Product Development Best Practices

Proven Product Development Leading Practices to Adopt

  • Best Practices (#94) / Product Development / Idea Generation

    Best Practice (Good)
    Form customer visit teams during the ideation process that will directly interview and solicit needs, requirements and new product ideas from potential users or consumers. Use a standardized interview format to collect answers to improve comparability.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Perform ad hoc market and customer research to gather product requirements and generate ideas.
    Benefits: Gives the Product Development team the ability to focus on unspoken customer needs and gather real-world feedback on the problems that the product or service is trying to solve.
  • Best Practices (#95) / Product Development / Research & Development

    Best Practice (Good)
    Implement rigorous milestones for early stage R&D projects that restrict the continuation of a project unless it meets certain defined success criteria.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Cancel R&D projects only if the cost exceeds certain defined budgetary limitations. Over emphasize and encourage failure and risk-taking.
    Benefits: Ensures faster failure. Reduces the cost of failure by setting up controls early on in the stage-gate process. The goal is not to prevent failure but to ensure that the majority of failed projects are terminated earlier in the stage-gate process.
  • Best Practices (#96) / Product Development / Research & Development

    Best Practice (Good)
    Use the company’s own employees as ‘customers’ for initial market research and testing for new products. Use internal surveys to identify employees who are within the target market of the product being developed.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Use focus groups and external resources to perform market research and testing for new products.
    Benefits: Reduces marketing research cost and cycle time and also empowers employees by giving them a ‘say’ in new product development.
  • Best Practices (#97) / Product Development / Engineering & Design

    Best Practice (Good)
    Make product information and details (safety specifications, market information, engineering details, materials, project timelines, etc.) available to all members of the Product Development team (design, engineering, research, testing, etc.) through a company intranet or centralized project management portal.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Rely on front-line management to communicate product details (safety specifications, market information, engineering details, materials, project timelines, etc.) to all members of the Product Development team.
    Benefits: Reduces prototype development cycle time and improves product quality by fostering increased communication and collaboration across all aspects of product development
  • Best Practices (#98) / Product Development / Product Management

    Best Practice (Good)
    Create a standardized framework to prioritize each of your product requirements individually and communicate this prioritization matrix to all product development team members.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    List all product requirements, prioritize them as ‘nice-to-have’ or ‘need-to-have’ and communicate them to front-line product development team managers.
    Benefits: Ensures that design and development teams focus on the most vital aspects of the product before diving into less important details.
  • Best Practices (#99) / Product Development / Project Management

    Best Practice (Good)
    All proposed marketing initiatives should include revenue improvement projections, anticipated intangible benefits and proposed workload requirements.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Assess proposed marketing initiatives based mostly on the expertise and "gut feelings" of the product management and marketing teams.
    Benefits: Ties hard data into proposed marketing initiatives and allows stakeholders to make smarter, more informed decisions.
  • Best Practices (#100) / Product Development / Product Testing

    Best Practice (Good)
    Report product testing methodology and results uniformly to all product development team members (design, engineering, research, management, procurement, etc.) immediately upon completion of testing process.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Report product test results, as they are completed, only to the necessary stakeholders within the product development team.
    Benefits: Ensures that all team members are aware of identified bugs or defects (as well as how those bugs or defects were identified) that could directly or indirectly affect their individual responsibilities.
  • Best Practices (#101) / Product Development / Product Packaging

    Best Practice (Good)
    Strike an acceptable balance between package efficiency and strength, and ensure that the pallet space used in transportation is used completely (no excess pallet space) by the units being shipped.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Pack units on any pallet available in preparation for transportation. Focus on cost-effectiveness and environmental concerns when designing product packaging.
    Benefits: Maximizes the number of units on each pallet and ensures that packaging is both cost-effective and able to withstand drops and shifts during the transportation process. Also improves fuel usage by allowing more units to be transported in each shipment.
  • Best Practices (#102) / Product Development / Product Management

    Best Practice (Good)
    Use historical data and lessons learned from past product launches to guide the post-launch review process for new products and identify trends that can be helpful in adjusting to certain economic conditions or customer feedback.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Minimize focus and analysis of data and trends from past launches and focust instead on new products and services.
    Benefits: Ensures analysts have a groundwork when setting goals for product performance and crunching related data, instead of starting from scratch. Also helps to identify product launch trends and how a company can use historical data to influence future decisions.
  • Best Practices (#103) / Product Development / Product Quality & Safety

    Best Practice (Good)
    Create a uniform communication plan to all members of the product quality team (managers, quality analysts, frontline workers) so they are aware of issues, proactively prevent them and suggest improvements.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Report product quality problems only to the necessary stakeholders within the product quality team.
    Benefits: Increases communication and collaboration across all teams involved with product quality, and allows all team members to voice their concerns and mention any improvement opportunities they might find.

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