Improving New Product Introduction (NPI) Project Execution with Digital Workflows

Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth

- Mike Tyson

Most New Product Introduction (NPI) projects tend to get punched in the face as no plan survives contact with reality. The reality of NPI project execution is a lot more than planning and most definitely more than someone marking a task as completed. Most NPI projects are orchestrated and completed by executing workflows that underpin the tasks. No project management system currently allows the orchestration and execution of workflows that make up NPI project tasks.

New Product Introduction (NPI) – Project or a Process

Our experience working with many engineering and manufacturing organizations on NPI programs has shown that current project management approaches (task-based or Kanban board-based) are inadequate for the task of orchestrating complex NPI programs.

The main reason for the inadequacy of project and task management-oriented approach is due to the following fact.


Project Execution with Workflows as Project Tasks

One of the most popular and consistent requests we get for ZFlow has been for project tasks (from Microsoft Project,, Asana, Primavera, and others) to trigger different workflows in ZFlow. The most common area where this seems to happen is with NPI projects. In the example below, the project’s Design Task kicks off a New Finished Good Request process. The workflow is created and starts when the task becomes active in the Project. The task is marked as completed when the New Finished Good Request process is completed.

Numerous benefits accrue when workflows are used to represent Project task execution, including faster project execution, cross-functional team collaboration, and better visibility of the status of different Project tasks.

The workflow that gets kicked off when the task becomes active is shown below with the right people and systems getting involved to complete the workflow/task.

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