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This article was published by IEEE Engineering Management

Review, Vol. 35, No. 1, First Quarter 2007, pp 67-76

StageGate isaregisteredtrademarkofStageGateInc.

Managing Technology Development


Technology development projects are the foundation or platform for new products and new processes
and thus are vital to the prosperity of the modern corporation. But these basic research or fundamental
knowledge-build projects are often mismanaged because companies employ the wrong process to manage
them or apply inappropriate financial criteria for project selection. The result is that technology developments
have become increasingly rare in the typical companys development portfolio. To better manage such
projects, leading companies have adopted a unique Stage-Gate process specially tailored to the needs of
technology development projects. This process consists of three stages and four gates, and feeds the front
end of the typical new product process. Scorecards and the use of tailored success criteria are used to rate
and rank these technology projects, while the strategic buckets approach to portfolio management ensures
that dedicated resources are deployed for these higher-risk projects.

ROBERT G. COOPER Key Concepts: Technology development, Stage-Gate, scorecard,

portfolio management.

T HE term technology
development refers to a special
millions of dollars, or worse yet,
were cancelled prematurely, thus
Copyright 2006 by INDUSTRIAL class of development projects forgoing millions in potential
RESEARCH INSTITUTE INC. Reproduced profits.
with permission of INDUSTRIAL where the deliverable is new
RESEARCH INSTITUTE INC. in the format knowledge, new technology,
Magazine via Copyright Clearance Center. a technical capability, or This article outlines proven
a technological platform. approaches to selecting and
These projects, which include managing such venturesome
fundamental research projects, projectsapproaches that
science projects, basic research, recognize that traditional
and often technology platform management techniques,
projects, often lead to multiple such as phase-review,
commercial projectsnew Stage-Gate or PACE with
product or new process their elaborate checklists,
development. scorecards, deliverables lists,
and financially-based Go/Kill
Technology development projects criteria, are inappropriate for
are a special breed: although they such projects (13).
represent a small proportion of
effort in the typical companys WHATS SO SPECIAL?
development portfolio, they are
vital to the companys long-term Technology development (TD)
growth, prosperity and sometimes projects are indeed a very
even survival. These projects also different type of development
stand out because they are often project. First, they are
mismanaged or mishandled, increasingly rarethe average
resulting in few benefits to the businesss R&D portfolio has
company. The chronicles of many, shifted dramatically to smaller,
if not most, large corporations shorter-term projects such as
are replete with horrific stories product updates, modifications
about huge technology projects and fixes over the last 15
that led to nothing after spending years (4). With the exception

of a handful of best-practice which creates a real fear of and could even kill an otherwise
companies, gone are the days ever undertaking such a project high-profit-potential initiative.
when portfolios were replete again! Management becomes risk
with advanced technology, averse. Exxon Chemical was one of
technology breakthrough the first companies in the
and true innovation A second factor that makes these United States to recognize that
development projects (5). TD projects so special is that such research or technology
they are often the foundation or development projects required
Because these growth platform for a new product line special treatment, and that
engines provide the or an entirely new business. In ramming them through their
platforms for the short, TD projects are important traditional management processes
next generation of to profitability in that they would do much harm. Thus, by
products and processes, help to de-commoditize the the 1990s, Exxon Chemical had
companies have to businesss product offerings. designed and implemented a
manage them better! special methodology based on
They are the breakthroughs,
stage-and-gate techniques to
disruptive technologies and
handle such high-risk technology
radical innovations that create
This dearth of innovative projects projects (9).
the huge growth opportunities
is in part due to managements and superlative profits (8).
preoccupation with the short Much damage is done
term and immediate financial by applying traditional
Exxon Chemicals Metallocene management techniques
results, which usually precludes project is a classic example.
undertaking venturesome
to non-traditional
Here, a fundamental research projects.
development projects (6). When study into a new polymerization
resources are tight, managers catalyst yielded some early
take few chancesthey elect the interesting research results, The fact is that traditional
sure bets, which are typically namely polyolefin materials with systems simply do not work
the smaller, closer-to-home unusual technical properties. for these special TD projects.
projects. Heres a typical What started out as a early-stage Why? Traditional new-product
comment (7): research project in the 1980s processes are designed
ultimately resulted in an entirely for fairly well-defined and
My business has a limited
new class of polymers with predictable projects; technology
R&D budget. I cant afford
engineering properties and a developments, however, are by
to risk a major percentage of
billion-dollar business for Exxon their nature high-risk projects
that budget on a handful of with many unknowns and great
big projects. Ive got to hedge technical uncertainties. For
my bets here, and pick the example, early in the life of
smaller and lower risk ones. such projects, the likelihood
If I had a larger R&D budget,
of technical success may be
then I might tackle some METHODS FOR
quite low, and a probable
more venturesome projects. NON-TRADITIONAL PROJECTS technical solution often cannot
Senior R&D executive in be envisioned. It may take
A final reason that TD projects
a $300 million business unit months or years of lab work to
of a major manufacturing are so special is that they are
see a technical solution and to
conglomerate. fragile. If one applies traditional
gain confidence in a positive
management techniques to technical outcome.
non-traditional projects, much
Additionally, the businesss damage is done. For example, Similarly, the traditional
inability to handle these projects force-fitting a TD project through new-product process requires
effectively also contributes to a your normal new-product a full business case and
reluctance to undertake more system will create considerable financial analysis before heavy
of them. In short, because frustration on the part of the commitments are made. But in
these projects are mismanaged, project team, will result in a TD project, the commercial
the results are often negative, unnecessary or irrelevant work, prospects for the new technology


