Type: Process Essays
Sample donated: Bernadette Wallace
Last updated: July 11, 2019
Task 2 – Report Introduction In this report the productdevelopment methodology that was utilised for the project of Boxline 4Automation Phases 1, 2 & 3 referenced in this assignment was the RobertCooper’s Stage-Gate-Process. 2inno.eu. (2018)The main reason this stage gatemodel was chosen was due to its easy utilisation and the fluidity of theprocess. Each gate and each stage has specific criteria that helps understandthe flow of a project, and allows the user to work on each stage with theunderstanding of the requirements for the next gate.
It also allows the user to analyse each gate,and each stage as an individual process and helps split the project into a moremanageable task. If it is known precisely what is required to pass the nextgate, then prior to the gate review, the user can ensure that all requiredtasks have been completed to pre-empt the gate from giving a no go result. Thisopinion is also reflected in Scott J. Edgett’s paper Idea-to-Launch (Stage-Gate®) Model: An Overview. (Edgett, 2015) In this paper it is stated that “The Stage-Gate model is designed to improvethe speed and quality of execution of product innovation activities. Theprocess helps project teams prepare the right information, with the right levelof detail, and the right gate to support the best decision possible”.This report intends to criticallyreflect on the effectiveness of the Robert Cooper’s Stage-Gate-Process used inthe project, and also evaluate additional product development processes thatmay have been more or less useful had they been utilised within the project. Robert Cooper’s Stage Gate Process Breaking the Stage Gate Processdown with reference to the Boxline 4 Automation Project, the utilisation of thegate can be easily identified.
Idea; Idea generated thatthere is Non-value Added (NVA) time in the Boxline 4 production process thatcan be improved with the utilisation of automation methods and technology.Gate 1; Must meet andshould meet criteria. Must meet criteria outlined as Quality, Quality must staythe same or improve. Should meet criteria, head reduction & OverallEquipment Effectiveness (OEE) should improve.Stage 1; Beginning ofProduct Design Specification (PDS) equipment costs £ estimation, IndustrialEngineering department verification of waste in process & potentialautomation ideas, beginning of CAD layouts to suit the potential automationideas and 3D models that can be utilised by internal and external designers.Gate 2; Feasibleautomation ideas that can be built / integrated by the in house team iFA.Equipment cost £ estimation low / high potential of return.
Stage 2; Finalisation ofthe Product Design Specification (PDS) with accurate quotes for Research &Development (R&D) costs with Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) requirements foroverall project. Timing plan completed with suitable resource allocation, RiskRegister form filled out by the project team and Risk Management Methodologyplans laid out for medium to high scoring risks.Gate 3; Final gate beforethe larger costs for the project incur. Decision to be made based on theevidence provided in the PDS that the R&D costs are feasible and overallCAPEX expenditure can be approved.Stage 3; Equipmentrequired for R&D bought, 2D CAD layouts finalised and prototypes developedwithin the workshop. Capability & repeatability studies carried out andinitial 3Cs list generated and closed.(Current Project Progress)Gate 4; To pass gate 4 theprototypes must be fully developed and working, capability and repeatabilitystudies carried out and accepted.
Over 97.7% straight through ratio must berecorded.Stage 4; Once gate 4 ispassed the remaining equipment required to complete the project must beordered. Following Risk Management Methodology equipment to be installed onsite & mass productions trials supported by various departments to becompleted.Gate 5; Compilation of theresults of the mass productions trials, quality inspections and generalresponse from the manufacturing team will allow gate 5 to be passed allowingthe project to move onto the handover stage of the project. Stage 5; Once gate 5 hasbeen passed the project will be within stage 5 of the stage gate process andthe equipment will be in full production. From here the full process should beanalysed as one whole project again rather than in the three phases.Identifying failures and what could potentially be improved to further increasethe Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) or profit margin.
Review; Postimplementation review to be held. Discussing the success of the project, how itcould be further improved and conducting a “Lessons Learned” activity.By following this Stage GateProcess strictly, the key milestones and outcomes can easily be definedallowing the user to successfully plan a project from start through to finish.In task 1 of this assignment, the author identifies how the requirements forGates 4 and 5 must be met, along with the work that will be carried out inStages 4 and 5.As this is the author’s firstproject as lead, the Robert Cooper’s Stage Gate Process helped identify whatkey tasks & milestones needed to be achieved to pass the gates as theproject progressed, and also allowed for planning of future stages & gates.Cooper, R. and Edgett, S. (2012) statesthat “there is some debate about theoptimal level of flexibility in such a system, or whether there should bedifferent versions of the process to accommodate different types of developmentprojects versus a one-size-fits-all model.
