Thursday, November 22, 2012

Demystifying Six Myths of Product Development

Incorrectly assuming that product development is like manufacturing, many companies try to apply zero-defect, efficiency-focused techniques to product-development processes.
This mind-set and other management misperceptions have given rise to six fallacies that undermine product development:
Six fallacies
1.  High utilization of resources will improve performance
2.     Processing work in large batches improves the economics of the process
3.     Our plan is great; we just need to stick to it.
4.     The sooner the project is started, the sooner it will be finished.
5.     The more features we put into a product, the more customers will like it.
6.     We will be more successful if we get it right the first time.

A checklist for today’s product managers

  • make queues and information flows visible.
  •  quantify the cost of delays and factor it into your decisions.
  •  introduce resource slack where utilization is highest.
  • shift the focus of control systems from efficiency to response time.
  •  reduce transaction costs to enable smaller batch sizes and faster feedback.
  •  experiment with smaller batches; you can easily revert to large batches if this doesn't work.
  • treat the development plan as a hypothesis that will evolve as new information becomes available.
  • start projects only when you are ready to make a full commitment.
  • aim for simplicity: Ask what features can be deleted, not just what can be added.
  • experiment early, rapidly, and frequently, with computer models and physical prototypes, in controlled and real-life customer environments.
  •  emphasize overlapping and iterative--not linear--process designs.
  • focus on quick feedback instead of first-pass success.
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