Structure science and research

Most companies need structure in their new product development, but structure must be balanced with flexibility and responsiveness. Structure is introduced in the project management process. This means that there is a new product development process identified and products are expected to move through the process in an orderly and controlled way. When management sees opportunity and the right market conditions, products can be "fast tracked" to get them out the door. And when management sees a bad product with no future, it can stop the process without major organizational hassle and distress. Professionals involved in the process see a decision to stop a product that is not feasible as important as the decision to allow it to proceed.

Because of increasingly complex external regulations and the high level of technology in today's new products, the company's capacity to do good science—or, more importantly, to exploit good science results associated with a new product—become extremely important. For instance, Coca-Cola maintains a high-level office in charge of regulatory compliance and science to make sure its new products meet current and anticipated safety and environmental requirements, globally, if appropriate. That office must be capable of doing independent research on new products to keep ahead of external and environment forces.

Some companies look to a research department to generate new products. The research department often generates product ideas simply because research and development is aimed at uncovering new concepts and ideas and transitioning them into consideration for new product development. The weakness of having a separate research effort is the impact it has on the rest of the company; if it is management's intention to build in innovation and creativity in all of its operations, it is harder to do so when research and development is slotted to do all the creative thinking.

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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