Stage and Gate Product Development made simple. Don’t reinvent your process–use your own existing spreadsheets and templates to create a web-enabled, collaborative, product and portfolio management system. Simply upload your Excel™ spreadsheets and StageTrak transforms them into a collaborative process and portfolio management system!
Get a complete picture of your ALL of your product development projects, with the StageTrak project dashboard. It provides an overview of each project’s progress, deliverables, decision criteria, and scheduled/actual completion dates for tasks. Communicate with team members and task owners via e-mail right from the dashboard.
Automatic notifications alert product development managers and gate keepers when a stage is completed, allowing them to easily advance projects to the next stage with a click of the mouse.
StageTrak’s extensive list of pre-configured reports provides management with instant access to track and measure the ROI and other benefits of your product development project pipeline.
Stage and Gate Process
StageTrak follows a stage & gate new product development process with each stage consisting of multiple tasks and deliverables.
Each stage is a phase of the new product development process with a clear objective or milestone that typically ends with a review before proceeding to the next stage. As in the new product development process for example, at the end of each project stage, a decision is made to either stop the project, or proceed to the next stage. See the following examples.
New Product Development
- User-customizable stages and gates.
- Assignable scheduled start and due dates for each stage and task.
- The Stage Progress Indicator provides a quick visual color indication of the progress on each stage, as well as, a percentage of the completed tasks per stage.
- A Ready for Review reminder is displayed for the product development manager/team when all of the tasks within a stage are complete, alerting them that it is time to review the deliverables and make the decision to proceed to the next stage, archive the project, or ask for additional information.
- One click of the mouse advances the project to the next stage.
- The Project Status Report provides a high-level view of the status of each stage within your project and compares it to scheduled completion dates. The link to this report conveniently appears next to the project title and enables the product development manager to quickly identify areas that are in danger of missing their deadlines.
- The Project Schedule link on the Project Dashboard provides quick access to the project Gantt chart. The Gantt chart offers both an overall view of the project progress, and a detailed view of stage and task scheduled vs. actual progress.
- Full integration with Flagpole – idea management, and PatPend – intellectual property management. Manage and track your new product development cycle from idea generation through product launch, all while facilitating faster throughput of your patenting process.
- Easy web based access promotes collaboration throughout your entire organization.
Setting up a project/process template is easy, and once a template is created, starting a project using the template is fast and simple.
A template provides the basic framework of a project plan, it defines the number of stages, as well as, the number of tasks for each stage.
Project/process templates are created for similar types of projects. For example, a full five stage process may be used when developing entirely new products, and an accelerated three stage process may be used for product extension/upgrade projects.
Key Features Include:
- Project/process templates can be created for each type of product development project you manage, this saves valuable time and effort when starting a new project.
- Each template defines the stages and the tasks for each stage.
- A Task Owner can be assigned to each task at the time the template is created, or later when the project is created.
- Attach documents and Integrated Spreadsheets to each task at the time the template is created, or later when the project is created.
- The attached task documents and/or integrated spreadsheet can serve as the task outline describing the objectives, requirements and deliverables for each task. Task documents can be a word, excel, or other type document.
- Task Owners can download the attached task document once a new project is created from the template and launched.
- Save time creating new templates for similar project/process types by copying an existing template and then making changes to the new template to accommodate your new project/process type.
- By entering the default number of days for completion of each stage within your template, the actual start and due dates for each stage and task will be automatically assigned when creating your project, again saving time. The dates can always be changed later when creating the project.
- If you have Flagpole, then one click and approved product ideas are turned into projects.
- Starting a project from scratch is fast and easy with the Project Setup Dashboard. Simply give your project a title and description, assign a project manager and team members, select a process template and you are ready to go!
Each stage within StageTrak is comprised of tasks. Tasks are assigned to “Task Owners” which can be the product development manager, team members, employees, project groups, or external parties.
Tasks within many projects have defined deliverables that must be completed. StageTrak allows electronic attachments such as Word, Excel, and other documents to be attached to each task to define the deliverables and the criteria on which the task will be reviewed. The task owner can download the document, complete the deliverables, and upload the completed document, allowing the product development manager/team to review the completed document as part of the stage review process.
Key Features Include:
- Each task can be assigned a person responsible for completing the task (task owner) with a start and due date for completion.
- When a task is completed, the task owner simply uploads their deliverables document (optional) and clicks on the complete button. The system marks the task complete with a date completed indication, and the Stage Progress Indicator is updated to indicate the completed task.
- The My Projects Dashboard quickly informs each task owner of their assigned tasks.
- My Projects Dashboard identifies current uncompleted stage tasks. Product Development Managers and team members can easily click on the task owner’s e-mail icon sending an e-mail inquiring about the status of the task.
It’s easy to manage your new product development projects with StageTrak’s project dashboards. The Project Dashboard provides a birds-eye view of each product development project. Click on the Report Icon or the Gantt chart link on the dashboard to drill down further into the details.
The My Projects Dashboard provides the project manager and team members with a quick view of each project’s status, comments posted, uncompleted stage tasks, as well as, their own assigned tasks. Task Managers use the My Project Dashboard to view and manage the tasks they have been assigned.
Key Features Include:
- Project Dashboard
- The Project Dashboard displays all the important information about each product development project. Project description, project manager and team members, expected ROI/benefit, stages, tasks, start/end dates, stage and task status, attachments, collaborative comments, and more.
- A click on the Report Icon provides you with an instant one page view of easy-to-understand tables, graphs and charts detailing the projects current status and progress, as well as, scheduled vs. actual metrics.
- The Gantt Chart link provides you with a quick view of the project schedule. View the project schedule by stage or task detail on a day, week, month, or quarter view.
- The Stage Progress Indicator located at the top of each stage provides a quick view of the stages progress.
- Download/upload the Task Deliverables attachment for any task from the Project Dashboard. See the Tasks page for more details.
- The Benefit Tracker™ allows you to view the projects expected ROI or other benefits, such as Customer satisfaction rating, labor hour savings, efficiency levels, etc…
- View the project’s attached electronic documents: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, pictures, etc…
- Collaborate and make comments and view others comments about the project from the Project Dashboard.
- You can create on-line conversations or comment strings by replying to others’ comments.
- You will be amazed at how simple StageTrak is to use, but how powerful its features.
- My Projects Dashboard
- The My Projects Dashboard maintains all of your product development projects on one convenient page for easy tracking of project stages and tasks.
- See when the last comment was posted to the project and click on the link to view and reply to comments.
- View all uncompleted tasks, and click on the Task Owner’s e-mail icon to e-mail them for status updates.
- View all of your own uncompleted tasks by project.
When project members collaborate, projects get done faster with fewer problems. Sharing documents and communicating with team members in StageTrak is easy even if you are miles or continents apart.
Key Features Include:
- Share and view files and electronic documents with all your project team members and task owners. The file attachments can be either task or project specific.
- Provide comments on the projects for all team members to view and respond to.
- Join in on on-line conversations with team members and task owners. Reply to others’ comments. StageTrak captures the comments and conversations as a permanent record within the project for review at any time.
- e-mail team members, project managers, and task owners from StageTrak with a simple click on their name or e-mail icon.
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John Stowell, Director of Innovation, Zep Inc.
"StageTrak is very customizable to your needs. Once it's up and running it's pretty intuitive. It's much simpler to operate than most of its competitors."
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