Keep your stage-gate process... but complement it with Blueprinting.
A stage-and-gate process—the interface between your company and a new-product project team—is necessary, but it’s not sufficient. You must build another interface on top of this foundation… a strong interface between the new-product team and those you hope will buy the new product—customers.
This is where New Product Blueprinting helps. It’s a bundle of skills, methods and tools designed to help your teams understand market needs far better than competitors. These two interfaces complement each other well: Your stage-gate process guides the company in what questions to ask at gate reviews… while Blueprinting helps teams find the answers. Your stage-gate process helps you reduce mistakes… while Blueprinting drives breakthroughs.
So what skills will New Product Blueprinting training provide teams? It will help them…
- Listen actively
- Demonstrate they are listening
- Probe for deeper meaning
- Understand the value that could be created
- Trigger new ideas
- Clarify the outcomes customers want
- Make keen observations during customers tours
These skills don’t happen by themselves. Leaders need to make them a priority, and teams need to practice them on real projects in real customer interviews under skilled coaching support.
Do this and your gate reviews will be far more rewarding. Instead of discussing what the team forgot on a checklist, you’ll discuss what they discovered in a customer interview. That’s what leads to breakthroughs!
Keywords: stage-gate, New Product Blueprinting, team-company interface, team-customer interface, customer insight skills