Build the “Right” Product

Successful product commercialization is achieved when the product development process is integrated with customer development and is executed by an experienced team and organized by an effective process. At PADT we have spent the last 20 years building our team, establishing our infrastructure, and honing our processes. One of the key processes that strongly affect the outcome of a product development effort is the process of establishing product/market requirements. The idealized product development process that we use is shown below and the establishment of requirements is shown as the first development activity box.

product-development-process

Establishing requirements insures that we develop the “Right” product. Building the “Right” product means working closely with clients to understand what the end customers want and are willing to pay for. It also means testing the market by building prototypes early and validating design choices with end customers.

At PADT we have found it very effective to get with customers from the very first meeting to establish these market and product requirements. Even if you are part of a large organization and do not work directly with external customers, we recommend that you adopt a methodology that captures and documents market and product requirements as early as possible, and that you evaluate your design against these requirements through the development process. 

 One way we do this is by asking questions about the product from many perspectives as illustrated by the wheel below. By looking at the product from each of these perspectives, we capture important requirements, avoid late stage product revision, and end up with the “Right” product.

product-development-questions

A question based approach is effective because it opens up everyone involved to looking beyond their initial assumption. The more traditional method of making a list of requirements, often results in requirements from the point of view of the person making the list. By questioning the customer, or proxy customer, from these different points of view, the team looks at things in new and different way and this captures more realistic and comprehensive requirements.

product-development-examples-PADTVisit our case studies page to see examples of how our approach has been used across a wide variety of industries.

The best way to understand the benefits of properly building the right process by establishing product/market requirements is to partner with PADT on your next product development project.

Effective Engineering Outsourcing

The effective use of outsourced engineering resources is a strategy that many successful companies are learning how to employ and doing it correctly has become a critical competency . Outsourcing allows companies to adjust to variable workloads, infuse their products with new expertise, and accelerate time to market. Unfortunately outsourcing can be very frustrating, and like any core competency, the skills needed to outsource take time and effort for companies to acquire. Here are some simple pointers on how to develop your outsourcing competency with fewer headaches and less time.

When to OutsourceMedical device testing

Urgency – You have insufficient manpower to complete all your projects on time – and they all have important business ramifications. This is a time to consider outsourcing.

Temporary Need – If your lack of manpower seems to be ongoing – then hire permanent heads. If instead, the urgency you are feeling is temporary, consider outsourcing to get you through the crunch.

Expertise – If you would like to incorporate different expertise into your products, and don’t possess that competency as part of your core team, consider outsourcing to bring in fresh expertise or an expert only when you need them.

What to OutsourceSemiconductor equipment target CAD

Non-core activities – You need to keep your team focused on what they do best: your core capabilities. Projects that don’t require your internal expertise are good candidates for outsourcing.

Proof of concept – You would like to explore some novel new concept and don’t want to distract your team, this could be a good project to outsource.

Ancillary products – If you want to develop ancillary products that augment your main product line, this can offer an opportunity to define a well contained project that is good for outsourcing.

How to OutsourceProduct Development Process

Get multiple bids – You need to find outsourcing partners that match your requirements for expertise, speed, and cost. Get proposals from several contenders and remember that these proposals say a lot about how the project will go. Define the project clearly because if you want good results from your partners, you need to clearly define the scope of the project and the outcomes you are looking for.

Crawl, walk, run – Outsourcing is a challenging skill and you should expect to go through a learning curve. To keep your risks low, start with smaller and shorter projects and then work up to more complex ones.

Look Long Term – Find partners that can serve you long-term.

PADT Can HelpReviewing an electronic design

With over 50 engineers and 350 product development projects under our belt, PADT has tremendous experience and expertise to bring to bear on your problems. Let us show you how “We Make Innovation Work”