Part three in a three-part series on product development.
In part one of this series on managing product development, we looked at the importance of setting high-level strategy. The second part was about the process itself including implementing a structured framework and putting together a solid crossfunctional team. (Visit woodworkingcanada.com for parts one and two.) In this article, we look at doing the right projects and measuring progress.
It is management’s role to decide which projects get funded. This task is often referred to as portfolio management and while risk is inherent to new product development, managing it is crucial. From a product developer’s perspective, a high-risk situation is one in which much is at stake or the outcome is uncertain. For example, if it’s unclear whether the product is technically feasible or will do well in the market. If uncertainties are high, it’s a good idea to keep amounts at stake low. As the uncertainties decrease, the amounts at stake can be increased.