are often unclear, especially near yet. Im not even sure what idea-to-launch processes,
the beginning of the project when this technology is capable of in such as Stage-Gate, to drive
these commitment decisions are terms of delivering improved new-product projects to market
required. technical performance. (11). The conclusion at a
conference of the Product
In the Exxon Chemical Metallocene Development Management
Finally, the Go/Kill criteria
project, for example, when Association (PDMA) that focused
used to rate and prioritize
experimental work first began, on technology developments
development projects as
it wasnt clear whether this and fuzzy front-end projects
found in most companys
would lead to a new plastic, or was that many companies
stage-and-gate development
perhaps a new fuel additiveall have dramatically improved
processes again assume projects
the researchers had in the early development cycle time and
that are fairly well-defined. For
days was some gummy stuff efficiency by implementing formal
example, an Industrial Research
with interesting properties: the Stage-Gate systems but that
Institute study revealed that
precise direction of the project the front end remained a mystery
78 percent of businesses rely
would not become clear until the (12). The consensus is that some
heavily on financial criteria to
researchers had done more work type of rigorous stage-and-gate
select projects: criteria such as
at considerable expense. This is process is desirable for TD
projected annual profits, NPV (net
not exactly the reassurance that projects, but the process must be
present value) and expected sales
a short-term, financially-driven custom designed for these types
(10). When qualitative criteria
executive wants to hear! of projects (13).
are employed, according to the
same study, the most popular
Many of the activities required Some type of rigorous
are leveraging core competencies
of most companies new-product stage-and-gate process
(for example, the projects fit with
processes simply dont fit is desirable but it must
the plant, and fit with the firms
the TD project. Review any be custom-designed.
base technology), the expected
companys new-product process
payoff, and the perceived risk
and invariably there is a
level. These quantitative and
list of required tasks such Figure 1 illustrates a typical
qualitative criteria are fine for the
as undertake a competitive TD process, which has been
majority of development projects,
analysis, do voice of customer adopted in leading companies
but not so good for technology
work and define the product that undertake fundamental
developments. A seasoned R&D
benefits to the user. Thats research projects; it consists of
executive in a major corporation
fine when one knows what three stages and four gates (14).
summarized the situation this
the market and product are. The stages are shown as
But how does one undertake boxes in Figure 1. Each
such mandatory activities when Using traditional Go/Kill stage consists of a set of
the market is unknown and criteriaNPV. KOI (return on best-practice activities to be
the product not even defined? investment) and the likewill undertaken by the project
Moreover, most companies new almost guarantee that new team. These activities are
product processes require a list technology projects are killed designed to acquire vital
of deliverables at the completion in our company simply information and thereby
of each stage, deliverables because of the unknowns, reduce the unknowns and
such as a business case or a uncertainties, risks and hence the risk of the project
commercialization plan. Again, the step-out nature of such from stage to stage. The
these are relatively meaningless projects. Our selection rules outcome of each stage is a
concepts when the product and are very risk averse and specified set of deliverables.
market have not yet been defined. geared towards short-term
As one frustrated project leader projects. The gates, designated by
put it: diamonds, are the Go/Kill
decision points. Here,
USE A PROCESS DESIGNED FOR management meets with
How can I be expected to
TD PROJECTS the project team to decide
do a market analysis when
whether the project merits
I havent even defined the For some years, leading product
additional funding and
product, let alone the market developers have relied on

