Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Causes of problems in product development.

Problems in the product development process are often related to:

- Bad linkages across functional structures.

- Unclear business strategy.

- Inadequate marketing information.

- Unclear responsibility for decision making.

- Incomplete membership in the product development team.

- Inability to achieve cross-functional convergence.

- Consideration of divergent viewpoints is cut short too soon.

- Inadequate product ownership.

- Structures and systems are unclear between divisions.

- Data isn’t used or integrated into decision making.

- Culture is conflict adverse.

- An R & D perspective predominates.

- Third party relationships are poorly managed.

- Culture has a “home run” mentality.

- Poor management of evolving expectations.

- Costs of entering a new business are miscalculated.

- Poor boundary management.

- People lack a sense of reward for meeting the overall objective.

- Prevailing concern is only with time to market.

- Convergence is forced.

- The role of “product champion” precludes objectivity.

- Constraints on promoting new market products.

- There’s a lack of cross-functional trust and respect.

- The functional areas own the objectives.

- Knee-jerk problem solving.

- Problem-centric culture is highly rewarded.

- Assumptions on market readiness are incorrect.

Typical dilemmas in high-tech companies include:

“I don’t really know how / when a product development project gets officially sanctioned .”

“We got a request for an additional feature on a project at pre-pilot” (usually because engineering wanted to introduce a new feature they felt could easily be incorporated into the current design).

“I don’t know how long it takes us to develop products - we never measure it.”

“Marketing won’t define the product.” - Technology departments.
“Engineering want us to design the product for them.” – Marketing department.

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