Companies that manufacture or develop their own products know that this process is characterized by different objectives. There are specific requirements for the product and certain cost and time targets that must be coordinated.
In an increasingly complex environment with increasing quality requirements, high time and cost pressures and tougher competition, there are different factors for successful product development.
The later during product development errors occur and must be corrected, the higher the costs. A systematic approach can avoid errors that suddenly occur and is therefore necessary in a development project. A possible procedure can look like this:
- Entry of the order / delimitation
Determination and weighting of the main functions to be implemented and definition of the requirement.
- Search for alternative solutions
Recording of several, also novel solution variants, breakdown into sub-goals,
- Feedback assessment of the solution steps
Systematic and accompanying evaluation of the solutions during the entire process of realization.
A company can only successfully implement the required features of a new product if the areas of development, design, production, marketing, sales, purchasing and controlling work together.
Magic triangle of product development
In addition to these areas, which must be represented in an interdisciplinary team, it can make sense to also involve customers and suppliers in the development team. The customers thus participate directly in the design of the product. The integration of suppliers can be used to define corresponding supplier components directly. The cooperation essentially concentrates on the selection of suitable components. However, the involvement can go so far that the supplier is given responsibility for the development of individual parts or assemblies and develops them independently. This inevitably results in a close involvement in the company’s development process, since the interfaces to other assemblies or parts must be defined and implemented here.
Tight project management
Guided project management in product development is an important factor in reconciling the methodological approach, the interdisciplinary cooperation and the cost, material, and time targets.
Product development is a project in the classic sense, which is characterized by the following features:
- Time-limited task
- Limited resources
- One-time task
- Defined framework and goals
Proper project planning and ongoing project controlling are intended to ensure the successful course of the project. The project planning can include the following points:
- Goal definition
- Work breakdown structure
- Milestone planning with target and time planning
- Cost planning
- Resource planning
Incorrect project planning can quickly lead to failure in a development project. Common examples of this are incorrect schedules, insufficient resources, or undefined work packages. Furthermore, strictly managed project controlling helps to achieve material, time, and cost targets. Since external service providers and suppliers are often involved in product development, ongoing monitoring and control of progress is even more important.
A functioning project management allows companies to develop and implement their products in the right time, with sufficient quality and according to customer needs.