Product management

How to Collect & Evaluate New Product Ideas

How to Collect & Evaluate New product Ideas
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Let’s talk how to Collect & Evaluate New Product Ideas and create successful product concepts in an efficient and structured way. For all business owners and product managers, who like to get some tips on how to do this in a fun but efficient way, keep reading!

One Central place to write down ideas

When you are creating a new product idea most of the time, this list is based on product ideas that you get under the shower or while driving to work or while working out or whatever activity you’re doing.

Or sometimes maybe even in a meeting you think of something really exciting and new you’d like to create the best thing to have is one place where you can write down these new ideas.

Old-fashioned paper or a digital file?

You can use paper to write down all these new ideas and concepts or you can use your computer and use a digital template where you write down or collect all your new ideas. And in this template, whether it’s on paper or on your computer, you give your new idea or product a name, it doesn’t matter a lot right now because it’s not final yet, so a short description will do.

And that’s it. So, you don’t forget about it. After you’ve written down your idea, it’s there and you can work on it later. That’s step number one if you want to remember your new product ideas.

Create a product long list

Then step number two is to create a product long list. And this long list consists of product ideas that you’ve written down in your file and which are quite serious. You would like to evaluate these ideas with your team. You can use an Excel file for that or another spreadsheet like Google Sheets.  You make a list of all your product ideas, called the Product Long List.

How to evaluate these new product ideas?

And then you’re going to evaluate these ideas based on for example, the business strategy. And, of course, you organize a meeting with your project team and other stakeholders in your business that have a vote if the idea is good enough, or not, to pursue. Open your spreadsheet and show it on the big screen.  

You have one column with all the new product ideas. Start answering questions with your team like:

  • Does this new product idea fit in our business strategy?
  • Does your new product idea fit your product strategy?
  • Does it have a market fit?
  • Is there a need to your customers?
  • Do they have a need for this new product idea?
  • Is the price you think you can ask for this new idea good fit?
  • Is there a supplier fit if you produce your new products at a third-party supplier?
  • Do you already have third party supplier in mind?
  • Who can do this?
  • Or do you have to search for a new supplier?
  • Is there a quality restraint?
  • Or are there certification restraints because your products need to comply to legal standards and that can differ per country and per region?
  • You have to evaluate with your team if you have a challenge?
  • How big is that challenge?
  • Do you know that you can meet all requirements because you already have products on the market that are quite similar?

Green, Orange or Red Scores?

Those factors you are going to evaluate and rate and at the end of your exercise, you will have a green light and your product idea is has passed all the test criteria. Or you may have an orange light because you have to work out some things.

Or you have a red light because it’s too difficult. You don’t have a supplier, it’s no fit with your product strategy or company strategy. It’s too expensive or maybe your customers are not really into it.

How to create a Product Short List?

From your long list, based on the results in the evaluation, you can create a Product Short List. This is also an Excel file. And in that Excel file or spreadsheet, you can then continue with the products that are green and orange.

You need to research these ideas in more detail. So in the meantime, between those two meetings between the long list meeting and a shortlist meeting, you’ve done some market research, you’ve talked to suppliers, you found out whether it’s easy to have this product manufactured and certified for your market, you’ve checked with your customers if they’re in for it.

How to score your Short List?

You check manufacturability, you check technical feasibility, and you check of course also the financial feasibility of your new product idea. Can you make it for the right price? And can you sell it at the right place price? Based on the outcome, you sit together again with your team, and you’re going to decide on your new product ideas.

And of course, there is a verdict in the end.  Your product meets all those requirements and passes and gets a green light, or your product turns into a red light because it’s not a good idea after all.

Creating exciting product concepts

You check manufacturability, you check technical feasibility, and you check of course also the financial feasibility of your new product idea. Can you make it for the right price? And can you sell it at the right place price? Based on the outcome, you sit together again with your team, and you’re going to decide on your new product ideas.

And of course, there is a verdict in the end.  Your product meets all those requirements and passes and gets a green light, or your product turns into a red light because it’s not a good idea after all.

And you’re going to do more market research based on those concepts, to see if they’re really viable. So that’s it, the steps to take to collect and evaluate some new product ideas.

Create a template in a spread sheet for this product idea evaluation

If you create a template in a spread sheet for this product idea evaluation, you can use it every time you need to work on your new product long list and product short list.

Make sure that you use the same template repeatedly. Try to keep that learning curve for people in your team and stakeholders as low as possible. By using the same templates and the same processes, it’s recognizable for everybody.

And you do not don’t need to explain it over and over again because it’s clear from the get-go.

So, I hope this is a valuable exercise for you, one that you can immediately apply in your daily project management activities.

Wanna learn more on how to create amazing concept drawings of your new idea? Check out this blog article by clicking here!

Are you in need of a step by step approach to manage your project team, click here to download my free guide

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SUPER ORGANISED, SPORTY, INTERIOR DESIGN LOVER, PASSIONATE ABOUT PRODUCT CREATION & AMAZING AT STRUCTURING ANYTHING. 

Hi, I'm Marie-Louise.

I teach business owners and entrepreneurs effective action steps for professionalizing their new product development process to take their business to the next level. 

Because I want to help you take the next step in professionalizing your business, I have created an online program focussed at creating a structured and efficient product development process in your business.

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