6 Tips That Make Product Development Work

April 19th, 2011 by Rob Berman Leave a reply »

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Any product introduction is only as successful as the planning and execution of the various stages prior to introduction. Consider these six tips for your next product development project.

1. Define what success looks like.

What metrics like sales, profit, market share, image in the marketplace will “prove” success?

2. Incentivize your product launch team.

The team needs to be properly motivated to succeed. Agree on techniques and processes that reward team members for breaking down traditional silos and bureaucracy that can hold back projects.

3. Team leaders need to lead, not be the most knowledgeable about products or technology.

Making your top sales representative the Sales Manager often does not work out because the skill sets are different.  The same is true with leading teams.  Appoint the leader who can manage people and process.

4. Agree early on about product positioning and targeting.

A great technique is to create a one-page talking points sheet.  Have each team member draft one.  Package all of them together and share them with the team.  Look for points of disagreement.  Discuss why they exist.  Solve them and move forward.

5. Have a detailed project plan and launch schedule.

Use whatever program or method that works for you to develop, track and share the plan.  Hold all parties responsible for their tasks and flag them when they fall behind.  Celebrate milestones together.

6. Plan for contingencies.

Stuff happens.  There might be regulatory, legal, manufacturing, shipping or many other types of delays.  Contingency plan for each of them.

The Takeaway

Successful product development requires planning, perseverance, and leadership.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Those are the ideas.  What do you think?  Please comment below.

1.      What other tips and tricks do you have for successful product development?

2.      What would you add or change about the points above?

3.      What characteristics are displayed by a successful product development leader?

If you would like to contact me, you may do so by visiting my LinkedIn page, following me on Twitter,  or e-mailing me at rcberman2 (at) yahoo (dot) com.

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