Pipeline Accelerator Blog

Tip #87 – Make New Product Waiting Time the Exception

Pipeline Accelerator Insight #87

New Product Waiting TimeThere are two kinds of new product waiting times for innovation projects. One kind  is systematic waiting time. This is new product waiting time that you can plan for. Like the amount of time it takes for a test to run unattended.  For example, an accelerated UV durability test can run for weeks or months with very little work required from technicians.  Another example would be waiting for parts ordered from a supplier. Again, waiting time you can estimate and plan for.

The other kind of new product waiting time is a huge hidden cost that delays revenue without most people even noticing.  It’s the time a task spends waiting to start because people or equipment are busy doing something else. Or even worse, the time when a task has started, but the person doing the work gets pulled off to work on something else. In both cases, it is waiting time you want to avoid because it delays your new product launch date. And that delays sales and cash flow!

Why do we call this symptomatic new product waiting time?  Because it is symptomatic of an insidious problem that many companies have.  That problem is having too much work in process(WIP). Too many projects running at the same time – often 2-3 times as many as they really have the capacity to execute.  The result is waiting.

Those symptoms are a flashing red sign that you would gain by limiting the number of projects in flight. It can easily make projects take twice as long as needed. If you doubt that, here’s a short video demonstrating the impact.

What you can do about it

If you want to get a handle on your new product waiting you have to get your WIP under control. Here’s a free downloadable resource management tool to help.

Book a Free Zero-Pressure Call to Discuss Your Resource Management Challenges

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