The objective of the two day Technical Assessment is to complete the current state and target state assessment against the best practice criteria, ensuring leadership agreement in the ratings generated.

IF has extensive experience of New Product Introduction, built around the principles of Advanced Product quality Planning (APQP). The APQP approach is the most widely use structured NPI approach used in the automotive sector and increasingly within the aerospace sector. The approach ensures that a new product can be manufactured to the right quality at the required production volumes supported by documented evidence throughout the process.

IF deliberately does not mandate an APQP approach in our NPI programmes, instead encouraging organisations to consider which of the best practice concepts within it apply to their business and will drive competitive performance.

What is covered?

IF has drawn on our experience of NPI and project management tools to develop the ‘Industry Forum NPI Technical Assessment’ format. The approach is to assess the maturity of an organisation by asking questions over the 7 areas of activity associated with NPI shown in the image (Fig 1) and described in brief below.

The 7 stages of NPI process assessed during the NPI technical assessment

Programme Management – How the organisation structures the overall NPI process, project identification, resource management, risk management and project measurement.

Product and Process Definition – How the organisation captures and manages customer requirements to ensure manufacturing feasibility and design for manufacture.

Product Development – How the organisation manages the product design process, ensures it can be manufactured, manages product risk and ensures the design is fully validated.

Process Development – How organisation manages manufacturing process development, ensures manufacturing can achieve the design requirements, measures the product, manages risks and is certain that the required supporting infrastructure is in place.

Supplier Management – How the organisation integrates the external supply chain, ensures suppliers proactive input is utilised, NPI capability is assessed and that risks are managed.

Product and Process Validation – How the organisation ensures it is capable to manufacture not just the first off product but also the volume required considering validation of output, manufacturing capacity, test, inspection and the robustness of documentation evidence supplied to the customer.

Programme Review – How the organisation assesses NPI performance both to customer and internally, review the lessons learned and drive continuous improvement.

NPI Process Maturity   NPI Effectiveness Assesment image


The assessment comprises 36 questions in total covering the seven areas described above. Each question supports a rating from 1 to 5 showing increasing levels of maturity. To enable most effective assessment each question shows the typical types of documentation and behaviours that will be exhibited by the NPI process at a given maturity level.

The IF team consolidates the evidence and creates initial report outs for immediate review by managers and those who have contributed over the two days. Points of strength and opportunities for improvement are identified for each area of the assessment. Process maturity ratings in current state are collated as shown in figure below.

Expected benefits

  • Detailed and structured current state NPI assessment with gap areas clearly identified
  • Cross functional alignment on improvements required in area of NPI
  • Independent view of current state NPI process maturity

Customer feedback

Industry Forum NPI technical assessment has helped us immensely in understanding the improvements required with our current state NPI practices

Discussions during NPI assessment helped the team to build consensus on improvement required in cross functional areas

It was good to understand benchmark NPI practices through NPI assessment and at the same time set realistic improvement targets within our business environment