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Unlocking Pipeline Gridlock: Make the Right Innovation and Portfolio Management Decisions

This course will be delivered LIVE, virtually.


Four, 3-hour modules. Each module includes a 75-90 minute presentation with interactive Q&A built in; a 30 minute team exercise; and an in-depth Q&A consultative session focused on the key themes arising from the team exercise.


This four, 3 hour online seminar focuses on the big problem that companies face today in new-products – too many development projects underway and pipeline gridlock, which project to do, and when to walk away. Coming out of the Pandemic, everyone  wants to do more, but there’s a limit to multi-tasking and doing things faster. Find out how to make the right R&D & New-Product investment decisions, and to focus on fewer but better projects – how to identify the best development projects to do; how to force-rank and prioritize your development projects; how to kill the weaker ones; how to track projects in real time to spot problems early; and resourcing your development projects properly. And It all begins with your Product Innovation Strategy.



  • Executives and Managers in Marketing & Business Development, R&D, Engineering & Design, New-Product or Product Innovation Management


Equivalent to a full 2-day seminar: Combines practical approaches, examples & illustrations from the seminar leader’s work with and research on some of the world’s best companies. This seminar promotes free-flowing, interactive discussions among the typical high-quality network of delegates.


  • How to make the right R&D and New-Product investment decisions
  • How to focus your new-product efforts – to do fewer projects but better projects.
  • Dealing with an overloaded development pipeline, with too many projects underway.
  • How to select the best projects for investment with uncertain & changing information.
  • How to build in tougher Go/Kill decisions – “gates with teeth”.
  • Best ways to prioritize and force-rank projects in your development portfolio.
  • Resourcing your development projects properly… so they get done on time.
  • Using good metrics for tracking projects in real time – spotting projects in trouble.
  • Creating an  Innovation Strategy for your business – goals, objectives, strategic arenas, and your product roadmap.


Module 1: Your Business’s Innovation Strategy

It all begins with your business’s Product Innovation Strategy… this gives you clear goals and objectives, and also direction. A robust, well-communicated innovation strategy is key to developing a product roadmap and to selecting your important development projects for investment. Topics include:

  • What is an Innovation Strategy – what do good strategies look like? Their components?
  • Defining your product innovation goals and objectives – with examples
  • Figuring out where best to focus – what markets, product types, and strategic arenas?
  • Strategy become real when you start spending money… so coming up next…
  • Translating your Innovation Strategy into action: your Product Roadmap.

Module 2: Picking the Best Projects, and When to Say No

Prioritizing projects in your development portfolio and achieving focus – doing fewer but better projects – are both challenging tasks. So what are the best approaches to maximize your R&D productivity – get the most bang for buck — that really work? Topics include:

  • Gates and Portfolio Reviews – what they are & when they should happen?
  • How best to force-rank & prioritize your development projects
  • Tracking your projects in real time: the Productivity Index & Red Flags
  • Maximizing the value of your development portfolio for a given resource level
  • Effective resource allocation to projects – mapping resource supply versus demand
  • The right financial tools for assessing the attractiveness of projects… and their fail points
  • Improving data integrity.

Module 3: Gates with Teeth and Resource Allocation

Picking the best development projects for investment is difficult. Often the information – expected sales, costs, and development time – are uncertain or changing. And no one wants to kill a project once it is underway! But there are better ways, and that’s what Module 3 is about:

  • Picking the best development projects for investment… proven ways to get this right
  • Evaluation methods when the information is uncertain or changing
  • Qualitative methods for rating projects – these often work better than traditional financial tools
  • Running a gate meeting that works — “with teeth”, really make Go/Kill decisions
  • How to say no to weaker projects, when to say no, and solving the morale dilemma of a disappointed project team.

Module 4: Your Development Portfolio – the Big Picture

This final module pulls it all together, ingrates what we have learned in Modules 1-3, and shows how your Portfolio Management System could and should work. Time is available for delegates to map out a “next steps” and “key actions” plan to implement what has been learned at the seminar. Topics are:

  • Strategic Buckets – getting the right mix & balance of projects (from small ‘tweaks’ to major innovations)
  • Metrics to gauge the health & well-being of your development portfolio
  • Running an effective Portfolio Review
  • How the tools in Modules 1-3 fit into your Portfolio Review, with illustrations
  • Next steps – moving forward.


  • Individual Course Registration Member Rate:  $1,950.00
  • Individual Course Registration Non-Member Rate:  $2,450.00


Dr. Robert G. Cooper

Dr. Robert G. Cooper is the creator of the world-famous Stage-Gate® process, and was named the “World’s Top Innovation Management Scholar” by the prestigious Journal of Product Innovation Management. He has combined practical consulting with ground-breaking research for many years. Besides his best-selling books “Winning at New Products” and “Portfolio Management for New Products”, he has published more than 120 articles on new products, R&D and innovation management. Dr. Cooper is Professor Emeritus at the DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University in Canada and ISBM Distinguished Research Fellow at Pennsylvania State University in the USA. He is also the founder of Stage-Gate International, offering innovation know-how and support around the world. Many companies in North America, Europe and Asia have introduced his methods, including 3M, ABB, Alfa Laval, Arkema, BASF, Bayer, Bosche-Siemens, Caterpillar, Dow Chemical, DuPont, Exxon Chemicals, HP, ITT Industries, Kennametal, Siemens, Volvo Construction Equipment, and others.

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