How strategic planning improves your product development process

Are you new to product-line planning? Or are you an established professional who thinks your organization could be doing a better job of it?

Pete Frickland, Principal of Concurrent Product Development, and I do an hour-long presentation titled Outside-In Planning: Tools and Techniques for Strategic Product Line Planning, that can help. It covers the key questions that product-line managers, designers, directors of product development, and sales and marketing managers should consider before jumping into next season’s planning process. These questions include:

  • Who needs to be involved in strategic line planning and does it require a team?
  • What options or tools are available to collect data about market competition and consumer segments?
  • How do you use this information to spot openings in the market for new products or product enhancements?
  • How can this information be used to directly guide design and development decisions?
  • How much should you rely on external data about customers, competitors, and the market to identify internal strengths?
  • How do you factor in internal perspectives about the data and the organization?
  • How do you take all of this data and create a condensed guide for exploring new product line options?

Three keys to pre-development work

Conducting your pre-development process can be accomplished using three platforms:

  • Competitive & Consumer Research
  • Management Engagement
  • Preliminary Line Planning document creation

The combination of these three provides you an intersecting environment enabling you to learn your customer voice, understand your internal strengths and assess your competition.

Concurrent Strategies teaches techniques that use both market research and institutional knowledge as the basis for next-steps ideation. This distinctive approach integrates competitive insights like missing product or uncrowded space along with web-based consumer research to help identify latent needs and provide design guidance from various consumer and market segments.

Management perceptions are then gathered to assess the ability of various key players to build on these opportunities and create new venues that inspire product development efforts. At its core, this is a team-based approach that uses research to focus internal perceptions for next year’s product line deliverables.

Our goal is to help you get a sense of the value of strategic product-line planning and the difference it can make in your actual product development work.

Find out more

Pete and I will be delving into these issues in much greater detail at one of two presentations coming later this month. Check out our events page for a presentation near you.