” The author agrees with thisstatement and believes that the previous project could not fully utilise a “one-size-fits-all”stage gate model, for that reason the project was split into three phases, eachwith individual stage gates. However as for the full process it was stillclassed as one project and therefore should have one final stage 5 and onefinal implementation review to discuss the project as a whole, and not just theindividual phases. Alternative Methodologies After discussing the use ofRobert Cooper’s Stage Gate Process in the previous pages, additionalmethodologies are going to be discussed along with how they may or may not haveimproved the flow of the project, and if the author believes they should havebeen used as an alternative method to the methodology used. Spiral Model The original spiral model wasfirst developed by Barry Boehm in 1986 when he published his paper a SpiralModel of Software Development and Enhancement (Boehm, B. 1986). The Incremental Commitment SpiralModel (ICSM) states that “The originalspiral model was meant to say that after a project had identified itsobjectives, constraints and alternative solution approaches (OC&As), itwould evaluate the alternatives with respect to those objectives andconstraints, and make a risk-driven determination of what to do next.” (Boehm et al.
,2014). Theoriginal spiral model figure is shown below.From an inexperiencedperspective, the original spiral model appears crowded with information, and noreal guidance. It appears that each ring of the spiral, is simply a phase, andeach phase requires risk analysis followed by a prototype development, andvarious actions thereafter. It gives no indication of what must be achieved to reachthe next phase, and would not help in developing an initial timing plan.Many iterations of the SpiralModel have been produced since 1986, one that stood out to the author being theIncremental Commitment Spiral Model (ICSM). Incremental Commitment Spiral Model (ICSM) Shown above is a figure of theIncremental Commitment Spiral Model.
(Boehm et al., 2014). Similar to the originalspiral model, each spiral has risk analysis. However in the IncrementalCommitment Spiral Model, it gives indication on what action is to be takenbased on the results of the risk analysis.At the start of eachspiral, risk analysis is carried out.
Shown in the figure to the left, it givesdirection on how to follow to spiral model based on the results of the riskanalysis. If the risk is acceptable, then the project will move onto the nextspiral, if the risk is high, but addressable then the team will require morework to move onto the next spiral, if the risk is negligible then the nextspiral can be skipped. If the risk is too high and unaddressable, then a killdecision may be made to end the project before anymore costs incur.
There is also a differentperspective that has been taken on the Incremental Commitment Spiral Model,that shows similar traits to Robert Cooper’s Stage Gate Process, theIncremental Commitment Model: Phased View, shown below. (Boehm et al., 2014).This model has exactly the samestages (spirals) as the Incremental Commitment Spiral Model, however withineach stage it expands on what is required to move onto the next, similar to theRobert Cooper’s Stage Gate Model. The flexibility of this model is what reallysets it apart from other product development methodology, if there is potentialrisk, as long as it is acceptable, or manageable then the project can continueto be developed rather than being held up on a specific gate and falling behindon the timing plan. Reflection By reflecting on the productdevelopment methodology used in the Product Design Specification and IntegratedManagement Plan, it is clear to see that by following the Stage Gate Processstrictly, as the author had done, it’s very easy to get sucked into the processwithout factoring in other possibilities. The timing plan was based around thevarious stages and gates, however it did not factor in the possibility of agate not being passed.
If this was to happen, there was no room for a recoveryplan within the timing plan that would not in turn impact the final deliverydate, and thus push back every other stage & gate within the plan. From the experience gained inplanning this project, a useful lessons learned activity would be to spend moretime on the timing plan, and review each gate with possible outcomes, and allowfor a recovery of that gate, without having an impact on the date of the nextgate.The author believes that theStage Gate Process is a fantastic methodology for planning a project, howeverexperience plays a big factor in terms of planning, timing plans andpossibility of failures. It also helps in the understanding of the Stage GateProcess itself, if the knowledge is at hand for what each stage and gate entails,then the process can be utilised in a more effective manor, allowing theproject to flow smoother. Conclusion After reviewing other ProductDesign Methodologies such as the Spiral Model, and the Incremental CommitmentSpiral model, and reading various papers by known innovative leaders such asRobert Cooper, Scott J Edgett, Barry Jaruzelski and Kevin Dehoff, the authorbelieves that there is no specific Product Design Methodology that is fully comprehensiblewith a lack of experience. For that reason it could be suggested that the bestmethodology, would be to tailor one, or more methodologies into one process,that could be utilised by a specific user, or industry.
It could even be arguedthat an industry specific process may not fully apply to the project at handand that it may need to modified or adapted for smaller projects that may notneed as many stages or gates. It is clear that for a projectmanager or department manager, deciding which, if any product developmentmethodology to use may be a daunting task as there is a variety ofmethodologies out there, each model having alternative takes on the original,and various papers supporting for and against each model. It would seem thatthe best approach would be to rather discuss the project with the team andensure clear lines of communication from the offset, with the customer whetherit be an internal customer or external customer to ensure that their needs aremet. Regardless of the methodology that is used, one common factor in each isthe first stage, “Idea” therefore a product design methodology does not need tobe decided on until after that phase.
Once that phase is complete then the teamworking on the project can work together and decide a methodology that suitsthe project, rather than trying to make the project suit a specificmethodology.