How to develop new products
- 1 Generate ideas for new and modified products: for example, from customer feedback, employee suggestions and technical developments.
- 2 Assess how these ideas fit with your strategy, market position and skills; confirm that you have the resources to devote to development.
- 3 Research the market, assessing customer requirements and sales potential; identify key risks and plan your marketing strategy.
- 4 Research the competition and potential competition; learn from competitors’ successes and failures.
- 5 Form a project team covering all the key skills (eg marketing, design, production, purchasing and finance) and led by a product champion.
- 6 Plan the critical path, identifying which activities must be undertaken first and which can happen in parallel.
- 7 Set budgets, objectives and timescales; regularly assess progress during the product development project and, if necessary, modify plans.
- 8 Assess other risks to the project such as technical hurdles and whether your intellectual property can be protected.
- 9 Define the basic product specification and translate specific features into product requirements; identify your key selling points.
- 10 Estimate the likely selling price and set target production costs; assess likely actual costs of development and production, allowing for contingencies.
- 11 Design the product, taking into account marketing, production and purchasing requirements.
- 12 Develop a prototype : iron out technical and production issues and to test market reaction; make any necessary changes.
- 13 Gear up for full-scale production and launch the product.
- 14 Continue to monitor the product's success and look for opportunities to further develop it.
- use customer wants and needs to drive product development
- investigate competitors’ plans and products
- assess and control risks
- involve a full project team from the outset
- plan the critical path
- expect setbacks, and be prepared to modify your plans
- conduct trials before committing to full-scale production
- develop new ideas without adequate market research
- overlook the threat of new competition
- attempt over-ambitious projects
- let your existing products become stale