How to identify if your business needs a product development method.
Product development is a process by which new products are designed and manufactured in order to create value for the consumer and the business. Product development methods are being adopted by most businesses, in order to have an edge in the competition. Although there are many different product development methods that can be used depending on the business’ needs and requirements, this article discusses how to identify which method is best suited for your business and how you can use it to produce a profitable product.
When trying to identify if your business needs a product development method, the first step you need to consider is your business’ goals and objectives. This includes identifying what you want out of your product development project, how it will help your business grow and why it needs to be done in the first place. Once this is done, you should have an idea on how much time, budget and resources are needed for the product development process.
Product development methods
As mentioned, there are many different product development methods like agile and waterfall that can be used depending on what type of product is being developed. The main types of product development methods include:
- Breakthrough Product Development Method (BPDM):
The BPDM was developed by James Dyson and his team. The method is based on designing, creating and testing prototypes and finally commercializing the product successfully in a short period of time. The goal is to ensure that the design not only works well but also looks good. As a result, designers should be able to engage with consumers throughout the entire process .
- Boeing’s New Product Development Method (B- NPD):
This type of product development takes into account multiple business functions such as quality, production planning, supply chain management, marketing and sales while at the same time ensuring safety measures are taken during production to prevent errors from happening. This helps companies manage risks accordingly while still making their way towards meeting deadlines.
- Incremental Product Development Method (IPDM):
This process involves continuous product development that allows companies to introduce incremental changes over time. This method helps consumers transition from using the old design to the new one gradually, rather than abruptly.
- Breakthrough product development method (BPDM)
This process helps companies create breakthrough products that are different from other existing similar products. This method is useful for developing innovative products that help companies take an advantage over their competitors.
- Teardown Analysis:
This is a popular product development strategy where reverse engineering of the competitor’s product is done to understand their design, while also taking down important details on materials used and manufacturing processes. This gives you deeper knowledge about how your competitor was able to come up with the product in an efficient way.
It involves creating comparable specifications of the competing product that can then be analyzed against your own company’s product specification sheet. You can read more about benchmarking here .
There are several product development methods available to companies. Two of these include:
(i) Competitor Analysis; and
(ii) Affinity Diagramming.
Here’s how both methodologies work:
(1) With competitor analysis, you examine your competitors’ products and try to understand their similarities and differences with your own;
– With affinity diagramming, you gather a group of people from various departments within the company (e.g., marketing, sales/customer service, etc.) for a brainstorming session around different ideas that they may have about what could be done with existing or new products. Each participant writes down an idea on a piece of paper, and then the ideas are clustered together based on what they have in common.
(2) The methodologies are being used by marketers because the market environment has changed over the past decade—in particular, there has been an increase in the number of competitors to existing products, low barriers to enter new markets, highly fragmented industry structure (i.e., no dominant players), decreasing product life cycles, shortening time to adopt innovative ideas across different departments within firms, etc. Yet companies continue to struggle with developing effective marketing strategies that enable them to stay ahead of their competition. The methods may be helpful in this regard because they essentially provide actionable insights for formulating competitive advantage.
Here’s how both methodologies work:
The BCG analysis is a method of strategic planning used to evaluate potential and existing market or business units. A simple example would be the decision whether to close down, maintain, or expand an existing business unit (the focus of the study). The basic approach was developed at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in 1969 and became famous as “the Boston Box”. It has been widely used since then by corporations throughout the world. The primary goal of constructing a BCG matrix is to determine if an investment should be maintained, cut back, or expanded.
Thus Product development methods are crucial for companies to survive in the current fast-paced technology driven world. An effective product development process allows an organization to streamline their process of developing profitable products, achieve shorter development time and bring them to the market sooner.