Research on Agile/Stage-Gate Hybrid Processes Wins 2016 Maurice Holland Award

Research on Agile/Stage-Gate Hybrid Processes Wins 2016 Maurice Holland Award

Award-winning article looks at new product development processes at manufacturing firms

Chicago, IL (October 18, 2016)–Globalization is impacting product development companies in myriad ways, intensifying competition. At the same time, product lifecycles at technology firms are being shortened across the board. A team of researchers studied new, hybrid methods for rapidly producing new products in a systematic, controlled way. They distilled their findings into practical lessons for readers of the journal Research-Technology Management (RTM) and earned the distinction of being awarded the 2016 Maurice Holland Award at the Industrial Research Institute’s (IRI) Member Summit.

“The art of leadership is about getting things done ahead of schedule and under budget,” said John Hillenbrand, IRI Board Chairman and Vice President of Research and Development at Armstrong Flooring. “For years, we in business have utilized the Stage-Gate process to manage new product development, but we are seeing more and more that it is simply not enough. The findings from this award-winning article are a must-read for leaders looking for a better, more flexible way.”

The article was selected according to the criteria of significance to the field of R&D, technology, and innovation management; originality of new management concepts; and excellence in clarity of presentation.

“It is such an honor to recognize intriguing and practical work in these emerging models of new product development,” said Jim Euchner, RTM Editor-in-Chief and Vice President of Global Innovation at Goodyear. “With the acceleration of technological innovation today, these evolving methods for managing the design and delivery of new products are vital in ensuring that our businesses can keep pace.”

In their article, the research team, which consists of Anita Friis Sommer, Senior Consultant, Continuous Improvement, at the LEGO Group, Christian Hedegaard, Cost Out Facilitator at the VELUX Group, Iskra Dukovska-Popovska, Associate Professor at Aalborg University,and Kenn Steger-Jensen, Professor at Aalborg University’s Centre for Logistics, explore seven case studies where a hybrid of Agile and Stage-Gate models were implemented at technology-intensive firms. At each firm, Stage-Gate models were employed at the strategic level while Agile’s Scrum methodology was implemented at the execution level, resulting in drastic improvements in performance above even improved Stage-Gate models.

The awards ceremony for the Maurice Holland Award is held at an annual Member Summit hosted by IRI. This year, approximately 300 of the nation’s R&D and innovation thought leaders gathered to talk about digitalization and its implications for R&D management. Participants heard from industry leaders participating in IRI’s large-scale research platform into digitalization as they reported their research findings on the three topics of Big Data, Collaboration, and Virtual Experimentation and Simulation. Attendees also had the opportunity to exchange success stories and challenges with digitalization with fellow members from organizations like Motorola, GE, Cargill, City Digital, Boeing, Campbell Soup Company, Edgewell, Harley Davidson, Michelman, and many more.

For a copy of the award-winning article, “Improved Product Development Performance through Agile/Stage-Gate Hybrids,” contact Michele Taussig at 703.647.2588.

About the Industrial Research Institute

The Industrial Research Institute (IRI) is an organization of nearly 200 industrial and service companies having a common interest in the effective management of technological innovation. IRI member companies span diverse industries and represent a substantial portion of our nation’s gross domestic product. IRI is the only cross-industry organization creating innovation leadership solutions and best practices in innovation management developed through collaborative knowledge creation. For more information, call 703-647-2580 or visit

About Research-Technology Management

Research-Technology Management (RTM) is IRI’s award-winning, bi-monthly journal focused on the practice of innovation. Since 1958, RTM has published peer-reviewed articles that map the cutting edge in R&D management, illustrate how management theory can be applied to real situations, and give leaders of research, development, and engineering the tools to promote innovation throughout their organizations. For more information, visit