Commercialization Phases and Gates Introduction to UAPL

The use of phases and gates is a time-tested approach to control the timing and quality of marketing deliverables, tasks, and tools, and to manage risk throughout the commercialization process. Marketing work is broken into "designed" clusters that can be planned and managed to produce predictable quality resultson time and within budget. Allowance must be made for surprises (unknowable events) that can disrupt the planned work. Adaptive deployment of planned marketing tasks must be under control if you are to be a good steward of the corporate investment being made in the commercialization project. Make every reasonable effort to design a plan of marketing work and then live by that plan. You can then make the necessary adjustments to that plan as circumstances force you to do so. However, making frequent changes in a planless commercialization process eventually leads to chaos. Following a set of steps may slow things down at first, but you're slowing down to speed up. This comes with experience. Tasks, methods, and tools can also prevent common human behaviors from undermining the process. For example, linear thinking may rush a team to select a suboptimal product concept without adequate deliberation.

This chapter examines the tactical commercialization process through the lens of a marketing professional focused simply on the support that Six Sigma can provide. Hence, the tools, tasks, and deliverables discussed in this chapter center on the Six Sigma components that a marketer employs in this tactical process. Marketing professionals perform many activities and produce (or manage the development of) multiple deliverables (such as marketing collaterals, advertising campaign, public relations plan, training) that are not reviewed in this book. The objective is to provide a Six Sigma foundation from which to improve marketing's ability to meet its commercialization goals and to customize its approach to meet specific business requirements. Figure 5.1 shows the essential macro tasks for marketing during commercialization.

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