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Lauchlan Mackinnon


it's worth noting that the first process results in at least some product or service innovations, while according to the second process's own claims no useful outcomes at all are produced and the result is to blame those responsible and to honour those not responsible.

With regards to the level of research involved in the stage-gate approach, Robert Cooper (author of the Stage Gate model) covers a number of relevant research studies in Chapter 3 of his book "Winning at New Products", and I'm sure independent assessments finding both for and against the stage-gate model could be found.

It's a fair point that Innovation is not just about process - it's also about culture, managing the people side of change, executive leadership, bottom up responsibility to take action, etc. But I think you may be being a bit harsh on Cooper's Stage-Gate model here . . .


Lauchlan Mackinnon

jen_chan, writer

Yes, the second illustration seems to be a bit more real than the organized structure above it. Perhaps what adds to the murky results are the companies' reluctance to admit the truth should their system backfire.

I mean if you're out to follow the organized stage gate process and end up doing something like the second illustration, you wouldn't exactly credit your success to the latter. Chances are, you would stick to saying how having an organized and structured stage gate was responsible for it.

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