New Product Development: A Guide for Your Journey to Best-Practice Processes

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9781932546255: New Product Development: A Guide for Your Journey to Best-Practice Processes
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Functions involved in new product development--including R&D, marketing, competitive intelligence, project management, and even corporate communications and HR--have both the advantages and challenges of being a primary focus of senior management's attention. Developing successful and innovative products is now a priority for many executives and, consequently, a strategic element of organizations' overall goals.

Why is new product development, or NPD, so important to an organization's key strategic goals? Driven partly by rapidly changing markets and technologies and partly by the more recent demands of the financial community for dramatically increased sales and profits, senior management is now faced with leveraging NPD performance to improve profits. Organizations are then prompted to accelerate their NPD processes, which results in decreasing NPD costs. Senior management is pushing the pace of new knowledge from experimentation and is significantly reducing the time line to develop products. Yet the huge amounts at stake coupled with the high odds of failure make NPD one of the most uncertain endeavors of the modern organization.

So what are senior managers expecting from the NPD process? Simply put, they need innovative products that get to market faster and then perform better. A superior and differentiated product: offers new and unique benefits that are important to customers, provides superior quality, and best meets customer needs.

How can an organization possibly meet these requests?

This Passport guidebook can help to: find areas for improved execution, integrate innovation throughout the NPD process, and learn from the best practices APQC has benchmarked at leading NPD programs since the early 1990s. Regardless of whether readers are seeking to re-engineer or simply refine their NPD processes, this book can help by spelling out core practices and key drivers to a successfully launched product. The chapters detail:

- how to create a well-thought-out NPD strategy as part of a corporate strategy;
- the NPD process and the specific activities within this process;
- customer research, market orientation, and strategic collaboration;
- how to select and prioritize development projects, as well as how to allocate resources to different types of projects;
- the way to organize projects; and
- how to cultivate an innovative culture.

The bottom line is that an adequate understanding of the NPD process must exist. Through a more focused execution, organizations can both cultivate an industrious, innovative culture and hasten the NPD process. The result is better products at a lower cost and a reduced time-to-market.

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About the Author:

Marisa Brown is the manager of APQC's Collaborative Learning Group. Since she joined the Center in January 1996, Brown has been integrally involved with the all aspects of multiclient benchmarking studies. Brown has managed some of APQC’s largest consortium benchmarking studies in education and learning, marketing, and new product development. Recently, Brown led the consortium study Improving New Product Development Performance and Practices.

Prior to joining APQC, Brown was a director of marketing at a lighting manufacturing company and was responsible for its implementation of a ISO9000 quality system. Brown earned her MBA from the University of Texas at Austin Graduate School of Business, where she was a Dean’s Award recipient. She also earned her BBA from the University of Texas at Austin, majoring in finance and honors business.

An editor and writer, Paige Leavitt has helped to produce and publish a number of APQC publications, including the Profile series and Best-practice Reports. She is the author of Solving Problems in Schools: A Guide for Educators (2003) and co-author of Capturing Critical Knowledge From a Shifting Work Force (2003), the Content Management Passport Guide (2003), the Competitive Intelligence Passport Guide (2004), Disaggregating Data in Schools (2004), and The Executive’s Role in Knowledge Management (2004).

Before joining APQC, Leavitt edited language arts textbooks for Holt, Rinehart & Winston. She earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Steve Wright, a senior consultant with APQC's Center of Excellence, has led projects in customer value management, finance and accounting, supply chain management, shared services performance, plant safety/loss avoidance, sales force effectiveness, facilities management, new product development, customer service, quality improvement, sales training, and knowledge management. He has also conducted facilitation and training sessions in benchmarking and measures/scorecard development.

Wright has taught graduate courses in multivariate statistics at Ohio State University and the University of Rochester. Prior to coming to APQC, Wright worked as a marketing research manager and consultant for surveys and research projects. Wright earned a bachelor's of arts from the University of Texas at Dallas and holds graduate degrees from that university and the University of Rochester.

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