There is nowhere for the political animals to hide if stage gate project meetings are effective.
Effective Project Meetings – We have previously discussed how the NPD process manager, should have a core responsibility of coaching teams to provide training and IT support. Now we are going to move onto another best practice, which is – the NPD process manager should facilitate stage gate project meetings.
So what are Stage Gate Project Meetings?
A stage get process incorporates the use of tasks that are considered Go/No Go. In other words they are key decisions on which the progress of the project pivots.
Stage gate meetings involve signing off of these key decisions to ensure that only suitable product launches proceed to the next stage of development, and all key tasks that are required to be completed have been completed.
There are a number of challenges which complicate the effectiveness of gate meetings:
- Key deliverables required prior to the gate meeting not completed.
- Challenges getting all stakeholders to attend meetings.
- Directors & senior managers who are often more senior to the NPD process managers not following the agreed process or respecting decisions.
- Gatekeepers not attending meetings.
- Gatekeepers not making meaningful contributions to the process.
- Lack of deputy gatekeepers who can step in for absent gatekeepers.
In the context of these challenges it is clear that the best practice of facilitating gate meetings is a massive challenge and can be wrapped up in a whole host of political challenges.