Download our New Product Development System Process

Developing new products is expensive.  Not just the dollars spent but the vast amount of internal time it swallows up.  Despite management enthusiasm, most products fail.  But this failure rate can be reduced simply by following a sound New Product Development system.

There are several benefits to a New Product Development System.

  • Increases the probability of success. It ensures a thorough process that weeds out ideas with a lower chance of success.
  • Fails Fast. It will quickly identify ideas with a lower chance of success so that the investment in those poor ideas is limited.
  • Manages Senior Management Ideas. If you have worked in new product development for any period of time, you will agree with this statement – Many of the worst ideas come from senior management.  Placing these ideas into the process will allow you to provide leadership with objective feedback on their ideas.
  • Norms. By taking all new ideas through the same process, you will develop your own norms for success.

Take control of your New Product efforts by creating a process.

Feel free to download our New Product Development process diagram.  Our treat.

True North Market Insights is here to assist you with your product and market research needs. To schedule a call with one of our professionals, click here.

Fail Fast – An Internal Screening System For New Product Development

In the brainstorming phase of a project or new endeavor, there’s the old adage that says: There’s no such thing as a bad idea! While this is true at the most basic level, it feels as though there should be an addendum to that quote.

There’s no such thing as a bad idea… as long as you know how to eventually recognize that it’s bad and instead prioritize the good ones. 

A strong internal evaluation process can be extremely beneficial when you’re working on new product development. It introduces valuable things like:

  1. A focus on defining a customer need. As each idea is presented, ask and clearly identify what problem it is addressing. Make sure that you are explicitly communicating the benefit.
  2. The ability to screen out ideas before dollars are spent. Save research, time, and money by first polling the brains at your own company. You might realize that you already have the answer to whether or not something is feasible.
  3. A natural record of past ideas. Implementing a thorough screening process helps build a habit of documentation, and means that you won’t waste time revisiting an old idea.
  4. An objective process. With a scoring system, you can easily lobby for strong ideas and veto weaker pitches in a way that feels purely numerical, not personal.

Ready to start taking advantage of all those perks? Download our template for recording and scoring ideas internally.  Our treat.  This will help you get up to speed quickly.

Documenting and Scoring New Ideas During Product Development

A well-documented idea makes your evaluation process easier. Our Internal Screening Guide (provided in the download) outlines our five recommended elements for a quality description. These include factors that ensure your consumer is placed at the forefront of your development, as well as tactics for evaluating if the product is a good fit for your brand.

Of course, your documentation technique can be somewhat personalized to your company or the project at hand. Our guide simply provides you with the foundation you’ll need to get everyone on the same page.

Once all ideas are documented in a uniform manner, you can score them. This provides an objective way for you to see how they measure up against each other. Objectivity is your best friend during these evaluation sessions, as it can speed things along and help you avoid hurting any feelings or defensiveness.

Our scoring system is also included in our download. Each member of your development committee can give their input, and an easily calculated average will give you the final result!

Prioritizing Internal Company Ideas

So you have your pitches, you have your scores… how do you make sense of these numbers and decide what to act on? It’s not as simple as launching your highest-scoring ideas. You’ll also want to take into account the effort required to successfully implement each plan.

You might have a perfect-scoring pitch, but if it’s not realistic for your budget or timeline, you’ll want to let it go. You can find your threshold of plausibility using a prioritization matrix, also included in the download!

And, speaking of priorities… Your number one priority right now should be downloading that resource. This free guide will help you to make sure that every new idea gets the proper attention and resources—or lack thereof—that it deserves.

True North Market Insights is here to assist you with all of your product and market research needs. To schedule a call with one of our professionals, click here.

Project Scoping Checklist

Hi everyone,

Here’s a project scoping checklist you can use.  This has literally been 10+ years in the making.  I created a checklist of questions for our initial meeting with clients to scope out a new project.  I can’t tell you how helpful it is.   You can download it here, my treat!

The intent is to make sure we fully understand not just the objectives, but the essential issues relevant for a good project.  This checklist ensures we don’t miss anything big.  This tool increases the probability of a successful project.

I built this after reading The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right.  This fascinating book illustrates that even though we may know what to ask, having a list ensures it will get asked.

But I didn’t stop there.  Although I had a list of questions on my bulletin board for years.  I added to it when reading several consulting books, including Flawless Consulting and The Trusted Advisor (this last one is required reading for all at True North). Finally, I hunted down other resources such as Power Questions and A More Beautify Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas.  The result is this checklist.

It’s not just a checklist; it is a process.  It presents a flow of questions that, if all works well, leaves us with a greater understanding of what needs to be accomplished, but it also leaves the client feeling very confident that we understand.

Although I built this with market research in mind (client-side or supplier side), I believe it will be helpful for marketing or business consulting projects too.

So, in the spirit of making us all better researchers, feel free to download and use it.

And since I have a stack of laminated copies on my desk, feel free to email Yara, and she will send you a laminated version.  I keep this at my desk, and before a meeting, I mark key questions I want to ask with a dry erase pen.  You can reach Yara at:

[email protected]

Thanks, and I hope it helps.