Principle Ad hoc it when necessary

Sometimes it is better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for approval in the heat of a competitive, new product launch. Sometimes key people need to be empowered to do whatever they need to do to move a product to beat the competition, despite the lack of substantial supporting data. The six previous principles—and this book in general—support a disciplined, planned approach to managing new product development projects; sometimes you simply don't have time to plan in the field. Sometimes the forces close to the customer require seat-of-the-pants decisions that are not consistent with past practice, full product development, or management guidance. Sometimes products have to be launched that have not been fully aired in the development process, and for which there are no clear guidelines for marketing and sales. And sometimes marketing has to promise a product to a prospective customer or client when that product is in a preliminary, unproven state back home. Sometimes you have to ask for forgiveness after the fact.

We do not condemn decisions to proceed in an ad-hoc way in new product development, but we do feel that many such situations could be anticipated in a robust, risk management process. Contingencies can be drawn up for a wide variety of situations in new product launch simply based on worst-case scenarios. Worst-case scenarios anticipate situations where certain parts of the new product process must be bypassed simply to beat the competition or meet an urgent customer need. The point here is that simply depending on experienced people to make the right decisions when they need to does not always work, but asking those same people to anticipate situations that might require seat-of-the-pants decisions usually produces contingencies for about every risk event. In the end, you let good people in the field with an ear to the customer do what they have to do.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

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.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment