Winning the Product Development Race
Seeing an idea, a twinkle in an entrepreneur’s eye become a successful product is a dream come true. From the moment of enlightenment or the aha moment when an idea is born, the natural urge to rush as quickly as possible from concept to finished product can put that great idea and potentially successful product at significant risk. Critically important steps are missed or ignored and shortcuts are taken, all with predictable results.
In the world of successful product development, a tested, well defined and faithfully executed process is the glue that holds it all together. It keeps everyone on the course and on schedule. It is the thing that enables a great idea to become a truly successful product.
The starting point for successful product development must be a foundation that carefully and clearly articulates agreed‐upon requirements. The requirements must then be followed by a logical and disciplined sequence of development phases; conceptual design, detailed design and documentation, design verification testing, pre‐production, and production.
In the following pages, we describe the Finish Line PDS product development process and share our insight into what we believe are the keys to success
Product Development Process ———— 2
Requierements Documents —————– 3
Conceptual Design — 4
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Detailed Design — 6
Design Verification Test — 7
Pre-Production Planning — 9
Product Sucess — 12
Innovation may be necessary, but it is never sufficient.
Innovation is great. It will make your product more competitive; however, it will not “make” your product. Customers only pay for change if it is nicely packaged into a product that gets to market on time and for a reasonable price. For every 100 innovative ideas, only one is successfully brought to market. The scarcity is not in innovation but execution.
According to Fiona Patterson in her paper Characteristics & Behaviors of Innovative People in Organizations, innovative people tend to have certain personality traits:
Conclusion: Innovative people are not likely to be key drivers to successful execution and closure. Execution and closure require high social skills, organization, methodology, and attention to detail. These are not the personality traits of an innovator.
In his famous book Good to Great, Jim Collins argues that the first order of business is getting the right people on the bus and in the right seats. For start‐ups, understanding the need for innovators and executors and the difference between them is the key to getting the right people onto the bus and into the correct seat.