This post was Ranked the #1 Innovation Blog among top 40 Entrepreneur Blogs for 2013.
Topics: Stage-Gate, Ideas, Screening, Testing, Analytics, Planning, Marketing, Post-Launch, Flexible
New Product Development Process. [NPD] Every entrepreneur knows that productivity is one of the key ingredients for successful product development. A formalized, NPD process — also referred to and best practice: the Stage Gate Process — is a must, from simple to sophisticated.
The Star-Gate (no) Stage-Gate Innovation process, is a result of comprehensive research on reasons why products succeed, and why they fail. When teams collaborate in developing new innovations, having the following 8 Steps in your team’s new product developmental process will ensure that the product’s overall marketability will happen relatively quick, and accurately — making everyone happy across the board.
Step 1: Generating the Idea
Utilizing basic internal and external SWOT analyses (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity & Threat), as well as learning current “marketing trends”, can get you a jump on your competition by generating ideas which keep Affordability, ROI & Distribution costs into account.
Lean, mean & scalable are the key points to keep in mind. During the NPD process, keep the system nimble and use flexible discretion over which activities are executed. You may want to develop multiple versions of your road map – scaled to suit different types and risk levels of projects.
Step 2: Screening the Idea
Set specific criteria for ideas that should be continued or dropped. Stick to this criteria – so poor projects can be sent back to the idea cloud early on. Pre-Screening product ideas, means: 1) taking your top 3 competitors’ 2) other new innovations into account, 3) how much market share they have, 4) what benefits end users expect etc.
Step 3: Testing the Concept
It is different from Test Marketing. Aside from patent research, design “due diligence”, and other legalities involved with new product development, knowing where your marketing messages will work best, is often the biggest part of testing the concept. #1 Does the user understand, need or want the product or service?
Step 4: Business Analytics
During the New Product Development process, use metrics to monitor progress. Include input metrics, such as average time in each stage, as well as output metrics that measure the value of launched products, percentage of new product sales and other figures that provide valuable feedback. It is important for an organization to be in agreement for these criteria & metrics. Even if an idea doesn’t turn into product, keep it in the que, because it can prove to be a valuable asset for future products and a basis for learning & growth.
Step 5: Beta [Market-ability] Tests
Arranging private tests groups, launching beta versions, and then forming test panels after the product or products have been tested will provide you with valuable information allowing last minute improvements & tweaks. Not to mention helping to generate a small amount of buzz. WordPress is becoming synonymous with beta testing, and it’s effective. Thousands of programmers contribute code, millions test it, and finally even more download the completed end-product.
Step 6: Technicalities & Product Development
Provided the technical aspects can be perfected without alterations to post-beta products, heading towards a smooth Step 7 is imminent. Planning: 1) make plans to produce the product in- or out-house, 2) marketing will make plans to have a campaign, 3) determine if you need to find Funding to Launch. Refining after Beta Testing involves final database preparations, estimation of server resources, & planning automated logistics.
Step 7: Beyond initial Marketing
At this stage, your new product developments have gone viral (you hope), consumers are purchasing your good or service, & technical support is consistently monitoring progress. Keeping your distribution pipelines loaded with products is an integral part of this process too, as one prefers not to give physical (or perpetual) shelf space to competition. Refreshing promotions during this stage will keep your product’s name firmly lodged into the minds of those in the decision stages of purchase.
Step 8: Post Lunch Nap (no) Launch Review = Perfecting Pricing
Review the NPD process efficiency and look for continued improvements. Most new products are introduced with introductory pricing, in which final prices are finalized after consumers have accepted the product. In this final stage, you’ll gauge overall “value” relevant to costs of production, marketing & distribution. Long term you continuously monitor consumer needs as your products age, forecast profits & improve delivery process.
Keep the New Product Development cycle flexible.
The entire new product development process is an ever-evolving Testing Platform where errors will be made, designs will get trashed, & failures can be a learning experience. Having your entire team working in tight synchronicity will ensure the successful launch of goods or services, even if reinventing your own wheel. Productivity during product development can be achieved if, and only if, goals are clearly defined along the way and each process has contingencies clearly outlined.
Comments: Are there any other Steps needed to be added?
from Huff Posts Blogs 09 Mar 14 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
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