New Production Introduction (NPI) is possibly the most important process for product organizations. The need for speed and effectiveness is paramount. Organizations that excel at New Product Introduction have a decisive competitive advantage in the market.
For organizations that design and manufacture products New Product Introduction (NPI) is a set of interrelated and connected processes that are highly cross-functional. A high level NPI process can look like the picture below.
Given the complexity of New Product Introduction process, which is usually made up on several interrelated processes across many functions, simple project and task oriented solutions are impractical and not effective. Project and task oriented solutions diminish into ineffective tracking solutions providing little support for people and systems that are involved in actual NPI processes. In addition, project and task oriented solutions provide very little support for the information flow that is critical to the NPI process.
A Better Alternative – New Product Introduction (NPI) Process Orchestration
We believe that a better alternative to NPI Program/Project Management is NPI Process Orchestration. NPI Process Orchestration is a workflow of workflows that ties together as many workflows (also activities) as possible for a faster and more effective NPI process.
The example below shows NPI process orchestration based on APQP (Advanced Product Quality Planning). At the highest level the program is defined as phase-gate workflow as shown below.
APQP Phase-gate workflow
In the phase-gate workflow below, APQP Phase 2 activity is in fact designed as a set of activities. The support the concept of workflow or workflows, some of the activities are designed as workflows. When an activity starts, the associated workflow is created/started. The task is set as completed when the workflow associated to that task is completed.
In the above scenario, Release Engineering Drawings task is configured as a process as shown below.
Each of the workflow that make up the program can have their own relevant sub-workflows to orchestrate the end-to-end process related to each area/activities of the NPI Process.
The above type of process orchestration (workflow of workflows) based approach supported by Cogence is a much more connected, cross-functional and effective approach compared to a static task oriented approach for New Product Introduction (NPI).