case studies

Case Study: Improving the Product Development System Across 4 Business Units


  • Division comprised of 4 business units (BU) was struggling with the complexity of product development.  Each business unit operated independently
  • The division had overly complicated business process maps, and the staff did not follow them
  • Each business unit lacked commercial feasibility activities
  • Lack of cross-functional integration between product management and engineering
  • Lack of a central idea repository, thus ideas were on various shared drives, individual hard drives or lost


  • Built an easy to follow sustainable Body of Knowledge (BOK) that included process inputs, activities, outputs, roles and responsibilities and templates
  • Central repository for each BU was created and populated with existing and new ideas
  • Integrated commercial feasibility activities into the process
  • Assumptions were built into the process to reduce project uncertainty and risks
  • Decision criteria was implemented to assist senior management in prioritizing projects

Why it Worked

  • Cross-functional team with the assistance of Strategy 2 Market designed the future product development process
  • Topics were reviewed weekly to build buy-in with key stakeholders (senior management and colleagues)
  • Trained senior management and project team on their expected role within the product development process
  • Integrated product management and engineering activities within the process enabled cross-functional participation
  • Assigned a process owner to each BU who was responsible for maintaining the process on an on-going basis


  • A clear path of product development was established across the 4 BU’s
  • A robust pipeline of ideas for each BU was captured and vetted in the product development process
  • Risks were reduced substantially by identifying, evaluating and prioritizing assumptions
  • Cross-functional team members work closely together in developing early-staged prototypes
  • Projects now have higher commercial success
  • Resources were optimized by working on the most valuable projects
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Mary Drotar, Partner
Strategy 2 Market, Inc.
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