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Articles in this section describe why the Rapid Learning Cycles framework consistently delivers superior results over traditional modes of product development.
One of the easiest ways for a product development team to get off track is for the functional groups to get out of alignment. This leads to situations where the engineers present prototypes that disappoint the marketing team and the designers.
The manufacturing and supply chain partners naturally focus on the urgent business of managing current product production, and so they can lose sight of the decisions the team makes about manufacturability, and this can lead to a wave of Engineering Change Requests right as the product is supposed to start shipping. The Rapid Learning Cycles framework prevents both of these by building alignment with partners and then maintaining . . .
I've been working to improve product development for a long time. Trends in product development and innovation have come and go - but three things have proven to stick: Agile Software Development, Phase Gate PDPs - and now Rapid Learning Cycles.
What these three have in common are that they are simple, flexible and forgiving. A Phase Gate PDP is just a set of phases with management reviews in between. Agile is easy to launch, and easy to re-launch if a team gets off track. All of these methods may be heavily adapted to meet the needs of a specific organization without a lot of extra time and work. . .
The Rapid Learning Cycles framework is sticky - that is, we see that teams continue to use Rapid Learning Cycles on their own, and it tends to embed itself in a product development organization. But that's not the only reason why we've focused on it so much. The truth is, the Rapid Learning Cycles framework can be a lot of fun, for the teams and for us. . .
It's exciting to visit a company that has enough longevity with Rapid Learning Cycles to fully realize the benefits. The most exciting benefit for me is when I see that business partners have restored confidence that R & D can deliver their most strategic projects.
That frees up the company to go for bigger, more ambitious goals. . .
Some innovation "experts" like to throw around numbers like 80% of innovation programs fail. But they are counting the ones that get cancelled early. The true average number of products that reach the market every year, but have disappointing sales or poor quality, is about 40%.
This number isn't getting better because none of these approaches tackle the true cause of product failures post-launch. . .
We asked the participants in the Facilitators workshop, who have all been using Rapid Learning Cycles on product development programs to share the benefits they had experienced, benefits so compelling that they were willing to travel to Copenhagen for an advanced class in the method.
The participants shared how much more empowered and engaged the teams were with their projects. They took ownership for closing Knowledge Gaps and making good recommendations for Key Decisions, and they had stronger accountability for getting program work done. The teams had higher...