Innovation and development are an integral part of every business model. Hence, launching new products and services is always one of the top agenda, the management ponders on. In a recent Executive Leadership Innovation Survey, in which 722 corporate executives participated, 60 per cent of them listed it among the top 3 priorities of the company. However, in the same survey, around 50 per cent of the participants reported that success in launching new products is not “developed and sustained” throughout their company. This highlights the concern that something so essential for the growth of the business, is also the thing companies don’t do well.
Based on what are the factors for successful product development of pioneering businesses, we have worked on a 5 step solution. Our solution is determined to overcome the challenges faced in performing this important business function. Go through all the steps to achieve better results.
5 Step Process for Successful Product Development
Step 1: Framing a Strategy
It all starts with having a purpose. And to achieve it, you need to make a focused and achievable plan that provides the framework for innovation success. A well-framed strategy constitutes the following elements:
- Strategic Intent: Intent represent the company’s long term vision for developing and commercializing a new product.
- Business Objectives: Based on the vision, objectives describe the specific goals with regard to product development.
- Financial Goals: Companies must tinker on financial aspects of their growth plan in terms of revenue, net income, driving price premium, higher gross product margin, etc.
- Potential of New Product: This element concentrates on the intended scope for the new product or services.
Step 2: Adhere to the Process
It has been observed that companies that stick to the process achieve better results in comparison to their competitors who don’t do that. Though the process models differ as per the business requirements, there are certain characteristics that are persistent to all successful process and approaches. They are:
- Dynamic and Iterative: Rigid plans seldom drive desired results. Agility and flexibility are a critical part of the development process. Also, best companies stress the importance of iteration. If required, you have to go backward on the otherwise, linear plan.
- Broad and Open: You can only do better by breaking through the impediments of the pasts and for that traditional barriers have to be removed. One of the barriers is the mindset of keeping innovation in four walls. In this fast-evolving world, you can not succeed just relying on your resources. Instead, you should ally with other firms and companies and reap the benefits of their research and resources.
- Customer Engaging: All your product development process should be customer-centric. You should find and engage lead users in the industry to actually co-design new products that will answer their needs.
Step 3: Balance the Portfolio
Avoid extremes, as this is most important for all business operations. The companies should balance their product development portfolios on the following dimensions:
- Time Horizon: Balance should be maintained between the need for new product launches that may take longer time and current operations
- Risk Profile: Companies should ascertain their new product/service have a perfect blend of definite things in addition to high-potential opportunities that are less certain.
- Elasticity Level: This refers to how far your new venture is from your base business. Avoid going too far in search of impact as it may fall apart.
Step 4: Develop Capabilities
Developing capabilities refers to having the talent required for achieving and sustaining the success in new product development. This includes the availability of softer skills along with technical skills for proper project management.
- Leadership: Talented and dedicated leaders are required to pave the way for success. Companies must ensure they have champions and star performers in their team.
- Strategy: As mentioned earlier, a sound and comprehensive strategy take your initiatives to heights. Hence, have leaders who possess strategic and critical thinking skills.
- Functional & Technical: A required set of skills is required for new product development. The capabilities of research, marketing, market study, along with analysis, creativity and generating ideas enhance innovation.
Step 5: Incorporate Values
Discipline and ethics of entrepreneurship are the core values contributing to the innovation and successful new product development. Both are complementary to each other. Discipline without entrepreneurship is hierarchical in nature which stagnates the growth and development. Whereas, a high degree of entrepreneurship in organizations without discipline lack focus, clarity and direction required for attaining success.
These actionable five steps, combined with efforts and good timing, have played a great role in the success of businesses. Implementing these practices and those specific to your new product development initiatives, you can surely trace a significant growth in your venture.