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BETTER NPD BLOG


About Silver Streak Partners

 

Silver Streak Partners' work is carried out by its Principal, John Farnbach, with the help of other experts and associates as needed.

 

My work is not specific to an industry or technology -- I can help any client who is investing in new product development and whose success depends on the results of that investment.

 

I approach each engagement seeking to provide a tailored solution that fits the client's unique goals, markets and culture and optimizes the performance of the whole product innovation system. Then I work to support the client with consulting and coaching to quickly deploy lasting improvements.


 

Principal

 

 

 

I'm John Farnbach, the Principal of Silver Streak Partners.  I think it's important to know about the values I apply in my work as well as my experience.

 

 

 

My Values:  Copying the "best practices" of others will only get you where they were a few years ago.  I believe practices should be tailored to the client's unique circumstances, and my role is to give each client an unbiased diagnosis of issues with new thinking about solutions, then help to implement changes.  I'll analyze your situation, help you decide what's best for your company, then help you get it done.

 

Your company vision goes beyond financial results.  You have to produce solid financial performance, but you want something more.  I work to understand where you want to go and what youíve already accomplished so I can help you fulfill your vision.

                                              

Having good people isn't enough.  Good people can produce poor results in a poorly functioning system.  One of my primary jobs is to help you create a business operation that supports, rather than undermines, people's efforts.

 

Good decisions are always a balance.  In both life and business, important questions are never black and white.  I work hard to steer clients away from polarized, one-sided decision processes.

 

Product development depends on fluid communications.  Competitive new product programs must integrate information from people and functions across your company.  As companies grow, they need to formalize communications, but overly formalized systems lead to rigid communications that limit the flow of information. 

 

My experience: My consulting is based on what I've learned in 35 years working in and managing product development, marketing, and business units and teaching business finance for engineers in organizations such as:

  • Aztek Engineering Inc. (telecom software)

  • Boulder Imaging Inc. (image processing systems)

  • Brooktree Corp.

  • Comlinear Corporation

  • Global semiconductor company

  • Hewlett-Packard Co.

  • Industrial measurement company

  • PrarieTek Corp. (disk drives)

  • Quest Product Development (Engineering services)

  • Rockwell Semiconductor

  • Sandia Laboratories

  • Scientific laser company

  • University of Colorado Boulder

I have a Ph.D. and BS from Princeton University and an MS from the University of New Mexico.  All my degrees are in electrical engineering.

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My Approach

Custom Tailored SolutionsI take a different approach. I don't try to shoehorn someone elseís "best practices" into your company.  And I donít just leave you with big ideas.  I can help you focus, plan, and implement solutions with customized coaching and training.

I have experience in both big and small companies, and I know that methods and practices have to be appropriate to the clientís organization: You need solutions created just for your company.  My goal in all I do is to help you create solutions that stick because: 

  • Solutions support the clientís way of working, vision, culture and values 

  • New product stakeholders are aligned with a common understanding of issues and solutions. 

  • New product investments are driven by business goals

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A System ApproachThe responsibility for product innovation results is not just in the engineering department. Your product innovation effort is a dynamic interconnected system of activities and decisions that span your entire organization. 

Systems engineers know that performance depends on the entire system and that the interactions among elements are as important as the individual elements themselves.  Performance of any one element may be limited by interactions elsewhere in the system.

Optimizing system performance requires balancing conflicting constraints on individual elements. System performance is optimized by limiting the impact of trade-offs wherever possible and balancing the trade-offs that remain.

Product innovation is also a system with conflicting objectives among interacting elements - a system continually influenced by internal and external forces. Skillful leadership and clear communications enable your organization to stay in healthy, dynamic, high performing balance.

I understand product development systems and organizations and the critical trade-offs and cause-and-effect chains that may limit performance.  

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