s2m Books

Chapter 1 – The Case for Exploratory Product Development

What to Expect

This chapter will build a case for an alternative approach to developing products: Exploratory PD® (ExPD). ExPD is an adaptable strategy-to-launch product development process that adjusts to internal and external factors, and unique product nuances. We begin with a discussion of uncertainty and risk, which are key considerations in product development. Then, to illustrate the value of adaptability, we offer an analogy: a comparison of Waze® navigation software and a static roadmap.

We identify some significant challenges companies face using the traditional phased-and-gated product development process and the trend toward more adaptable approaches to developing products, including a high-level recap of the different methodologies and processes some organizations use. We then wrap up the chapter with the Manhattan Project as an example of operating in an unstable, uncertain environment.

Sample Content:

Download PDF: The Differences Between Exploratory Product Development and Phased-and-Gated-Processes

image of the table describing the differences between exploratory product development and phased-and-gated processes

Related Resources:

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Other Resources:

Steve Blank and The Lean Launchpad – An excellent resource for entrepreneurs. This article discusses the differences between startups and large companies. Fear of Failure and Lack of Speed In a Large Corporation

Robert Cooper and the Stage-Gate® product development process – A well-established process for product development in stable environments.

“Product Development as Core Competence: How Formal Product Development Practices Differ from Radical, More Innovative, and Incremental Product Innovations,” by Patricia J. Holahan, Zhen Z. Sullivan, and Stephen K. Markham, Journal of Product Innovation Management 31(2) (2014): 329-345 (Requires a Subscription)

Preston G. Smith, Flexible Product Development, (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2007). Additionally, s2m maintains an archive of Preston’s work that includes books, articles and resources for product development.

Glossary of product development terms

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Strategy 2 Market, Inc.



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