PDMA Chicago: Replacing Phase-Gate with an Adaptable Product Development Process

When:  Apr 27, 2023 from 12:00 to 13:30 (CT)
Associated with  Chicago

PDH Credit: 1


Members: Free
Non-Members: $10

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Many companies struggle to manage new product development. Although agile methodologies have improved product team productivity, traditional phase-gate development processes still dominate how companies operate at the highest levels. It is often this bureaucracy that limits a company’s ability to effectively manage its development resources.

Yet, the world continues to grow in complexity and market risks can pop-up seemingly overnight. Managing product development for optimum output requires a more adaptable management system that can shift priorities with the changing business environment.

Our presenters will introduce an alternative approach, termed ExPD, whose development was support though a National Science Foundation (NSF) I-Corps grant and the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago. It lets unique product nuances drive the development process versus overly prescriptive and static documentation that you find in a phased-and-gated process. ExPD is an adaptable process that leverages many agile methods.

The Benefits of Adaptable Development System:

  • Strategic alignment
  • Making uncertainties visible throughout a project’s life cycle
  • Developing products that start with the customer
  • Real-time project prioritization and resource optimization
  • Improving decision making
  • Reducing product development cost

Mary and Kathy will discuss what it takes to implement ExPD. They will also provide lessons learned and a case study.

Key Learning Outcomes:

  1. How traditional phase-gate processes can lead to overburdensome bureaucracy
  2. How ExPD manages and reduces the biggest product uncertainties
  3. Decreasing unnecessary activities, bureaucracy, and paperwork
  4. How to implement a change to an adaptive management system
  5. How companies reacting to ExPD?

Each participant will receive a free copy of the Exploratory Product Development (ExPD): Executive Version.

About the Speakers

Mary Drotar

Mary Drotar

Kathy Morrissey

Kathy Morrissey

Mary Drotar and Kathy Morrissey, s2m

Mary and Kathy founded the product development firm Strategy 2 Market® (s2m) in 2002. s2m specializes in helping large and mid-sized enterprises improve their product development processes.

They went on a mission to improve the traditional phased-and-gated product development process that most enterprises use today.

They developed an alternative adaptable process called Exploratory PD®(ExPD) that ultimately drives down and manages the most critical product development uncertainties and risks. Out of this process, they developed the Product Risk Framework® software tool that supports ExPD. https://prftool.com

Mary and Kathy are both graduates of the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago.