How Incivility Impacts New Product Development (NPD)

Rude2A disturbing trend in business today is the increasing incidence of rude behavior in the workplace. You might dismiss incivility and chalk it up to the increased stress level in every organization today that’s a result of the tough, competitive environment we all face. Senior management might take the attitude that it is small price to pay and employees should be grateful just to have a job.  But what is the impact of incivility on the bottom line, and in particular, the effectiveness of new product development (NPD)? That is the subject of this article. Continue reading

Critical Aspects of Project Portfolio Management in NPD Success

Fuzzy Front End 2For those managing new product development, the “fuzzy front end” including project portfolio management remains a key challenge. A recent survey provides compelling evidence of just how difficult it is. In the 2012 Third Product Portfolio Management Benchmark Study, almost 70% of the respondents listed “too many projects for our resources” as their primary problem in managing project portfolios. In these difficult economic times, every organization has to become more effective at determining which projects to resource. The decisions made at the front end of the process drive success at the back end. Multiple surveys (1) find that best-performing firms derive about half of their sales and profits from new products. Continue reading

Fostering Inspiration and Creativity in New Product Development (NPD)

creativityInnovation is all about matching a technology to a market need. That is the essence of new product development (NPD). The entire innovation process, whether related to actually engineering the product or addressing a market in a new and unique way, demands high levels of inspiration and creativity among all involved in NPD. Creativity and inspiration is not a process that can be turned into an efficient “algorithm” like so many other business processes. Not much new in those statements. The real question is what levers can management pull in order to influence high levels of creativity? That is the subject of this article. Continue reading

The Role of Product Launch Decisions in NPD

Product Launch GraphicWith any new product development (NPD) project, there comes the time when management must decide how and when to announce the new product to the market. This is an especially important decision for highly-engineered complex products. At one end of the spectrum, you might decide to wait until you are essentially 100% sure that all the technical issues have been resolved and shipments can begin immediately upon introduction.  This of course is the least risky decision. At the other end of the spectrum, you might pre-announce the new product well before the technical issues are resolved and even commit to the ship date. This latter decision typically carries significant risk, particularly in terms of meeting the ship dates if there is still much technical uncertainty to be resolved. As with many NPD decisions, context is important, including for instance the type of industry and customer expectations. The decision may be different based on whether the product is an extension of an existing product that is already shipping, a new-to-the-world radical innovation, or is a product and technology new to the firm, but not new to the market. Continue reading