Agile Development Leadership

Consulting. Training. Coaching.

NPD performance is more than technology or processes

Product Development Consulting for Improved Performance

We help clients implement new methods and tools for faster, more efficient product development. While agile methods are often part of our transformation programs, we know every company has its own situation and goals that require a unique approach. We blend process, leadership, strategy and cultural elements into every program to meet your objectives. 

At the beginning of our engagement, we will assess your situation and work with your team to develop the right improvement approach to avoid disruptions — unless disruption is one of your goals!

For examples of our work and to review your situation, contact us to schedule a discussion.

Our Capabilities

We know what it takes to build high-performing teams and provide them with tools for success. Since 2002, we’ve helped clients increase capability based on our expertise in:

  • NPD Assessment – Analyzing your current situation throughout the product lifecycle and identifying bottlenecks, challenges and areas for improvement
  • Transformation Roadmaps – Developing a clear path from your current state of NPD to your desired state
  • Agile for Hardware Implementation – As the global leaders in Agile for Hardware methods, Auxilium can seamlessly enhance your agility while meeting product development project objectives
  • Learning Programs – Our team has trained 1000’s of R&D and product management leaders in Agile methods, leadership, strategic marketing and related topics

Each of our principal consultants has a passion for sharing their over 25 years of NPD experience.

What Are Your Goals?

Every project faces scope, resource and schedule tradeoffs. With the right methods and skills Auxilium clients see improved performance in each of these, but often want to focus on a particular metric such as accelerating development or delivering more innovative products. Browse the tabs below for metrics to consider when measuring your performance and setting goals. Whether your goal is to accelerate development, be more efficient, enhance customer focus, drive innovation or all of the above, we’re here to help.

Introduction Metrics to Consider
A common goal many companies share is to accelerate development efforts. This allows you to deliver products faster with the most accurate market information and latest technology.
  • Overall project duration - concept to production
  • Initial concept approval to development start
  • Idea to project decision
Introduction Metrics to Consider
Enhancing your ability to meet customer needs with the most valuable features and technical attributes should always be an NPD objective. The ultimate result is higher market share and improved profit margins.
  • Product gross profit margins
  • Net Promoter Score
  • Customer value profile score
Introduction Metrics to Consider
Team efficiency is one of the most difficult metrics to set and track. Agile can help with velocity tracking, but it's not perfect. Often more qualitative metrics can be more helpful for hardware teams.
  • Speed of decision-making for elevated problems
  • Team horizontal and vertical satisfaction
  • % of accepted iteration goals achieved
  • Total $R&D as % of X year profit
IntroductionMetrics to Consider
Innovation metrics might seem tricky, but are some of the easiest to set up and track, especially when combined with customer value metrics.
  • # of ideas captured, evaluated and approved
  • % of sales/profit from products introduced within previous X period
  • # of patents generated

Our Services

Whether you need to enhance your culture, develop leaders, become more agile or effectively translate strategy to market success, we’re here to help. Browse the tabs below for details about each area of service.

Reviews of NPD Organization and Methods

Overview

Transformation is rarely easy and making the decision to significantly change your existing practices is a big decision. Knowing the latest trends and options in NPD best practices can help. How are companies using Agile for Hardware? What does an integrated Stage-Gate/Agile system look like? What challenges should we expect? These and many more are questions your team might be asking. Auxilium can provide an overview of the latest trends in NPD best practices and facilitate a focused discussion about how these can improve your NPD performance.

Program Elements

Organizational Review

Auxilium reviews your current situation as deeply as you prefer, to develop a focused discussion of your organization, methods, tools, and potential areas for improvement. This can be as short as couple of conversations with stakeholders to a more thorough analysis of your current NPD practices.

Presentation

We develop a short presentation targeting between 1 and 3 hours to share what we heard from your team, the current state of NPD best practices, and ideas for areas of improvement. We leave ample room for questions and discussion.

Debrief

We follow up to get feedback and discuss any next steps as your team desires. This might include just keeping in touch or a request for a proposal to develop an NPD performance improvement program.

NPD Transformation Programs

Overview

Many teams have some version of a Stage-Gate system that took years to evolve and might have worked well in the past, but doesn’t support today’s complex environments. Transformation doesn’t mean completely discarding the current system, but improving NPD performance often means adding agility. This allows enhanced collaboration, adapting to change efficiently, improved focus on customer needs and increased visibility of progress. 

Program Elements

Situation Analysis

Transformation success starts with a deep understanding of your current situation to determine what is working, what's not and identifying critical areas for improvement. This analysis includes a combination of goal setting, stakeholder needs discussions, review of current methods, and a cultural assessment.

Program Development

Working with your team, we develop a roadmap of activities to build a path for achieving your goals including how to best integrate existing practices and methods. A key component of most programs is the identification of the best pilot projects and teams to rapidly put new ways-of-working and tools in action to learn and improve.

Phased Execution

Using Agile techniques, we work with your team through a series of iterations to train teams, conduct pilot projects, coach key roles, develop a new playbook and incrementally improve. With each iteration the teams learn, refine and build confidence in their new way-of-working.

Building Agility with MAHD

Overview

Agile processes provide more focus on teamwork and customer value than traditional waterfall approaches. To help developers of physical products attain the same benefits as agile software teams, Auxilium developed the Modified Agile for Hardware Development (MAHD) Framework to meet the needs of manufactured products involving electronic and mechanical components. This includes new techniques to align with software teams already using agile. 

Program Elements

Agile Readiness Assessment

The first step is to identify if, where and how agile methods might make significant NPD improvements. While we see big advantages to agile in most environments, how they are implemented often determines whether they add value or just replace existing practices with new tools, terms and role titles.

