product development articles

Are you too late?


Are you too late?

Part of ‘In the trenches of new product development’ series

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We commonly see our clients postpone risk identification when it is way too late in the project. We are huge fans of hitting risk head-on in the earliest phases of new product development. Why? Here are 4 great reasons:

1. Identifying risk early on helps you choose the right projects and kill early. By working on the right projects you are not wasting valuable resources. Identifying ‘less ideal’ projects early on helps reduce risk and overall NPD investment costs.

2. As you know, the level of effort and cost increases substantially when making unplanned changes later in the project, and we can’t forget that this commonly leads to…plenty of pesky rework.

3. When risk are visible the project team is able to determine which risk are important and need to be resolved. Identifying these risk early gives the project team an opportunity to plan how to deal with the risk before they occur – it’s cheaper and faster in the long run to be prepared.

4. Late surprises play havoc on the schedule because late in the process so many decisions are fixed in their relationship to other decisions. Changing just one decision can have far-reaching impacts that take time to resolve.

We find that the most successful projects hit risk early-on… start identifying risk as early as possible in the new product development process…so get started early, and don’t forget that there is not only technical risk but commercial risk that needs to be identified (value proposition, willingness to buy, etc.). And one last thing…as you progress through the project don’t forget the operational risk.

“Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.” Warren Buffett

Photo by Thomas Leuthard