resources to move to the next A strategic planning exercise, decision to commit a limited
stage. If Go, resources are where strategic arenas are amount of time and money to
committed at the gate and identified, and possible the research project. This gate
the project and team move TD research directions are should be a gentle screen, which
forward. mapped. poses the question: Does the
Technology forecasting and idea merit expending any effort
Here is a quick walk through the technology roadmapping. at all? Criteria for Go are largely
typical TD process (see Figures 1 Brainstorming or group qualitative, are scored at the gate
and 2): creativity sessions focusing review by the gatekeepers, and
Discovery.The trigger for the on what might be. should include such items as:
process is the first stage, involving Scenario generation Strategic fit and impact.
discovery or idea generation. about future market and Strategic leverage.
Quality ideas are essential to a technological possibilities. Likelihood of technical
successful technology program Customer visitation programs success.
and thus technology ideas from and voice-of-customer Likelihood of commercial
multiple sources must be sought initiatives. success.
for consideration at Gate 1. While Active idea solicitation Reward or the size of the
idea generation is often done by campaigns within the prize if successful.
scientists or technical people, it organization. The Gate 1 gatekeeper or
can also be the result of other decision-making group is
activities, such as: Gate 1 Idea ScreenThis first typically composed of senior R&D
gate is the idea screen, the initial

Figure 1. The technology development Stage-Gate process is specially designed for TD projectsthree stages and
four gates up to an Applications Path Gate.

Decision: Decision: Decision:

Go to Go to Applications
Initial Detailed
Screen Technical Investigation Path
To NPD Process
Gate Stage Gate Stage Gate Stage Gate
To Process
1 1 2 2 3 3 4

To JV, Licensing
Project Technical Detailed
Scoping Assessment Investigation

Figure 2. The TD project moves from the Scoping Stagea relatively simple stagethrough to the Detailed
Investigation Stage, which can entail person-years of experimental work.

Discovery Path Gate

Gate Stage Gate Stage Gate Stage Gate

1 1 2 2 3 3 4

Project Technical Detailed

Scoping Assessment Investigation
Lays out the Demonstrates the lab Implements full
foundation for the or technical feasibility experimental plan
project under ideal conditions Technology feasibility is
Defines the scope of Initial or preliminary proven
the project experimental work Scope of technology and
Maps out the forward 3-4 months value to company is To Other
plan defined Process
Several weeks Plan developed for the (e.g. NPP)
utilization of results
Potentially years of work


people, such as the corporate experiments, developing a defining commercial product or

