The Phase-gate model is a product innovation process divided into different stages and gates. Each idea goes through a predefined set of gates in its development. Each gate represents a decision point where the team evaluates the progress made so far and decides whether to continue or stop the project. The Phase-gate model is also known as the Stage-gate and the waterfall model, as it is sequential and follows a linear approach.
The Phase-gate model typically consists of five to seven phases or stages, and each phase has a specific goal or objective that must be achieved before moving to the next phase. The stages are generally as follows:
- Idea Generation: The team identifies this stage’s potential product ideas and concepts. This stage also involves gathering customer feedback and market research to identify needs and opportunities.
- Idea Screening: In this stage, the team evaluates the ideas generated in the previous stage and decides which ones to pursue further based on their feasibility, profitability, and alignment with the company’s goals.
- Concept Development: In this stage, the team develops a detailed concept for the product, including its features, design, and functionality. The team also assesses the technical feasibility of the concept.
- Business Analysis: In this stage, the team conducts a thorough analysis of the product’s market potential, costs, and profitability. This stage also involves developing a business plan for the product.
- Product Development: In this stage, the team develops a working product prototype, which is then tested and refined based on customer feedback and technical considerations.
- Testing and Validation: In this stage, the team conducts a series of tests to ensure that the product meets customer needs and technical requirements.
- Launch: In this final stage, the team launches the product into the market, typically after conducting a market launch strategy and testing.
Each stage in the Phase-gate model is separated by a gate, which acts as a decision point for the team. At each gate, the team evaluates the progress made so far and decides whether to proceed to the next stage, change the current stage, or stop the project altogether. The decision to proceed to the next stage is based on the success criteria established for that stage.
The Phase-gate model is a widely used innovation process that helps companies manage their product development process more efficiently and effectively. By breaking the process down into smaller, manageable stages, companies can focus on developing high-quality products that meet customer needs while minimizing risks and costs. The model also encourages collaboration among team members, as each stage requires input from different organisational functions.