Running a technology-oriented, tangible product-based business comes with lots of moving parts. It can be complex and challenging sometimes. If you want to stay in control, keep overview and be focused on your business goals, you need structure in your new product development.
Structure brings overview, control, and efficiency and that’s exactly what you’ll benefit from when you’re defining, developing, manufacturing, and launching new products. When you implement the three tips that I’m sharing with you, you’ll experience small wins immediately in your daily business.
Tip one: Always make sure to create a solid product concept definition.
Before you start spending money on product development, you need to make sure that your product idea is commercial, technical, and financially feasible.
In the end you want to sell a product your customers are thrilled about, at a great margin. Doing market research will help you define the right product for your customers. Based on this input you can define the features and benefits and define a solid product concept definition.
Long before you can start selling, you need to know if your product idea can be realized from a technical point of view. Is it possible to have all the features, you have defined, included? Or do you need to make compromises and how does that translate in your end-product?
Another highly important factor in the decision whether it is wise to start developing your idea is the manufacturability of your new product. If you are good until prototyping, but in mass production you run into problems, it’s better not to start and spend money and time on this specific product. It is better in this case to go back to the drawing board and revise the specification. You need to make sure in the product definition phase that in mass production the quality targets of your product can be met.
Your goal is to make money with your new idea. Before spending huge amounts of money on engineering and prototyping, you want to know how profitable your investment will be. Therefore, executing a solid financial feasibility check is key to success.
Tip two: create a checklist with all deliverables needed for this new product development and assign team members to each task.
New development projects can be managed efficiently if you execute all tasks in a structured way. When you assign team members, it is clear to everyone what is expected of them. If you work with third parties, the communication structure should be clear from the get-go and will bring clarity and efficiency in the project.
Create this checklist by listing the deliverables in chronological order. Look at the timeline of your project to view what will occur first and what happens after that.
Tip three: organize your project documentation in a structured way
It is so tempting to store documents on your local drive because that seems easy and fast. But when you need a team member to review your document or adjust it, you do not want to be sending that document around for several times. It is inefficient and the latest version is one someone’s computer and not available to the rest of the team.
Therefore, storing project documentation on a shared drive or in the cloud is a good solution.
When you work on project documents make sure to update the version number of that document every time you make changes. By doing this, you are always certain you’re working on the latest version. Your team members are also clear which version is the latest one. When working on shared drives, often version control can be automated by ‘checking out’ documents when you start working on them and when you’re ready, ‘check them back in’.
There you have it, 3 tips to organize your new product development in an efficient way.
Product development doesn’t need to be complicated.
Let me show you how you can transform your new product idea into a thriving business.
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