery interview
- Engaging your sales colleagues in interviews
- Engaging distributors in interviews
- Interviewing customers down the value chain
- How to interview remotely with web-conferences
- How to interview at trade shows & other venues
- Interviewing in different global cultures & languages
- How to listen well during customer interviews
- How to probe during customer interviews
- How to gather economic data during interviews
- How to create & use Current State questions
- How to identify Must Haves (MH)
- How to select Top Picks (TP)
- How to use Trigger Maps
- How to form Outcome Statements
Preference Interviews (Step 3)
Rest of Blueprinting (Steps 4-7)
1. Stage-gate benefits & limitations
A stage-gate process can be helpful... but it is not enough by itself.
The Stage-Gate® process was developed decades ago by Bob Cooper and is a registered trademark of Stage-Gate International. It’s now used by most B2B companies to manage their new product innovation. It’s like a Swiss Army knife that helps you do many things…
- Inform management
- Avoid missed steps
- Limit risk and liabilities
- Provide accountability
- Plan needed resources
- Support portfolio views
But like any tool, … you can’t use it for everything. Expecting otherwise will only lead to disappointing results. So what does your stage-gate process do well… and where does it need help?
A stage-gate process manages the interface between the company and the project team. It helps reduce mistakes, but by itself, can foster…
- analytical thinking
- a checklist mentality
- internal focus
If you doubt the last point—internal focus—try this at your next gate review: Ask team members how many hours they spent talking to internal colleagues … and how many to customers. For the vast majority of B2B companies, the quantity and quality of customer insight is nowhere near as high as it should be. And this is the primary reason for lackluster new product development.
For more on this topic, see the AIM article, Innovation in Industrial Markets: Stage-Gate is not enough. Also see B2B executive video #22: Invigorate your NPD Process at https://theaiminstitute.com/insights/video-series/.
Keywords: stage-gate, NPD process, analytical thinking, customer insight