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GGI RapidNews R&D Product Development eZine: Volume 2, Issue 8- October 4, 2001
GGI RapidNews is published monthly


GGI Open House:
Thanks to all those who had the time to stop by the office on September 7th, or who sent us an acknowledgement. The food and drink were good, but the company was even better. We had the opportunity to meet some old friends and to make several new ones. A good time was had by all, which culminated in a fireside chat towards the end of the evening.

Technology Providers: GGI continues to build gateways listing suppliers of products and services. We have created a resource that is becoming competitive with the Thomas Register, MMNI, and others. However, GGI's Technology Provider Gateways are focused on the needs of product developers, in contrast to sites that are more focused on product manufacturers. We have grouped our listings into three software/hardware areas which can be found at:

The Technology Provider Gateways posted (or updated) this month are:

Calendar of Industry Conferences & Seminars: Please have a look at GGI's Calendar for an up-to-date list of Conferences, Seminars and Distance Learning programs. These educational offerings are segmented into ten subject categories, including Product Development, Metrics, Marketing and Sales, Knowledge Management, and Project Management. GGI updates this list weekly for your use. The Calendar can be found at .

2000 Metrics Survey: Free downloadable copies of the 2000 R&D Metrics Survey Description and/or Survey Questionnaire are available in our Market Research Reading Room at You will also find free downloadable files for GGI's 1998 Product Development Metrics Survey. The 1998 and most 2000 Metrics Survey results are available for purchase at

The 2000 Survey asked respondents several questions about their company Product Success Rates. That issue is quite obviously one of the most important questions any of us can ask about our product development processes. Product development success is all the more critical these days because of competitively shorter development times, and shorter times available in which to realize marketplace product profit. Product success in the face of these dynamics needs to be known. Survey observations included the following:

  • Companies report that on average their products are 68% successful and 32% unsuccessful.

  • Approximately one-third of respondent companies do not use quantitative financial criteria to evaluate product success or failure.

  • Approximately one-third of respondent companies do not use predetermined time periods to evaluate product success or failure.

  • Company approaches to post-launch product reviews vary widely. 25% do not perform post-launch reviews and 25% perform post-launch reviews within their functional organizations. Only 25% of respondents reported that their companies fully and systematically post-launch reviews against original plans and goals.

  • The most frequently cited post-launch review period was 6 months (57%) and one year (38%) after launch. Only 15% of respondent companies reported post-launch review periods of two years or longer.

2002 Metrics Survey: Our next R&D Metrics Survey will be conducted in early 2002. If you would like to participate by taking the survey at that time, please send me an e-mail expressing your interest. One of the goals of the 2002 survey will be to determine product success rates for companies using One-Step vs. Two-Step Product Selection Processes. What interests do you have in specific metrics? Let us hear your outstanding questions about R&D and product development.

Sustainable Organizations: "Current economic and ecologic events, from the recent business slow-down to the emerging definitive evidence of global warming and the ongoing energy crisis, make it clearer and clearer that we need to address core issues of sustainability in our lives and in our lifetimes. This is also true when building companies and organizations.

Basically, sustainability means the ability to survive and thrive over time in a variety of circumstances and conditions. Further, the word holds deeper meaning than most people acknowledge or recognize, since it clearly embraces concepts of growth and change for the sake of the continued life of the organism or community. Some feel that sustainability confronts capitalism with a certain paradox, as well. On the one hand, we succeed by growing and growing our markets and bank accounts, but on the other hand we deplete the environment that supports us by turning it into disposable goods using non-renewable energy sources. To sustain but grow is, on the face of it, a contradictory message.

There are those who will argue that the notion of sustainability is not relevant to every business organization, process or dynamic. That it makes sense to build longevity into a commercial enterprise, some say, is a debatable point. In light of the primary agenda of business, which is to make money, the short-term is as good a motivator as any. The business models, which have been driving economic growth and prosperity for the last century, are not the ones that will drive prosperity in this century. Simply put, the rules of engagement have changed - or maybe we're becoming aware that the rules are different from the ones we have been following.

Sustainability is more than a strategy or techniques - it is an emerging core ideology that businesses will have to embrace in order to create the survival skills they will need to exist. Sustainability challenges many other more traditional core values that are already operating in organizations. Changing core values within organizational systems is about the hardest shift that can be undertaken. The cultures of our business organizations have grown up around a worldview that system theorists like to call a cosmology. A cosmology describes why we exist, and what led to our birth and now drives our being. The cosmology most prevalent in business organizations is usually built on the basic acceptance of human greed and the derivative value of consumption.

Sustainability challenges that cosmology. The notion of sustainability is redefining the bottom line as a measure of how well we care for the source of our abundance as well as how much we make from it. Organizations that embrace sustainable concepts and practices embrace the keys to their own survival. Sustainable values contribute to organizational success and longevity by providing the basis for visions that mean something to people and motivate them to contribute, learn and grow over time..., like recruiting members and retaining them, and building more and more viable relationships and solutions with and for customers.It allows the company to reach out into the world with built-to-last mind-sets and behaviors.

