iSixSigma

Multi Generational Product Planning (MGPP)

Definition of Multi Generational Product Planning (MGPP):

Multi Generational Product Planning (MGPP) is a Life cycle and generational planning of products, services and technology.

MGPP is used in Define phase of DMADV (Define-Measure-Analyze-Design-Verify) when we determine the Project Scope. The design or redesign of a new product or service begins with the identification of what you are going to design and why you are going to design it. There is often a competitive advantage to planning a series of product or service releases.

The Multi-Generational Product Plan (MGPP) is a critical tool used to define the scope of the current product or service to be designed as well as to plan the long-term direction of future product/service generations.

The main purpose of Multi-Generational Product Plan appears to be slightly “defensive” since it objective is to prepare for an unknown future. But this type of planning also has several “offensive” characteristics:

  • MGPP focuses business and management on the long term.
  • MGPP increases speed to market.
  • MGPP reduces development risk.
  • MGPP controls scope additions/changes to current design.
  • MGPP prevents products/services/processes from stagnating while the market changes around them.

In short, imagine it as a Leadership Strategy.

What is thought of during MGPP?

  • Generation I – Filling up the segments in the market that do not have this product.
  • Generation II – Capturing market needs and fill new target markets with your products.
  • Generation III – Delivering productivity breakthroughs to the end-user / customers. Gain competitive edge, technical leadership, etc.
  • Generation IV…(you decide).

Think of making a decision to do some world-changing event. Prior to starting your MGPP you want to come up with a long term goal. The MGPP is the most valuable when that goal is really hard.

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Imagine your goal is putting a man on the moon. When JFK first suggested it, it sounded impossible. The first step in getting there is identifying the major milestones along the way. These are the generations. In the case of Apollo, they were putting a man in space, putting a man in orbit around the earth, putting a man in orbit around the moon, and finally putting a man on the moon’s surface.

For each generation, you identify the capabilities you need to reach that goal. Now, you look at those capabilities. If the technology is already known, you can simply take something off the shelf and use it. However, maybe you sort of know, but you need to be a lot better at it. For those capabilities, you will spawn a DMAIC project to move the needle on those capabilities to where you need them. Finally, for the things where you really don’t have anything like the capability, you execute a DFSS project to design out that capability.

Now, the neat thing is that you have a vision, a realistic path to that vision, and a bunch of clearly scoped projects. Each project can focus on it’s needed capability without getting all worried about other issues. If a project finds out (as they often do) that some part of their scope is going to have a very unfavorable impact, they can look to the MGPP to see whether it might make sense to move that capability to a later generation. Similarly, if a project smells an opportunity, they can see what the total needed capability set is to determine whether pursuing that opportunity will move the organization toward the vision.

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