head of technology (VP R&D or partnership network, identifying process possibilities, undertaking
CTO), other senior R&D people, resource needs and solutions to market, manufacturing and
along with representatives resource gaps, and assessing the impact assessments on these
from corporate marketing and potential impact of the technology possibilities, and preparing an
business development to ensure on the company. implementation business case.
commercial input. Sound project management
Gate 3 Go to Detailed Technical methods are employed during
Stage 1 Project ScopingThe Investigation.Gate 3 is the this lengthy stage, including
purpose of this Scoping stage decision to deploy resources periodic milestone checks and
is to build the foundation for beyond 12 person-months, project reviews. If the TD project
the research project, define and opens the door to a veers significantly off course,
the scope of the project, and more extensive and expensive or encounters serious barriers
map the forward plan. The investigation, Stage 3. This gate to completion during Stage 3,
effort is limited, typically to not decision is thus a more rigorous the project is red-flagged and
much more than two weeks. evaluation than at Gate 2, and is cycled back to Gate 3 for another
Stage 1 activities are conceptual based on new information from Go/Kill decision.
and preparation work (see Stage 2. Gate criteria resemble
Figure 2), and include a technical those listed for Gate 1 previously, Gate 4 The Applications Path
literature search, patent and IP but with more and tougher Gate.This is the final gate
search, competitive alternatives sub-questions, and answered in the TD process and is
assessment, resource gaps with benefit of better data. the door opener to one or
identification, and a preliminary more new-product or process
technical assessment. The Gate 3 gatekeepers usually development projects (see
include the corporate head of Figure 3). Here the results of
Gate 2 Go To Technical technology (VP R&D or CTO), technical work are reviewed to
AssessmentThis second screen other senior technology or R&D determine the applicability, scope
is the decision to begin limited people, corporate marketing or and value of the technology to the
experimental or technical work business development, and the company, and the next steps are
in Stage 2. Like Gate 1, this heads of the involved businesses decided. Note that this Gate 4 is
gate is also a relatively gentle (e.g., general managers). Because often combined with an early gate
screen, and poses the question: Gate 3 is a heavy commitment in the usual product development
Does the idea merit undertaking gate, senior managers of the process (for example, with Gate
limited experimental work? Gate business units that will take 1, 2 or 3 as shown in Figure 3).
2 is again largely qualitative, ownership of the resulting Gate-keepers are typically the
and does not require financial technology should be the Gate 3 senior corporate R&D people,
analysis (because the resulting gatekeepers. Their insights into corporate marketing or business
product, process or impact of TD the commercial viability of the development, plus the leadership
are still largely unknown). The project are essential at Gate 3; team from the relevant business
gatekeepers are the same as at further, more early engagement that will assume ownership
Gate 1. ensures a smoother transition of the resulting commercial
to the business unit once the development projects.
Stage 2 Technical commercial phase of the project
Assessment.The purpose gets underway.
of Stage 2 is to demonstrate the HOW TD PROCESS FEEDS THE
technical or laboratory feasibility Stage 3 Detailed Investigation. TRADITIONAL PROCESS
of the idea under ideal conditions. The purpose of Stage 3 is to
This stage entails initial or implement the full experimental The final gate of the TD process
preliminary experimental work, plan, to prove technological is the Applications Path Gate,
but should not take more feasibility, and to define the scope which marks the end of the
than 12 person-months, of the technology and its value to TD project but potentially the
and last no longer than 34 the company. This stage could beginning of multiple commercial
months. Activities here typically entail significant expenditures, projects. It is here that the project
include undertaking a thorough potentially person-years of work. team presents their conclusions
conceptual technological Besides the extensive technical about the commercial prospects
analysis, executing feasibility work, other activities focus on for the technology, based on

technical work to date and PICKING THE RIGHT PROJECTS Its like trying to measure a soft
several quick commercial scoping banana with a micrometer! Our
exercises. At this point, multiple Making the resource commitment evaluation tools assume a level of
new-product projects could be decisions for TD projects, precision far beyond the quality of
initiated and feed the typical especially in the early stages, is the data available!
new-product process, as shown problematic for many companies.
Clearly, traditional tools, such Not surprisingly, this executives
in Figure 3. The start points are
as financial analysis and profit financial evaluation tool
usually Gates 1, 2 or 3 of the
criteria, are not too useful. In TD tended to favor predictable
new-product process, depending projects with much undefined,
on how well defined the proposed and close-to-home projects
the level of uncertainty is so at the expense of technology
new projects are. Alternatively, great that numerical estimates of
if the commercial result is a development projects.
expected sales, costs, investment,
new or improved production and profits are likely to be
Best performers adopt a
process, then the appropriate grossly in error. There exist many
combination of evaluation
process-development projects uncertainties in the typical TD
project, but the one thing you techniques and criteria for
are defined here and routed
can be certain about is that making Go/Kill decisions on
your numbers are always wrong. TD projects (16). The research
Indeed there is considerable suggests that no one method
The TD project may also result
evidence that businesses that works best across the board and
in a licensing opportunity or
rely strictly on financial tools can do it all! First consider using
perhaps even a joint venture with
and criteria to select projects a scorecard approach, which looks
another corporation. The point
end up with the lowest-value at multiple facets of TD projects,
is that the Applications Path
development portfolios (15). As from strategic to technical issues.
Gate determines the direction
one executive declared, in noting Note that this TD scorecard is
for the commercialization of
the deficiencies of his companys different than the one that should
the technology from this point
sophisticated financial-analysis be used for new product projects;
methods for project selection: a best-practice model for Gate

Figure 3. The typical technology development (TD) process spawns multiple commercial projects that can feed the
new-product process at Gates 1, 2, or 3.