Organizations that last, that are durable and sustainable, have at their center certain core values which in turn drive the system. These core values reflect the commonly held beliefs about what is important about work and the way the organization's employees work together... In addition to a well-formed value system, the most successful organizations have a big picture vision of what they are trying to accomplish... Real mission statements derive from and support the vision... All of the above components are measurable in one way or another... The clarity of purpose and direction that are determined by the nested hierarchy of the vision-mission-goals and measures management strategy allows individual jobs and roles in the company to be more tied to the overall company direction and spirit. It promotes real personal and career growth, better alignment between individual interests and the available work and more successful teamwork."
Written by: Chuck McVinney, Principal, McVinney & Company, Brookline, Massachusetts Copyright 2001, McVinney & Company

Seminar Coursebooks: GGI conducts on-site seminars for companies in new product development and R&D metrics. Seminars can be tailored for either one- or two-days. Three current offerings are entitled Measuring Product Development (MPD), Concurrent Product Development (CPD) and Proactive and Predictive R&D Metrics (PPRD). All seminar Coursebooks may be purchased separately and are available at GGI's On-Line I-Store under Seminar Coursebooks:

The 290 page CPD Coursebook contains sections on driving forces for speed, baselining change with metrics, designing concurrent processes, selecting products effectively, creating CPD teams, defining products, reviewing designs and creating work environments and processes that can be replicated.

This 169 page MPD Coursebook includes discussion of the following: perspectives on measurement, the costs of weak development processes, rationalizing the use of metrics, determining the types and units of measure, structuring the product development process for measurement, breaking product development into sub-processes, measuring the development process, contracting teams and recognizing success. There are two case studies and initial discussion of advanced metrics.

The 162 page PPRD Coursebook is designed to provide developers and other R&D professionals with advanced techniques to better control NPD processes. These advanced metrics provide the means to achieve greater product reliability, predictability and better standardization of NPD processes.� The National Institute of Standards and Technology [NIST] is currently evaluating PPRD teachings for inclusion in an emerging set of national standards for metrics.

CPD Seminar Multimedia: The CPD Coursebook may also be purchased with an accompanying videotape series shot in the classroom where Mr. Goldense teaches at Tufts University in the Masters of Engineering Management program. Please find GGI item number "VT1" at

PPRD Seminar Multimedia: The PPRD Coursebook can also be purchased with an 180 minute audiotape, which augments understanding.� The National Institute of Standards and Technology [NIST] is currently evaluating PPRD for inclusion in an emerging set of standards for metrics. Please find GGI item number "AT6" at

Featured Item Of The Month: GGI's I-Store features one deeply discounted offering which runs for one or more months. The current featured item is, "The State of Product Development Measurement & Reward Practices." This paper was presented at Boothroyd Dewhurst's 2000 conference and is based on a 190 company survey conducted by GGI in 1998. The growth of the Internet has had little or no effect on this research. Please find GGI item number "T25" at

Management Roundtable - 6th Annual Metrics Conference: The two conference Keynote Speakers are Mssrs. Donald Reinertsen and Robert Cooper. They will discuss "Using Metrics to Compete for Scarce Resources" and "Maximizing the Value of Your New Product Portfolio." Visit the Management Roundtable site at for additional information about this October 15-17, 2001 Chicago conference.

Mr. Reinertsen will discuss how many companies think of metrics primarily as a control tool, a tool for ensuring that projects conform to requirements, budgets and schedules. However, certain metrics play another role in a world where resources are constrained. By communicating project economics to management they can aid management in allocating its scarce financial resources. When developers fail to use metrics in this way they are at a great disadvantage when competing for scarce resources.

Mr Cooper will discuss how two ingredients must be in place to maximize the value of your development portfolio. The first is data integrity. The second key is applying the right tools, metrics and scorecards to gauge the value of your projects and portfolio. In his talk, Dr. Cooper outlines various methods to maximize the value of your development portfolio, and provides proven metrics for gauging the value of each development project. An effective scorecard for use in portfolio review or gate decisions sessions is highlighted. And techniques for rating and ranking projects to yield project priorities - a prioritized or rank-ordered list of active projects - are described.

Bradford Goldense will present one of three seminars taking place on October 15th. His topic is Proactive and Predictive R&D Metrics. If you want to know how to avoid business process problems in the product development function, rather than simply react to problems when they occur, this workshop is important for you. Learn more about the new category of forward-looking metrics. Visit MRT at:

Web-Enabled R&D: On December 11-12, 2001, the International Quality & Productivity Center (IQPC) will present a conference in New Orleans on choosing and implementing technology for cost-effective R&D. Brad Goldense is the conference chairman, and on December 10th will present his workshop on Proactive and Predictive R&D Metrics. Visit for additional details. Learn more about how 3M built and continues to grow a digital library for smooth document management; how Coors aggregated and deployed its key documents for company-wide use and more effective R&D; how NASA is bringing down the cost of technology by integrating new tools with existing technology and how AT&T has developed its process for choosing which new technology will be integrated with its legacy systems for maximum company effectiveness. The best business processes and technology integration is key to company effectiveness. How that objective can be accomplished with existing tools and technologies is the purpose of this conference.

RapidNews is an e-mail publication from Goldense Group, Inc (GGI). Its subject matter includes survey findings, company news, book reviews, key industry conferences and R&D information of interest to clients and associates. Please send communications to rn(at) Thank you.