Global NPD Program Management Initiative
A successful and global new product development initiative requires alignment and integration of multiple supporting projects, coordination of cross-functional contributors, and execution aligned to strategic objectives all while protecting intellectual property and potentially valuable product-process patents.
To structure and manage a new product development program utilizing in-progress internal projects with various levels of development and urgency. Align current project efforts to drive the new product’s development and successfully pilot its implementation and adoption in multiple countries, all while meeting strategic plan objectives and ensuring protection scientific breakthroughs and intellectual property.
The Client is a Global leader in the Commercial Coatings Industry on the verge of a coating product breakthrough that will positively affect the marine environment and markedly improve the local health, safety, and welfare of the surrounding population in areas of global manufacturing facilities.
The new product effort had been ongoing at a research level for some time and was not viewed as viable by all senior stakeholders. Twelve to fifteen individual projects within seven functional groups, ranging from research and development to legal, had been a part of the informal effort over a multi-year span. As a result, some resources had developed an “ownership” of the effort and although committed to its success, were more project that program experienced. These resources were opposed to external program assistance. The effort would require a high level of integration with multiple country contributors while preserving key technical and market leading IP.
The program was formalized and “kicked off” with the development of a detailed Program Charter which graphically detailed the interdependent nature of the contributing projects. Senior level resources were designated as Project Managers for each contributing project. Roles and responsibilities were clearly delineated as well as key program level milestones and the project level deliverables required for their success. AMS assisted the functional project managers with the development of detailed project level schedules and developed the Program Schedule that aggregated key deliverables and served a detailed program control tool. An AMS executive level resource assumed the role of Program Manager and an execution strategy was developed to encompass the multi-country contribution as well as a detailed governance model which included processes for protecting the product’s critical IP and pending patents.
The senior level project managers, all long-term members of the organization managed their projects with very little cost or schedule slip resulting in a program that met its technical-readiness and pilot plant targets. The product was rolled out on time and market share was far exceeded due to several unexpected countries and large client organizations expressing interest in the product’s functional and environmental benefits. Additional pilot plants and product lines were introduced to meet the unexpected demand.
The organization has adopted the program methodology and the many project management practices utilized to ensure the delivery of key technical and managerial deliverables. The client now utilizes internal new product program managers and utilizes the initial NPD program as its primary case study for their training.