Most firms now use some form of idea-to-launch process such as a Stage-Gate® system. The question is: Do these processes really work? And what are the elements of a best-in-class idea-to-launch system that really make a difference? A second and related question concerns the governance of the idea-to-launch model. Sadly there is a lack of hard evidence as to what governance structure works best and just what its impact is, if any. This article reports the results of an American Productivity & Quality Center (APQC) and Product Development Institute (PDI) study of 211 businesses with a focus on performance metrics and practices. Top performing businesses are identified, and those practices that distinguish these businesses from the rest are probed. The article provides insights into best practices in both the idea-to-launch process and its governance that are strongly connected to positive innovation performance.