Program Development

Based on your goals, we work with your team to develop an agile integration plan that typically includes a combination of:

  • Rapid Learning Sessions: Review and practice key agile concepts with real world examples.
  • Pilot Project Facilitation: The best way to learn is to put the new skills in practice quickly. We do this by working closely with your team to identify a pilot project and facilitate each step of the Agile process.
  • Coaching: We help coach teams and key roles at key points of the Agile process until you have the skills and tools to move forward with confidence.

Program Execution

Using Agile techniques, we work through each element of the agile implementation plan with your team. Learning and facilitation sessions can be conducted online using virtual collaboration tools or at your facility, and usually a combination.

Facilitation & Coaching

Overview

If you already have the right processes and methods in place, major improvements might come from just some refinement. Our facilitation or coaching services can help get teams or key individuals on the right track.

Program Elements

Using a Facilitator

Benefits of working with an Auxilium facilitator include:

  • Facilitators are 100% focused on a successful outcome of that day or planning activity. No other agenda.
  • Outsiders can be 100% objective and quickly correct when participants take tangents, aren't fully engaged, etc. 
  • Facilitators bring a set of collaboration and decision-making tools. Beyond sticky notes and markers, our facilitators use a range of tools from dot-voting to lateral-thinking brainstorms to structured planning. Whatever is needed to get a great result.
  • Outcomes are captured and next steps planned. How many times have you left a planning meeting at your company with no clarity on what was said or what should be done next?

Coaching

Providing a coach for key roles, high-potential contributors or someone who might be struggling is a great way to build skills while keeping those individuals motivated and productive. Auxilium can provide flexible short or long-term coaching programs that focus on individual needs and skills.

Practical Learning Programs

Overview

Since 2002, Auxilium has helped hundreds of R&D teams build new skills through practical workshops that gets results. Beyond the process of agile, our programs focus on all the key roles to enhance leadership ability, focus on customer needs and drive innovation efforts. A summary of our programs include:

  • Agile for Hardware Development – For teams to learn the methods of agile when mechanical and electrical engineering is involved.
  • Leadership – Designed for engineering and technical leaders at all levels, with emphasis on agile project management skills.
  • Product Owner and Management Excellence – For product leaders to lead strategy and direct market-leading products.
  • Agile Innovation Techniques – For technical and marketing leaders to apply agile skills and drive innovation into their product efforts.

Program Elements

Learn On Your Schedule

Flexible online or in-person programs that fit your needs. Each session can range from two hours to a full day and be customized to your process, challenges, products and industry.

Custom Programs

Because you have unique needs based on your industry and goals, our training programs are almost always customized to focus on the skills most important to you. Programs can be delivered in-house or online.

Online Public Programs

Browse our range of concise, 4-hour, online learning programs with live consultants below. These are limited to six participants so that there is ample time for discussion related to your goals. To help with fast learning, each program includes tools, templates and industry examples.

Getting Started with Auxilium

To learn more about the Auxilium team and services, contact us to discuss your situation and determine if we are good fit. Three options to get started quickly:

Executive Briefing

Starting with a one to three-hour executive briefing with key stakeholders can strengthen support for an improvement effort. These typically consist of:

  • An interactive discussion to share the latest developments in NPD trends
  • The business case for improving NPD performance through Agile or other methods
  • Real-time analysis to quickly assess your current situation and develop a prioritized list of challenges and potential solutions

Rapid NPD Assessment

A rapid assessment of your current NPD practices and challenges provides deeper insight into your situation and options for improvement. This typically consist of: 

  • A review of your situation and key obstacles to success
  • An overview of NPD best practices with industry examples
  • Facilitating your business case for investing in improvements
  • A proposed roadmap for enhancing your NPD performance

Agile Piloting

With the range of stakeholder opinions and perspectives, it can be hard to visualize how implementing Agile methods can really help. A good way to start is to pilot the Modified Agile for Hardware Development Framework on a development project. (MAHD)  Auxilium will: 

  • Guide project leaders through agile planning methods
  • Provide our Agile for Hardware resources and templates
  • Facilitate successful project execution with your team

Why Auxilium Is Different

With so many options, selecting an outside partner can be a big decision.  Contact us to learn more about Auxilium’s proven programs and how we’re different.

Experienced Consultants

When working with Auxilium, you work directly with senior consultants. Each member of our team has over 25 years of real world product development experience in a variety of technical industries. We’ve also had successful senior roles in R&D, marketing and business leadership before starting Auxilium and know what it takes to deliver great products. 

Proven Methods

The most common response we get from our customers is, “This is really practical.” Auxilium’s methods range from ensuring the team shares a common understanding of customer needs to our advanced Agile for Hardware Development Framework that has been refined by working with dozens of companies. We don’t end a customer engagement until your objectives are met.

Cost Effective Programs

If you’ve worked with tier one consultants, you’re familiar with the hefty price tag. We know because we have worked in these consultancies and talk with clients all the time who are looking for great results, but within budgets. Auxilium works efficiently with low overhead, facilitates most programs online and can provide tier one consultant quality and experience at a fraction of the cost.

With So Many Choices, Why Auxilium?

Five Reasons...

Practical, Proven Tools and Methods

Every method and tool we provide, with either a training or consulting program, has been proven in real-world projects.

Live, Experienced Consultants

You'll work directly with senior consultants who have over 20 years of PD experience. No inexperienced trainers or fresh MBA's.

Cost Effective

As a virtual team with low overhead, you'll get the experience of a tier one consultancy group at a fraction of typical fees.

Concise, Comprehensive Programs

We focus every training or consulting program on the essential skills and implementation to get immediate results.

A Passion for Results

We understand the risk and expense of getting outside help. Our goal is to ensure you get the results you need.

Contact us to schedule a complimentary discussion of your situation.