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product innovation blog

Are you working on the right new product development projects?

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A common theme we hear from Executives…

“I don’t know if we’re working on the right New Product Development projects, and I keep hearing that projects are late because we don’t have enough resources. The solution to every problem seems to be ‘Give me more people,’ but I’m not going to throw more resources into NPD if we can’t even manage the resources we already have.”

Sounds familiar? This is probably the most common theme we hear from the leaders of our client companies. Some companies already have a portfolio management and resource allocation software system in place, but it’s rarely used or relied upon. Whether the software system is home-grown or the best that money can buy, if it doesn’t clearly identify the most valuable projects, and kill inappropriate projects, and optimize resources without imposing an excessive administrative burden, it’s time for an overhaul.

What do I do about it?

A clear NPD strategy and unwavering leadership and participation from executive management are the first and most important prerequisites. The next step is to build a system for evaluating potential projects against the NPD strategy and against each other. A system for estimating required resources and existing resources is also essential. Armed with these directives, your company can begin to appropriately manage the NPD portfolio.

Prior to integrating a software tool, we recommend that you establish a portfolio management process that aligns to your organization. We have worked in many companies where the software tool is underutilized or not used at all by the team since it did not align with the company’s practices. You ideally want to make your team comfortable with the portfolio management process prior to integrating a software solution. Remember the old adage: don’t let the software drive your process…let the process drive your software. This approach will optimize your team’s performance and software solution.

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