There is nowhere for the political animals to hide – if gate meetings are effective.
Last week we discussed how the NPD process manager, or whatever their job title is, should have a core responsibility of coaching teams and providing training/IT support.
This week we are going to move onto the next best practice which is that the NPD process manager should facilitate gate meetings.
In a few weeks time we will discuss a number of best practices around gate keeping. But this post is about the simple best practice of the NPD process manager facilitating gate meetings.
But is it simple?
For those who are not aware, gate meetings are key meetings within the stage gate process where key go / no go decisions should be made 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.