Stage Gate® Process
Stage-Gate® is a formalised type of new product development (NPD)
process that was developed by Dr. Robert Cooper of the Product
Development Institute and who wrote about it in his book 'Winning at New
Products', first published in 1986.
Since then it has been adopted by numerous companies across the world
and has become a standard way of managing the development of new
products. In Dr. Cooper's original version there were 5 stages and 5
gates, but individual companies typically adapt the number of stages and
gates and their content to suit their own purposes. Initially it was
mainly larger companies that used Stage-Gate, but now it is feasible for
SME's to have a Stage-Gate type process that is tailored to meet their
Several software tools have been developed over the years to
implement the process and make using the process easier for the user.
The purpose of Stage-Gate is
|To ensure good quality in the product and project|
|To manage the risks involved, both technical and commercial|
|To provide a standardised basis for comparing different projects
in a Portfolio Management System|
|To make sure that resources are allocated to the next stage of
The key to a good Stage-Gate process is having effective gates. The
concept of splitting a project into different phases and having reviews
in between phases has been around for a long time. (See
Phase-Gate). However the
difference with Stage-Gate is including marketing activities and having gateways with 'teeth' that make a
Stop/Go decision at the Gate Review.
The danger with this type of process is that it can become overly
bureaucratic and slow progress down, with potentially a lot of time
being spent on preparation for the gate meetings, compared to actually
doing the project.
Thus modern thinking is to try to make the process more flexible,
whilst still maintaining sufficient rigour to ensure quality.
If you are an SME, please contact us to
discuss how we can help you to improve your product development process.
Stage-Gate® is a registered trademark of Stage-Gate Inc.