To Err Is Human To Keep Repeating Mistakes in Bad Business

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Hands-on tips for improving NPD results by leveraging project team experience

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To Err Is Human To Keep Repeating Mistakes in Bad Business

  1. 1. To Err is Human, To Keep Repeating Mistakes is Bad Business: Learning as an NPD Tool Kenneth Bruss. Ed.D. Copyright © 2010 HDA Consulting All Rights Reserved
  2. 2. Lew Platt, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard observed: “If H-P knew what HP knows, we would be three times as profitable. ” Source: Working Knowledge: How Organizations Manage What they Know, Davenport & Prusak, Harvard Business School Press (1998) Copyright © 2010 HDA Consulting All Rights Reserved
  3. 3. Implications for NPD • The innovative nature of NPD is inherently risky • While risks can’t be totally eliminated NPD organizations can gain competitive advantage by acting on “lessons learned” • Successful managers ask new teams how their plans reflect experience gained from similar projects, and delay approval for project teams that haven’t done their homework Copyright © 2010 HDA Consulting All Rights Reserved 3
  4. 4. NPD Learning Flow Copyright © 2010 HDA Consulting All Rights Reserved 4
  5. 5. Collecting Actionable Learning • After Action Review (AAR) is a structured meeting providing a simple but rigorous approach for analyzing the effectiveness of an event or action • Unlike a post-mortem held upon project completion, AAR’s are held throughout the life of the project, enabling lessons learned to be applied real-time when they can have greatest benefit • Compares what actually occurred to what was planned • Identifies what was unique to this program and what is more broadly applicable (e.g., system or process flaws which cut across programs) Copyright © 2010 HDA Consulting All Rights Reserved 5
  6. 6. Key AAR Questions 1. What were desired outcomes? 2. What were the results 3. What accounted for the results – attaining the goal or variances (+/-) 4. What have we learned? • What contributed to our success, which we should repeat? • What mistakes should we avoid in the future? 5. What are next steps for the team, and for sharing and acting on the learning outside of the team? Copyright © 2010 HDA Consulting All Rights Reserved 6
  7. 7. Sample AAR I. Objectives II. Results A. S/W release by 6/5/09 A. SW release pushed out to 8/14/09 B. Hit revised SW release B. Missed revised date; released date of 8/14/09 11/5/09 C. Reduce data entry time C. Successfully reduced data entry from eight minutes to time from eight minutes to four six minutes per report and one half minutes per report III. Reasons for Results A. Why was original S/W release date revised? 1. Lead developer quit early in the project….. 2. B. Why did team miss the revised S/W release date? 1. Failure to adequately assess impact of lead developer’s departure: 1.a. Team failed to re-set the schedule to reflect major resource change Copyright © 2010 HDA Consulting All Rights Reserved 7
  8. 8. Sample AAR (cont.) C. What enabled team to exceed data entry reduction goal? 1. Team successfully leveraged tools developed from Adare project 2. IV. Lessons Learned 1. Faced with major resource change, thoroughly assess impact on schedule 2. Although this was a derivative design, S/W development was not derivative. Failure to realize this resulted in an unrealistic schedule. V. Next Steps Action Item Owner Due Date 1. Review LM3667 resource plan & schedule Steve 12/9/09 2. Discuss at PL staff meeting the need to Mark 12/16/09 revise New Project Assessment to ensure better vetting of “derivative” projects Copyright © 2010 HDA Consulting All Rights Reserved 8
  9. 9. Sharing Learning: Sample On- Line Library Key features: • Easily searchable • Contains both AAR and key contact links Copyright © 2010 HDA Consulting All Rights Reserved 9
  10. 10. Would your NPD Process Benefit from Strategically Managing Lessons Learned? • Are you satisfied with your new product success rate? • Do your new products release on time and on budget? • Do you effectively manage risk? • Is re-work decreasing? • Are you leveraging past experience to predict and mitigate bottle necks? • Are you able to transfer successful practices among teams? Copyright © 2010 HDA Consulting All Rights Reserved 10
  11. 11. Best practice companies recognize that “before, during and after a project there are opportunities to leverage the experience of others, and thereby increase organizational effectiveness” Source: Collison & Parcell – Learning to Fly, Capstone Pub., 2004 Copyright © 2010 HDA Consulting All Rights Reserved 11

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