Developing new products - checklist

Developing new products - checklistUse this checklist to help to develop new products, from developing new ideas to setting budgets, deciding on product specification and prototyping.

  • Generate ideas for new and modified products - for example, from customer feedback, employee suggestions and technological developments.
  • Assess how these ideas fit with your strategy, market position and skills; confirm that you have the resources to devote to development.
  • Research the market, assessing customer requirements and sales potential; identify key risks and plan your marketing strategy.
  • Research the competition and potential competition; learn from competitors' successes and failures.
  • Form a project team covering all the key skills (eg marketing, design, production, purchasing and finance) led by a product champion.
  • Plan the critical path, identifying which activities must be undertaken in sequence and which can happen in parallel.
  • Set budgets, objectives and timescales; be prepared to regularly assess progress during the project and, if necessary, modify plans.
  • Assess risks to the project such as technical hurdles, availability of cash and other resources and whether you can secure intellectual property rights.
  • Define the basic product specification and translate specific features into product requirements; identify your key selling points.
  • Estimate the likely selling price and set target production costs; assess likely actual costs of development and production, allowing for contingencies.
  • Design the product, taking into account marketing, production and purchasing requirements.
  • Develop a prototype to iron out technical and production issues and to test market reaction; make any necessary changes.
  • Gear up for full-scale production and launch the product.
  • Continue to monitor the product's success and look for opportunities to further develop it.

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