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Last week I spoke with the CEO of an idea management solution provider who posed the following question: if Stage-Gate has been around for 15 years and has been embraced by an estimated 70% of US mid- to large-sized manufacturers, then why is there still such incredible waste in R&D (estimated at 76% of overall R&D spend)? Good question.
My take is that the adoption of the Stage-Gate process remains largely focused on product development rather than ideation - �building the product right.� As we know, it�s great to build the product right - unless it's the wrong product in the first place! Until such time that we all do a better job of �building the right product,- we will continue to witness incredible R&D waste.
If I�m right, then the current wave of interest around ideation and voice-of-the-market is well-placed and readily explained. It will lead to significant improvement in R&D effectiveness. Whether the heart of the challenge is the lack of credible data feeding the Stage-Gate process (i.e. ideas) or shortcomings in the application of Stage-Gate for the ideation process itself, remains to be seen.