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Gate 3: Go-no go development

This is the last gate before the development stage, the last point at which the project can be stopped! This is a critical decision because it denotes the commitment of substantial resources to the project. This gate often refers therefore to 'going to a heavy spend'.

The project must be once again subjected to the set of 'must meet' and 'should meet' criteria used at the previous gates. Further or more detailed criteria can and should be taken into account at this gate. An overview is provided below in Table 4.

Table 4. Managerial screening criteria.

Note: Adapted from Cooper & de Brentani (1984)

Do a calculation to check if you have enough human and financial resources available. Review the activities in the second stage and make sure that all relevant activities were undertaken, the quality of execution was sound, and the results were positive.

Furthermore, agree on following key items:

  • specification of product positioning strategy
  • product definition including essential and desired product attributes
  • delineation of product benefits to be delivered
  • target market(s).

At this stage of the NPD project you will still have to cope with uncertainty and you can only make forecasts. The problems that are associated with making forecasts are:

  • target market/users are still not sufficiently identified
  • gaps in market information (not enough information to hand)
  • market dynamics (trends and developments in technology, competition, legal rights etc.)
  • biased psychological reactions/attitudes
  • poor accounting, unclear financial situation
  • products are rushed too fast towards commercialization (concept is not mature yet).