The 3-Stage TD Process

Discovery Path Gate

Gate Stage Gate Stage Gate Stage Gate

1 1 2 2 3 3 4

Project Technical Detailed

Scoping Assessment Investigation

Project enters the NP Process at Gate 2 (sometimes Gates 1 or 3).

Stage 2: Stage 3:
Gate Stage 1: Gate Gate Gate Stage 4: Gate Stage 5:
Business Development
1 Scoping 2 3 4 Testing 5 Launch

The Standard 5-Stage, 5-Gate Stage-Gate New Product Process


3 for TD projects is shown in gate meeting in Figure 1, and decision-making group going
Figure 4 (17). Scorecards are a thorough and facilitated gate through a set of key questions,
highly rated by users as a solid discussion ensues. Next, the debating their scores, and
decision-making method, and gatekeepers score the project on reaching closure on eachthat
tend to yield more efficient and zero-to-ten scales, as in Figure 4. provides the real value, and not
more effective Go/Kill choices, The resulting scores are then so much the final score itself).
higher-value projects and a combined to yield an overall Although the sample scorecard
portfolio of strategically aligned project attractiveness score. in Figure 4 is for Gate 3, note
projects (18). This scoring exercise and final that most businesses use the
score become key inputs to the same high-level criteria from
In the scorecard approach, the Go/Kill decision (although many gate to gate for consistency, with
project in question is presented users of this approach claim the detailed or sub-questions
by the project team at each that it is the processa senior

Figure 4. Use a scorecard (010 scale) to rate and prioritize TD projects.

Score = Zero Score = Ten Out of Ten

1. Business Strategy Fit

Congruence Only peripheral fit with our businesss Strong fit with several key elements of
strategy. strategy.
Impact Minimal impact; no noticable harm The businesss future depends on this project.
if project is dropped. project.

2. Strategic Leverage
Proprietay position Easily copied; no protection. Position protected through patents,
trade secrets, raw material access, etc.
Platform for growth Dead end; one-of-a-kind; one-off. Opens up many new product possibilities.
Durability (technical and marketing) No distinctive advantage; Long life cycle with opportunity for
quickly leapfrogged by others. incremental spin-offs.
Synergy with corporate units Limited to a single business unit. Could be applied widely across the

3 . P r o b a b i l i t y o f Te c h n i c a l S u c c e s s
Technical gap Large gap between solution and current Incremental improvement; easy to do;
practice; must invent new science. existing science.
Project Complexity Difficult to envision the solution; Can already see a solution;
many hurdles along the way. straightforward to do.
Technology skill base Technology new to company; Technology widely practiced
almost no skill internally. withing the company.
Availability of people and facilities Must hire and build. people and facilities immediately

4. Probablility of Commercial Success

(in the case of a TD project with
potential for new products)
Market need Extensive market development required; Product immediately responsive to a
no apparent market exists at present. customer need; a large market exists.
Market maturity Declining markets. Rapid-growth markets.
Competitive intensity High; many tough competitors in this field. Low; few competitors; week competition.
Commercial applications New to company; we have no/few Commercial applications skills and
development skills commercial applications skills here; people already in place in the
must develop. company.
Commercial assumptions Low probablility of occuring; Highly predictable assumptions;
very speculative assumptions. high probablility of occuring.
Regulatory and political impact Negative. Positive imoact on a high-profile issue.

