Product Guy by profession. Heads a Design studio. Designs and helps small teams put good plans together, so meaningful things take life. Ideas are nothing without execution. Have put up buildings, have shipped products for tanks, battleships, cars, trucks. Believes that doing is better than talking.
Complex question. Try having no more than 3-4 project per PM if they are small.
1. Project management capacity is not a robust metric. Optimize project success not load efficiency.
2. Project velocity can be simply color coded. Green for nominal, orange for at risk, red in jeopardy.
3. All deadlines should be hard. If one is missed, diagnose problem, resolve root cause of problem, set new deadline.
4. Same with color code.
The secret is building teams that are empowered to make decisions, accountable and autonomous. It sounds tough, start with focus. Measure only what's important.
We can talk more in detail if you need more help.
First. Frame the problem. Tip: absence of a product or solution is not a problem.
Second. Paint and experiential solution. You know, describe a picture of the future where this problem isn't around. This is the WHY your product must exist.
Third. Figure out HOW you're going to do it. Demand meaning from every feature, technology and attribute. If it doesn't get you to point #2 above? it's fluff, get rid of it.
Fourth. Consolidate and Shape ideas from #3 into concepts. Now bounce it against #1 with some really good criteria. Some of this will have come from #2.
Tip: There should only be several things your product MUST do really well. Everything else is secondary. Focus.
All things held equal, If I'm more productive I win. The world has plenty of challenges, productivity and hard-work is something I can control.
The type that believes what you believe. Not trying to make a buck off you.
I always start by listing out what my packaging must do. Yours looks like thermal insulation, cooling, protecting the food in travel, expressing your brand, and perhaps presenting your food.
The ice feels expensive, is it dry ice? Would you consider having a return program, where you can reuse the ice.
But to answer your question directly, I prefer having my network do the vetting for me. Failing that, Google has been a friend.