NPD Glossary (G-L)

 A-F             G-L                 M-R            S-Z

Click on any term to learn more about the definition and links to related information.


Gantt Chart

A horizontal bar chart used in project scheduling and mana gement that shows the start date, end date and duration of tasks within the project.


The group of managers who serve as advisors, decision-makers and investors in a Stage-Gate™ process. Using established business criteria, this multi-functional group reviews new product opportunities and project progress, and allocates resources accordingly at each gate. This group may also be called a “Product Approval Committee” or “Portfolio Management Team.”

GIGO (“Garbage In, Garbage Out”)

A term historically referring to computer processing and a pun on the accounting term FIFO (first in, first out).  Computers will process nonsensical data and produce nonsensical answers.  In New Product Development, the term of Garbage In, Garbage Out more specifically refers to poor information data input to the NPD Process will produce poor results.


Historical Trend Analysis

A mathematical technique that uses historical results to predict future outcome. This is achieved by tracking variances in cost and schedule performance, for example, in the context of project management quality control.

Heavyweight Team

An empowered project team with adequate resourcing to complete the project. Personnel report to the team leader and are co-located as practical.


Idea Generation (Ideation)

All of those activities and processes that lead to creating broad sets of solutions to consumer problems. These techniques may be used in the early stages of product development to generate initial product concepts, in the intermediate stages for overcoming implementation issues, in the later stages for planning launch and in the post-mortem stage to better understand success and failure in the marketplace.

Incremental Improvement

A small change made to an existing product that serves to keep the product fresh in the eyes of customers.

Inverted Innovation

Inverted innovation reverses traditional strategic determinants by instead asking what, why, and who.


A new idea, method, or device.  The act of creating a new product or process.  The act includes invention as well as the work required to bring an idea or concept into final form.

Innovation Strategy

The firm’s positioning for developing New Technologies and Products.

Intellectual Property (IP)

Information, including proprietary knowledge, technical competencies, and design information, which provides commercially exploitable competitive benefit to an organization.

Internal Rate of Return (IRR)

The discount rate at which the present value of the future cash flows of an investment equals the cost of the investment.  The discount rate with a net present value of 0 (zero).


A new composition, device, or process.  An invention may be derived from a pre-existing model or idea, or it could be independently conceived in which case it may be a radical breakthrough



Kick-Off Meeting

The first official meeting of a group of people who will be working together on the new product development project.  The agenda will usually include introductions, developing the mission statement, describing the new product, and roles and responsibilities of team members.  An outcome of the kick-off meeting is the Product Innovation Charter (PIC).

Killer Variables

External factors, also known as “show stoppers,” beyond the company’s control that would block product development no matter how attractive the New Product Development project is in terms of all other factors.  Examples of Killer Variables include patent infringement, obsolescence, availability of supplies, or safety, health, and environmental concerns.

Knowledge Management (KM)

Sometimes abbreviated as KM, Knowledge Management comprises a range of strategies and practices used in an organization to identify, create, represent, distribute, and enable adoption of insights and experiences.  Such insights and experiences comprise knowledge, either embodied in individuals or embedded in organizational processes or practice.


Lead User

Users for whom finding a solution to one of their consumer needs is so important that they have modified a current product or invented a new product to solve the need themselves because they have not found a supplier who can solve it for them.  When these consumers needs are portents of needs that the center of the market will have in the future, their solutions are new product opportunities.

Lean Team

A lean team, also known as a lightweight team, is a cross-functional team that involves part-time team members and a part-time team leader. The team is used to develop new products that are typically low in technical risk and/or require few market developments.

Lean Manufacturing

A production practice that considers the expenditure of resources for any goal other than the creation of value for the end customer to be wasteful, and thus a target for elimination. Working from the perspective of the customer who consumes a product or service, “value” is defined as any action or process for which a customer would be willing to pay.

Lessons Learned

This review takes place after the new product has been introduced to the marketplace and after sufficient commercial experience has been gained to allow reasonable judgments concerning probable market receptivity and manufacturing/technology performance.  See also post-launch review.

Lightweight Team

New product team charged with successfully developing a product concept and delivering to the marketplace. Resources are, for the most part, not dedicated and the team depends on the technical functions for resources necessary to get the work accomplished.

Line Extension

A form of derivative product that adds or modifies features without significantly changing the product functionality.


Liquidity describes the ease with which an asset can be converted to cash.

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