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Stage-Gate theory

Stage-Gate Theory and Practice

Years of hard work and perseverance have earned you the job that you coveted head chef at a fabulous
and very popular restaurant. But as you go about trying to implement ideas that you think will improve an
already strong business, you find that innovative thinking is not always happily received by management.
And it is not just the restaurant manager you must convince; there is an owner and even some patrons
who seem to be very influential in the decision-making process. It appears that innovative ideas must
come with a virtual guarantee of success. If only there were ways to tangibly demonstrate the efficacy of
your plans.
In a way, project managers face similar challenges. It seems that innovative thinking is encouraged but
then resisted. Tangible means are needed to bring new successful ideas to the fore. This is where the
Stage-Gate theory comes in.

In a 2 page word document, respond to the following questions:

� What are the benefits and limitations of using the Stage-Gate product innovation process in project

Stage-gate theory 2
� How might a project manager utilize Stage-Gate theory to encourage, maintain, or discourage
management support of a project?
o Be specific and provide examples and also use sources not older than 5 years pear review articles.

With an already healthy business, it is of importance to use a well-defined set of
methodologies and strategies to reduce the risk of either getting a less-than-expected project
return, or even a total project failure. The adoption of the stage gate theory is, therefore,
necessary and have been adopted by many organizations to reduce the risk of new product
development failure. In this theory and a strategic approach, it ensures that a project remains
aligned with its initial strategic goal such that its value remains high to facilitate the progress of
the project to the next stage. Sometimes, already flourished businesses and investments may
deviate from its goal focuses due to small modifications brought about by the management or

Stage-gate theory 3
any other decision makers and, on the other hand, slight changes can lead to success that or turns
around the project focus to a new level that can lead to a great success (Wang, 2013).
The stage gate model comes in handy with many advantages which in turn may lead to a
total focus on the project’s goals and ensures that the project improves in its quality. One of the
advantages of using the stage-gate product innovation process is that the initiative can be a
source of competitive advantage. Competition is a necessary tool for any business or an
investment that enables it to remain relevant in the field. Product development is also accelerated
with the use of the stage gate methodology, which is necessary because of shortening the product
life cycles (Newton, 2011).
Apart from the advantages of the stage-gate methodology, the increased chance of new
products is another benefit of this strategy. This approach helps to improve the chances of any
business in the identification of new products hence preventing early project failures and hence
helping to redirect them. The stage-gate process helps to break down the broad and complex
innovation processes into smaller manageable corporations and hence encouraging specialization
within the project. It aids in realizing a shortened product life cycle (Wang, 2013).
On the other hand, the stage-gate process comes in handy with some limitations to a
project or an investment that is already flourishing. Although at each stage the process is
conducted in parallel, the stage-gate approach performs its process in a regular form regarded as
the waterfall. Innovation is supposed to be carried out in an organized parallel manner, and it is
according to some innovation experts. Another limitation of the stage-gate approach to a project
model is that the framework does not deal with the discovery process and hence does not deal
with the activities of the creation of new ideas. A tension normally exists between the creativity
and organization within a project development, and they are crucial within a project

Stage-gate theory 4
development. For a successful organization, the gap between organization and creativity should
not exist and hence a limitation of the stage-gate process in a project (Newton, 2011).
For one to manage a business properly using the stage-gate innovation process technique,
there are some factors to consider. For example, the new manager should never ignore any
advice from any board of managers since they are well informed of the previous lessons in the
project progress. For a successful manager, a proper understanding of the process is essential for
the maintenance and the striking forward of the business and the project. Being flexible helps in
the encouragement and the support of the project at any level. The need to facilitate any project
success includes a proper preparation of the software infrastructure. With this, the managers are
able to encourage, maintain, and support the project.
Upon conclusion, several components are needed by any business when using the stage-
gate innovation model for the realization of new product development and hence the success of
the ongoing activities. An integrated approach using this model avoids the many unnecessary
failures of projects and businesses.


Wang, X. (2013). Agile and lean service-oriented development: Foundations, theory, and

practice. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.

Newton, R. (2011). The management book. Harlow: Financial Times Prentice Hall.
Information Resources Management Association. (2014). Software design and development:
Concepts, methodologies, tools, and applications. Hershey, Pa: IGI Global (701 E.

Chocolate Avenue, Hershey, Pennsylvania, 17033, USA.

Stage-gate theory 5
Meredith, J. R., & Mantel, S. J. (2012). Project management: A managerial approach. Hoboken,

NJ: Wiley.

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