In the technology business, growth comes from new products that satisfy the customer. New product innovation is the key to growth, be it in mature segments when taking share from competitors or in growing markets where time-to-market is the driver.
3-Stages of Development
We work with clients at three critical stages of new product development. To define strategy--aligning business direction with the “customer’s voice,” to manage the fuzzy-front-end in order to select the right products to develop, and then to improve the performance of the new product development execution system in order to get more with less.
Fuzzy-Front-End -- Optimize Portfolio
When managed, the fuzzy-front-end represents an opportunity to dramatically accelerate the overall cycle-time of product development. Further, selecting the right products improves the chances of future product success in the market and, when done right, optimizes resources in order to get the “biggest-bang for the innovation buck.” Aligning the product portfolio with available resources is critical in today’s economy. Selecting the right products, driven by voice-of-the-customer (VOC) inputs, improves margin and grows market share. Essential for survival in today’s changing technology segments.
We use decision models to filter new product ideas, first evaluating ideas for their strategic fit, and then how well they meet economic metrics. This is a managed process with dedicated resources and schedules in order to quickly determine the optimal portfolio mix, based on available investment capital. The start-control process prioritizes the new product projects based on the ideas that most contribute the business objectives. It is a continuous analysis and investment process that keeps the pipeline fed with the best new product ideas.
New Product Execution Systems -- Optimize NPD Cycle-Time
Once initiated, we have processes and tools to radically improve the effectiveness of development teams while making sure VOC is continually refreshed through the development cycle. Using a foundation of best-practices, we engage directly with high-priority project teams to structure the execution system. This results in more efficient resource usage and accelerated time-to-market cycles. Getting product to market at the right time enables higher ASP, produces higher margins, and a longer sales life.
Continuous Improvement -- Success Analysis
The key to a healthy new product development eco-system is a method of evaluating success and failure of new products. We have tools and methods to continuously refine the product selection and execution processes to improve the rate of new product success. Increasing NPD success rate can have a significant impact on financial performance and corporate growth.
For many years we worked at the "back end" of the time-to-market problem on "rescue" efforts to save failing projects that were late. They had failed (in most cases) because they started late, were resource starved, and there was no aggregate new product portfolio plan with clear prioritization and “starts-control.” Today we engage with clients at the “front-end,” where we have greater impact on our client's profitability.
We work with the portfolio of projects and their relationship to business strategy and to an organization’s ability to execute. The time-to-market problem is typically caused by too many projects, too few resources, wrong skills, and little prioritization--so the limited resources are stretched across all the projects, making most of them late.
We have methods and tools to manage the completed development life cycle including the “fuzzy-front-end” where these decisions must be made in order to optimize the portfolio. When we engage at the project level, it is on the key projects in the portfolio.