5. Reward
Contribution to profitability Rough estimate: less than $10M Rough estimate: more than $250M.
cumulative over 5 years.
Payback period Rough estimate: greater than 10 years. Rough estimate: less than 3 years.
Time to commerical start-up Greater than 7 years. Less than 1 year.


becoming progressively tougher Success criteria are declared that significant resources have
at successive gates. relatively early in the project, shifted from venturesome projects
and on this basis, gatekeepers to small, lower-impact efforts. In
Businesses that rely approve the project at the early order to correct this imbalance,
strictly on financial gates. These criteria are reviewed they employ strategic buckets
tools end up with and updated at each successive as a tool to ensure the right mix
the lowest-value gate; if the project falls short of projectsshort-term versus
development portfolios. of these success criteria at the longer-term or TD projectsin
next gate, it may be killedfor their portfolios (10).
example, if certain technical
In addition to a gate scorecard, results were not achieved by a Strategic buckets is a portfolio
consider the use of success given date or gate. The use of management method that defines
criteria as employed at Proctor success criteria allows the project where management desires the
& Gamble (19). Here the project team to develop customized development dollars to go, broken
team declares what they hope to criteria to suit their project; down by project type, market,
achieve in order for the project it forces the team to submit geography, or product area (20).
to be considered a success. realistic rather than grandiose Strategic buckets is based on the
Success criteria for TD projects expectations, and it creates notion that strategy becomes real
include the achievement of accountability for the project when you start spending money;
certain technical results (e.g., teamsomething to measure the thus, translating strategy from
positive lab test results) by a given team against. theory to reality is about making
date, attaining a certain technical decisions on where the resources
performance improvement (e.g., should be spentstrategic
a certain level of absorption in ENSURING RESOURCES buckets. In the example in
a new fiber technology), or the ARE IN PLACE Figure 5, management begins
expected sales potential to be How does one ensure that with the businesss strategy and
generated by the new technology resources will be available then makes strategic choices
(e.g., the size of the market to undertake TD projects, about resource allocation: how
that this technology might see especially with todays emphasis many resources go to new
potential in, if successful). on short-term projects? products or to improvements or
Managements in a number to technology developments?
of companies have recognized With resource allocation now

Figure 5. Resources are strategically allocated by project type into strategic buckets by senior management.

The Businesss strategy

determines the resource split
TD Bucket into the 4 buckets.
Project Project Gate
Jeanie 1 88 Technology
Monty 2 85 Developments
Kool-Flow 3 80

$2M Pop-Up 4 77

Regatta 5 75
Slow-Brew 6 70 & Modifications
Requests = $3M
Widget-4 7 69

Rank projects until out of

resources in each bucket.

4 buckets or sub-portfolios:
20% deployed to TD projects
Buckets are fire-walled.

firmly established and driven more balanced. Note also that corporations and industries,
by strategy, projects within different criteria should be used providing the platforms for
each bucket are then ranked to rate and select projects in the next generation of new
against one another to establish each bucket. For example the products and new processes.
priorities. relatively qualitative criteria in With most companies facing
Fig. 4 work well in order to rank constrained resources and
Note that projects in one projects in the TD bucket, but for having a short-term focus, it is
bucketsuch as technology modifications and improvements imperative that such projects
developmentsdo not compete or sales requests, clearly be managed more effectively
against those in another bucket, financial criteriaprofits, savings than in the past so that they
such as sales and marketing or expected sales increaseare truly do achieve their promised
requests. If they did, in the short the best way to rank these results. Adopting a TD Stage-Gate
term, simple and inexpensive projects. process, using custom-tailored
projects would always win out, Go/Kill scorecards and success
as they do in many businesses. criteria, and employing strategic
Instead, strategic buckets build MAKE YOUR TD PROJECTS buckets to ensure resource
firewalls between buckets. Thus, PAY OFF availability, are but some of
by earmarking specific amounts the approaches that leading
for technology developments, Technology developments are companies are adopting to handle
the portfolio becomes much the engines of growth for many these vital TD projects.


