New product success or failure is largely decided in the first few plays of the game—in those crucial steps and tasks that precede the actual development of the product. The up-front homework defines the product and builds the business case for development. The ideal new product process ensures that these early stages are carried out and that the product is fully defined before the project is allowed to become a full-fledged development project.
The need for solid upfront homework parallels the case for a stronger market orientation. Top performers ensure that the new product process does indeed include solid homework (Stages 1 and 2 in Figure 7.1-1) and stable, fact-based product definition. For example, they build in a product definition check point at Gate 3 in the process. And they halt projects if the homework and product definition aren't in place.
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What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.