New Products Take Too Much Time To Develop (5 of 6)


Great ideas flounder while market opportunity slips away.

Multiple Projects. Multiple Players. Delays.

Here’s the challenge many complex manufacturers face: minimize product development time from start to finish in multiple project environments.

Let’s paint a picture of this challenge—likely it exists in your company: you’ve launched a new product development project and it will involve many people internally: sales, engineering, purchasing, operations, the CEO, the CFO, pretty much everybody in the company. In addition, it will engage external vendors for sure, maybe an external design firm, a marketing firm, and a consultant or two. Now let’s say that multiple projects are in the hopper, demanding multiple resources, some (or all) of which will be used on other projects at the same time.

Let’s throw in another variable into the mix of projects and players, and that is TIME—time from start to finish. Every industry faces one or more of these ticking-clock scenarios: new products needed due to macro market demand or opportunity, category seasonality, customer special requests, required feature upgrades to remain competitive, or the development of next year’s models (e.g., the auto industry).

Of course, industries that rely heavily on new product introductions due to short product lifecycles constantly need to develop the next model or the next added innovation. In these cases, time is of the essence. You either enter the market early, or late, missing the revenue opportunity that goes to competitors who move faster. Ouch.

How to Manage It All? Critical Chain Project Management Software

On-Time Edge believes that by using the Critical Chain Method, as opposed to the Critical Path Method of project management, projects can be completed more quickly and with greater scheduling clarity. These two methods are often confused but shouldn’t be. Critical Chain focuses on resources, while Critical Path focuses on task order. The benefit of Critical Chain is that you get real-time control of all your projects, sorted by priority. Additionally, you get the benefit of running what-if scenarios to check an impact analysis (of your possible changes based on variables, i.e., real world barrels under your legs).

Epicflow, our provider of choice, fulfills all the requirements we suggested earlier. In addition, Epicflow integrates easily with Microsoft Project, Jira, Oracle Primavera, HRM Systems, and custom integrations as required.

Does Epicflow Stretch?

Absolutely. Projects are Projects. No matter where they are found.

The Industry Doesn’t Matter. We Can Help.

Companies (not necessarily manufacturing) that support their own product development and allied engineering efforts, can benefit from this Epicflow. This software is easily applicable to software development projects.

How about farther? On-Time Edge has worked with a roofing client. They have a crew that goes out and installs roofs day after day. They understood the need to keep key installers hammering down roofing tiles. Even more, management understood that managing multiple projects using key resources simultaneously has to be carefully planned. And that project management software, such as Epicflow was necessary and indispensable. On-Time Edge can bring these tools to your project management needs.

What is Critical Chain Project Management?

Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) is a project planning and management method that emphasizes the resources (people, equipment, physical space) required to execute project tasks. CCPM was developed by Eliyahu Goldratt in his 1977 book Critical Chain. It differs from more traditional methods, such as Critical Path Management (CPM) and PERT, which emphasize task order and rigid scheduling. A critical chain project network strives to keep resources leveled, and requires that they be flexible in start times.

CCPM can complete projects at a rate of 10% to 50% faster and/or cheaper than the traditional methods. If resources are always available in unlimited quantities--not the typical state of affairs—then a project's critical chain is identical to the critical path.

If you don’t want your great ideas to flounder while market opportunity slips away, contact Scott McMartin.

– Michel Babineau



Scott McMartin

VP Business Development

717.516.5252 (o) | 717.884.1325 (m)

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