Phase III — Production

The Production Phase (Stages and Gates 7 through 9) calls for the application of business best practices through the industrial production methodology.

Activities include planning for all aspects of production — from manufacturing processes through after-sales service and the execution of activities related to test marketing, launch, and on-going monitoring of the product and market conditions. The Production Phase output is new knowledge in the state of a Commercial Innovation deployed in the marketplace.

supporting evidence

Follow the supporting evidence for each entry.

Stage 7 — Production Planning and Preparation

Supporting evidence

Conduct test marketing, finalize manufacturing process, establish sales and distribution channels, implement marketing plans, and prepare for launch.

UpStop Wheelchair Braking System

UpStop Wheelchair Braking System example

Decision Gate 7

Supporting evidence

Proceed to Commercial Product/Service deployment if the financial projections and logistical plans support continuation, and the Stage 2 Scoping remains valid. The decision to continue involves higher resource and longer time commitments — and higher risk — than all prior Stages. The Key Question is Go to Product/Service Launch?

Knowledge Translation Opportunity — for Commercial Innovation Outputs

Whether or not project continues, pursue this final opportunity to initiate Knowledge Translation activities to ensure the knowledge created in the state of a commercial innovation is shared with all potential users. This ensures that the resources expended and outputs generated have some chance of being put into practice by other stakeholders. There are two sets of linked Knowledge to Action diagrams and tables providing more detail about reaching external knowledge user groups.

Path 1: KTA for Launched Innovations

If the decision is to launch the device/service innovation into the marketplace, the KTA and innovation phase now converge. In fact, Stages 8 and 9 closely mirror the Action Cycle of the KTA process, as shown in KTA for Launched Innovation Output and described in KTA Table for Launched Innovation Outputs.

This table lists six stakeholder groups who may be knowledge users, and answers the questions “What to share with each knowledge user group”, and “How to reach each knowledge user group”, while also describing  the anticipated knowledge translation outcomes from engaging with each group.

Path 2: KTA for Un-Launched Innovations

supporting evidence

If the decision is to not launch the device/service innovation into the marketplace, then the innovation phase ends at Stage 7, and the KTA process (KTA 3) diverges, as shown in KTA for an Un-launched Innovation Output. 

Knowledge to Action Process for Innovation Outputs

Stage 8 — Launch Product Innovation

Supporting evidence

Sell product in the marketplace and respond to consumer inquiries and problems.

PointSmart Software example

Point Smart Software example

Decision Gate 8

Supporting evidence

Project leader or partners review product/service performance in market to decide whether to sustain resource commitment in context of other business opportunities. If yes, proceed with Stage 9. The Key Question is: Should production continue, based on the post-production assessment?

Supporting evidence

Stage 9 — Post-Launch Review

Continue to monitor sales and service inquiries to determine if and when modifications or discontinuance are appropriate.

Coin-U-Lator example

Coin-U-Lator example

Decision Gate 9

Supporting evidence

Project Leader or partners review performance data and market/competition factors to inform future decisions. If yes, production/delivery continues until a pre-determined milestone to revisit Decision Gate 9. If no, decide if product/service requires revision, replacement or abandonment, which would determine if process should return to the Discovery Phase, Invention Phase or Production Phase. The Key Question is: Should production continue? 

Notes

  • At each gate the PI must check to ensure that the goal is still novel, feasible, and useful, that the PI’s role will make a meaningful contribution and that there is a link between the PI’s role and the ultimate goal. If not, the PI must terminate or reiterate.
  • Throughout every stage the PI or partner will either be allocating existing internal funds, or seeking external financing (grants, venture capital, etc). An inability to obtain financing either by failing to meet internal criteria required for the allocation of funds, or by failing to obtain external financing will terminate the project.
  • Although not depicted as such, this is an iterative process. A no-go decision at any gate may result in termination of the process or reiteration of many or all previous steps and tasks.