Introduction to Chapter 6.02: Development

Quick Summary: Product Development activities need to extend well before and well after work has begun.

Abstract:

Development activities involve far more than the actual process of developing a product or service.  Those activities occur well before and well after the first line of code or mechanical layout ever begins.  Without adequately considering those before and after issues, the energy involved in actually creating the product can be wasted or the end-result being less effective than envisioned.

The target audience for this chapter is far greater than those individuals that are directly involved in the development of a new product or service.  Those individuals may be disappointed in the chapter’s lack of focus on development tools and techniques and comparisons of stage-gate, waterfall or agile development methodologies or other tactical issues associated with the direct creation of a product or service.  Those activities are, indeed, very important, but they only represent a fraction of the activities associated with the creation of a product or service.

The Wikipedia article: New Product Development, is an excellent source of information on the subject.  The definition of New Product Development contained at that site helps to put the scope of product development in perspective.  It is:

“The transformation of a market opportunity into a product available for sale.”

There is no question that the actual development activity is encompassed in this definition but it also is intended to include many more activities before the actual development takes places and extends well after the product leaves the development team’s hands.

This chapter highlights many of those before, during, and after issues that have direct impacts on the product development activities.  Upon reviewing those issues, it will become clear that the impacted individuals and organizations extend far beyond the development team and, hence, a broader targeted audience for this chapter.

The following is a list and brief description of the sections included in this chapter.  It is interesting to note that many of the subjects in these sections could have easily been included in other chapters in this collection.  In fact, there are multiple references to other articles throughout this chapter.

 

Section

Overview

01 Introduction

This section includes comments regarding the scope of new product development.

02 Overall Concepts

There are a few “table stakes” issues that apply to all product development efforts.

03 Vision

It is important to think about what happens after product development has been completed.  Essentially, it involves setting the destination before starting down a path.

04 Schedule

There is no other single issue that receives more attention and creates more heartache than issues that involve product availability and timing.

05 Requirements

Listing requirements: the functionality that a product is supposed to do is critical and often leads to significant misunderstanding.

06 Implementation

Managing the practical issues during product development must be viewed as part of the process and not as distractions that interrupt work flow. It includes documentation and testing as part of the overall process.

 

From the brief descriptions above, the overlap between some of the sections should be obvious.  Also, as previously mentioned, many of the subjects could have been included in other chapters such as Marketing, Strategy, Customers, Competition, and Quality.

 

Article Number : 6.020101   

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