Principles for Working in the Real World

So how do we integrate all the ideas addressed in this book on managing new product development in the real world of day-to-day company business? How do we handle situations when all the key processes described here are not in place? The purpose of this chapter is to get at the essence of these questions. The overriding theme for putting it all together is strong leadership. Strong leadership, including a vision for success and a clear product strategy, is key in every stage of the process. To successfully generate a customer base before their competitors, company people need to feel the inspiration and excitement of doing something new and different, but also sense that they are part of a team effort and a disciplined process. And the process needs to be energized by a product champion or leading sponsor who either (1) lifts the process when it inevitably loses momentum or (2) decides to terminate a project because it simply does not make business sense

Our earlier discussion of Sonoco's introduction of the plastic bag is illustrative of the need for this kind of leadership and energy. The plastic grocery sack was pushed into the marketplace through the day-to-day efforts of marketing. Salespeople worked with customers to discover and resolve their issues and provide feedback to headquarters for development or production changes. During that process, the sales force lived for that product. They were energized by the challenge, sustained by a champion who never gave up, and reinforced daily by customers and clients who changed their thinking and behaviors because of the new product.

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.

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