To ensure that creative ideas and concepts are encouraged to jump-start new products, the new product development process requires management to open the organization to free thought and innovative ideas in a global process.
New products increasingly come from an accurate understanding of global market and technical developments in a given field; thus new product development must be open to new ideas from many sources. This requires the organization to not only look to company resources for new product concepts, but to use the Internet and other tools to tap sources wherever there is insight and data on given market opportunity. And the company should be open to new partnering arrangements on a global scale that provide opportunity for all partners to benefit from new product concepts.
Company management must empower the workforce to think about and discover new product concepts to fuel the engine of change. Constant change in the marketplace must be seen as inevitable, and the company must sense that it has two choices: to facilitate and guide that change with new products and services, or to fight it.
Opening up the organization requires a proactive use of the Internet. The company discovers new growth engines—key new product features that move the field and technology ahead in the marketplace and induce demand. For instance, progressive computer and software companies are experimenting with logic chips that will be able to think for the customer, e.g., in the sense of artificial intelligence. Some companies have started development centers within the company to house this discovery process and protect it from bottlenecks and traditional company processes.
The limit on this open-ended process of idea generation is the decision to commit funds to a given new product development and the need to close up the process to protect intellectual property and patentable ideas. That decision is typically made when a product concept is documented and made a part of the company's funded project portfolio.
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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.