Companies use traditional new product development (NPD) processes, such as the Stage-Gate process. The Stage-Gate (full) process is a conceptual and operational map for moving new product projects from idea to launch and beyond for managing the NPD process to improve effectiveness and efficiency, as developed by Robert G. Cooper. The process begins with an Ideation stage, called Discovery, and ends with the Post-Launch Review (PLR). It is a scalable process, adjusted to suit different types and risk levels of projects, from very risky to lower-risk extensions and modifications (Stage- Gate Xpress). The higher the risk, the more one adheres to the full five-stage process. Shorter versions exist for lower-risk projects like the Stage-Gate Lite. 

The structure of each gate is similar and consist of the following: deliverables, criteria against which the project is judged (must-meet criteria to prioritize projects) and outputs, a decision (Go/Kill/Hold) with an approved action plan (deliverables) for the next stage gate (an agreed-to timeline and resources committed). Each stage is a gate or a go/kill decision point. The stages are cross-functional and not dominated by a single functional area: it is a business process, including R&D and marketing. Inside stages, some activities are undertaken sequentially, others in parallel, and others overlapping (source: Cooper, R.G., 2006, “the seven principles of the latest stage-gate method add up to a streamlined, new-product idea-to-launch process”).

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