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?
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.
Has your company addressed a process to manage product development?
Process Management – Keeping it Real!