Phase-Gate

The stage-gate model is a great method to analyse concept feasibility and to mitigating risk. There are many different types of stage-gate process in the world, and design managers have to decide which is the most suitable one for their project. The process should adopt project size. For example, a small project does not need to use a big process or vice versa.

For instance, in figure 1:

  • Stage 0 is collecting as much as initial ideas.

  • Stage 1 is to analyse which ideas have better market opportunities and remove those ideas having fewer opportunities.

  • In stage 2, the manager needs to analyse which ideas are more suitable for the company’s business plan and look into market data in detail.

  • Stage 3 is the project development stage which is for the designers and engineers to decide which ideas are more promising and feasible.

  • The 4th stage is a user-testing stage which is to test the feasibility of the product and get customer feedback.

  • Finally, we will have one or two best ideas/products and implement a marketing plan for the products.

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Figure 1: Sample phase-gate PDP

Weaknesses:

  • There might have too many gates and needs to take a long time to get the final outcome.

  • Hard to predict each step.

  • Need to have authorised data and professional analytics to ensure the accuracy.

  • Employees need time to adopt this kind of new tool.

  • It might be difficult for managers to select the most suitable model or their project from many different stage-gate processes.