Developing new products is expensive.
Not just the dollars that are spent but the huge amount of internal time it swallows up. In spite of management enthusiasm, most products fail. But this failure rate can be reduced simply by following a sound New Product Development system.
Perhaps the biggest error we see in developing new products is the lack of a process. But if you don’t have one, don’t worry. Few firms have one. But that is also an opportunity. If few have a good process, think of how your organization can beat the competition by getting better and faster with developing new products.
A good process may not be what you think. It is not a way to make all of your ideas successful. In fact, a key component of the process is to quickly identify those ideas that should not be pursued. We want to quickly abandon those poor opportunities to focus resources on those ideas that have a good probability of success. A good process will help you recognize the difference.
So how do you manage those crazy ideas that sometimes come from senior management? [If you have been involved in new product development for any time, you no doubt have run across this]. If you are not brave enough to tell the senior leader what you really think, you can place their idea into the process and let the objective process reveal its opportunity.
There are several benefits to a New Product Development System
- Increases the probability of success. It ensures a thorough process that weeds out those ideas that have a lower chance of success.
- Fails Fast. It will quickly identify those ideas that have a lower chance of success so that the investment in those poor ideas is limited.
- Manages Senior Management Ideas. If you have worked in new product development for any period of time, you will agree with this statement – Many of the worst ideas come from senior management. Placing these ideas into the process will allow you to provide management with objective feedback on their ideas.
- Norms. By taking all new ideas through the same process, you will develop your own norms for success.
Take control of your New Product efforts by creating a process. Of course, there is no one ideal process; you can start with one and modify it to fit your organization.