1. Stage-Gate is a registered trademark of Product
Institute Inc.; PACE is a registered trademark otPRTM.
2. The argument that technology projects require a special version
of Stage-Gate has been voiced previously; see Koen, P. 2003.
Tools and Techniques for Managing the Front End of Innovation:
Highlights from the May 2003 Cambridge Conference. Visions
XXVII, 4 (October).
3. Ajamian, G. and Koen, P. A. 2002. Technology Stage Gate: A
Structured Process for Managing High Risk, New Technology
Projects. In The PDMA Toolbox for New Product Development,
edited by P. Beliveau, A. Griffin and S. Somermeyer, New York:
John Wiley & Sons, pp. 267295.
4. Cooper, R. G. 2005. Your NPD Portfolio May Be Harmful to Your
Businesss Health. PDMA Visions XXIX, 2 (April), pp. 2226.
5. Cooper, R. G., Edgett, S. J. and Kleinschmidt, E. J., 2004.
Benchmarking Best NPD practicesII: Strategy, Resource
Allocation and Portfolio Management. Research-Technology
Management 47, 3 (MayJune), pp. 5059, Exhibit 2.
6. The reasons for the shift in portfolios are explored in (4).
7. Quotations are from over 100 problem-detection sessions held
in companies, and from several studies by the author and
co-workers; see for example the three-part RTM series beginning
with: Cooper, R. G., Edgett, S. J. and Kleinschmidt, E. J.
2004. Benchmarking Best NPD PracticesI: Culture, Climate,
Teams and Senior Management Roles. Research-Technology
Management 47, 1 (JanFeb), pp. 3143; also (5) and (11).
8. See for example: Christensen, C. M. 1997. The Innovators
Dilemma. Harper Business, Harper Collins Publishers; and
Foster, R. N. and Waterman, R. H. 1998. Innovation: The
Attackers Advantage, Summit Books.


Cohen, L. Y., Kamienski, P. W. and Espino, R. L. 1998. Gate

System Focuses Industrial Basic Research. Research-Technology
Management 41, 4 (JulyAugust), pp. 3437.
10. The IRI study on portfolio management methods employed
by industry is reported in: Cooper, R. G., Edgett, S. J. and
Kleinschmidt, E. J. 1998. Best Practices For Managing R&D
Portfolios. Research-Technologv Management, 41, 4 (JulyAug),
pp. 2033; and summarized in: Cooper, R. G., Edgett, S. J. and
Kleinschmidt, E. J. 2002. Portfolio Management for New Products.
2nd edition. New York, NY: Perseus Books.
11. See: PDMA studies: Adams, M. and Boike, D. 2004. PDMA
Foundation CPAS Study Reveals New Trends. Visions
XXVIII, 3 (July), pp. 2629; and 2004. Cooper, R. G., Edgett,
S. J. and Kleinschmidt, E. J. Benchmarking Best NPD
practicesIII: Driving New-Product Projects To Market Success.
Research-Technology Management 47, 6 (NovDec): pp. 4355.
12. Source: Koen, P. in (2).
13. An early version of a technology model is described in:
Eldred, E. W. and McGrath, M. E. 1997. Commercializing
New TechnologyI. Research-Technology Management 40, 1
(JanFeb) pp. 4147; see also the model outlined in (2) and (3).
14. An earlier version of this model is outlined in Cooper, R. G.
2005. Product Leadership: Pathways to Profitable Innovation 2nd
edition. New York, NY: Perseus Books, Chapter 7.
15. See (10) and Cooper, R. G., Edgett, S. J. and Kleinschmidt, E.
J. 1999. New Product Portfolio Management: Practices and
Performance. Journal of Product Innovation Management 16, 4
(July), pp. 333351.
16. See (10) and Cooper, R. G., Edgett, S. J. and Kleinschmidt, E.
J. 2002. Portfolio Management: Fundamental to New Product
Success. In The PDMA Toolbox for New Product Development,
edited by P. Beliveau, A. Griffin and Somermeyer, S. New York:
John Wiley & Sons, pp. 331364.
17. See Chapter 5 and Exhibit 5.6 in Portfolio Management for New
Products (10).
18. Sec IRI study and (10. 15. 16).
19. Cooper, R. G. and Mills, M. 2005. Succeeding At New Products
the P&G Way: A Key Element is Using the Innovation Diamond.
PDMA Visions XXIX, 4 (Oct.), pp. 913.
20. This section is based on (4), strategic buckets are explained in
Portfolio Management for New Products (10).

Robert G. Cooper is professor of marketing at McMaster Universitys M.G. DeGroote

School of Business, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; ISBM Distinguished Research
Fellow at Penn State Universitys Smeal College of Business Administration;
and president of the Product Development Institute. He is the developer of the
Stage-Gate idea-to-launch process, and author of six books on product innovation
management. He has won two Maurice Holland awards for the best paper published
in Research-Technology Management in 1990 (New Products: What Distinguishes
the Winners?) and 1994 (Debunking the Myths of New Product Development).

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