Cross-Functional Team Integration: Adopting a Common Language for NPD Process
  • Terry O'Brien
  • Director of New Product Development
  • Bruno, Inc.

According to Ron Mascitelli, “new product development is the most intensely cross-functional and collaborative process in any business” (Mastering Lean Product Development, 2011, X). Culture problems in NPD cross-functional teams are often the result of poor planning, poor processes, poor communication, or all of the above. Recognizing that New Product Development is a “people endeavor”, Terry O’Brien shares Bruno’s training to establish a ‘common language’ amongst the various Knowledge Workers, who each play a role in the NPD process. Terry presents the tools, methods and visuals that Bruno uses to manage the flow of the NPD project in a way that engages the team in critical decision making at each stage in Bruno’s gated process. From Concept to Production: project flow and activities, marketing and engineering requirements, knowledge capture and reuse, and the final task of Lessons Learned all serve to engage the people in the process, rather than the other way around.