Product Management Lifecycle

You may call it New Product Development; New Product Introduction; Product Management; or Product Management Lifecycle.  I see it as the logical extension of product lifecycle management [PLM].

The lifecycle of a product usually begins with a ‘change order’.  Even a brand new product will be released with a change order [or change notice or by some other name].  Still, it starts in engineering and moves through manufacturing and not much beyond.

But, what does the real lifecycle of a product look like?

It starts with the customer.  Sales interfaces with the customer – they uncover something the customer wants.  They take this to marketing so that product requirements can be gathered.  Marketing will decide if it makes business sense to manufacture this product [market size, revenue potential, profit potential, etc.].  They will meet with engineering to arrive at a compromise between what they can sell and what they can manufacture.  The compromise is called an engineering requirements document.  While engineering is developing the product, marketing is developing their marketing/sales plans.  Manufacturing is coming up with how to manufacture the widget.  Manufacturing will develop work instructions.  Support will come up with support plans.  It is like an orchestra – different instruments [departments] playing different parts at different times – all without an orchestra conductor.

If product lifecycle management is a key process, doesn’t it make sense that the lifecycle of a product [product management lifecycle] is a key process?

My Thoughts…

I have been touting managing this process for years.  It is amazing to me how few companies have addressed this process.

I have found a company that understands the importance of this process and is going to address it.  I tip my hat to them.

Their expectations [and yours too]:

Lower costs – Remove non-value add activities from the process.  With total visibility into the process, you can head off problems. 

Increased revenues – If you can shorten the time it takes to go from idea to product, you can get your product to market sooner – beating the competition.  It used to take Detroit 5 years to turn around a new car while Toyota took half that time.

Increased profits – Lower costs plus Increased revenues will result in increased profits.

Your Thoughts…

Has your company addressed a process to manage product development?

Process Management – Keeping it Real!


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