Product development business plan

Reneur live ise 500 ss opportunities iption on the next to articles to add them to your what it takes to launch, sustain and grow a michelle & development section covers goals, procedures and resources needed for product purpose of the design and development plan section is to provide investors with a description of the product's design, chart its development within the context of production, marketing, and the company itself, and create a development budget that will enable the company to reach its are generally three areas you'll cover in the development plan section:. Organizational developmenteach of these elements needs to be examined from the funding of the plan to the point where the business begins to experience a continuous income. Although these elements will differ in nature concerning their content, each will be based on structure and first step in the development process is setting goals for the overall development plan. From your analysis of the market and competition, most of the product, market and organizational development goals will be readily apparent. Your goals should be quantifiable in order to set up time lines, directed so they relate to the success of the business, consequential so they have impact upon the company, and feasible so that they aren't beyond the bounds of actual for product developmentgoals for product development should center on the technical as well as the marketing aspects of the product so that there is a focused outline from which the development team can work. For example, a goal for product development of a microbrewed beer might be "produce recipe for premium lager beer" or "create packaging for premium lager beer. Organizational goals would center on the acquisition of expertise in order to attain your product and market-development goals. Without the necessary expertise, the chances of bringing a product successfully to market ureswith your goals set and expertise in place, you need to form a set of procedural tasks or work assignments for each area of the development plan. In some cases, product and organization can be combined if the list of procedures is short ures should include how resources will be allocated, who is in charge of accomplishing each goal, and how everything will interact. Decide whether or not to pasteurize the development of procedures provides a list of work assignments that need to be accomplished, but one thing it doesn't provide are the stages of development that coordinate the work assignments within the overall development plan. To do this, you first need to amend the work assignments created in the procedures section so that all the individual work elements are accounted for in the development plan. The next stage involves setting deliverable dates for components as well as the finished product for testing purposes. Mcgarty's book, business plans that win venture capital there are primarily three steps you need to go through before the product is ready for final delivery:1. All the key elements of the product are checked and gauged against the development schedule to make sure everything is going according to plan. All elements of the product are checked against goals to assure the integrity of the lingthis is one of the most important elements in the development plan. Scheduling includes all of the key work elements as well as the stages the product must pass through before customer delivery. It should also be tied to the development budget so that expenses can be tracked.

But its main purpose is to establish time frames for completion of all work assignments and juxtapose them within the stages through which the product must pass. If you want to provide a number for each task, include a column in the schedule for the task hat leads us into a discussion of the development budget. When forming your development budget, you need to take into account all the expenses required to design the product and to take it from prototype to that should be included in the development budget include:material -- all raw materials used in the development of the labor -- all labor costs associated with the development of the ad -- all overhead expenses required to operate the business during the development phase such as taxes, rent, phone, utilities, office supplies, etc. A costs -- the salaries of executive and administrative personnel along with any other office support ing & sales -- the salaries of marketing personnel required to develop pre-promotional materials and plan the marketing campaign that should begin prior to delivery of the sional services -- those costs associated with the consultation of outside experts such as accountants, lawyers, and business laneous costs -- costs that are related to product l equipment -- to determine the capital requirements for the development budget, you first have to establish what type of equipment you will need, whether you will acquire the equipment or use outside contractors, and finally, if you decide to acquire the equipment, whether you will lease or purchase nelas we mentioned already, the company has to have the proper expertise in key areas to succeed; however, not every company will start a business with the expertise required in every key area. Therefore, the proper personnel have to be recruited, integrated into the development process, and managed so that everyone forms a team focused on the achievement of the development you begin recruiting, however, you should determine which areas within the development process will require the addition of personnel. This can be done by reviewing the goals of your development plan to establish key areas that need attention. After you have an idea of the positions that need to be filled, you should produce a job description and job you've hired the proper personnel, you need to integrate them into the development process by assigning tasks from the work assignments you've developed. Finally, the whole team needs to know what their role is within the company and how each interrelates with every position within the development team. In order to do this, you should develop an organizational chart for your development ing risksfinally, the risks involved in developing the product should be assessed and a plan developed to address each one. The risks during the development stage will usually center on technical development of the product, marketing, personnel requirements, and financial problems. By identifying and addressing each of the perceived risks during the development period, you will allay some of your major fears concerning the project, and those of investors as ad will close in 15 seconds... Login clicking "create account" i agree to the entrepreneur privacy policy and terms of ss reneur live ise 500 ss opportunities iption on the next to articles to add them to your what it takes to launch, sustain and grow a michelle & development section covers goals, procedures and resources needed for product purpose of the design and development plan section is to provide investors with a description of the product's design, chart its development within the context of production, marketing, and the company itself, and create a development budget that will enable the company to reach its are generally three areas you'll cover in the development plan section:. Login clicking "create account" i agree to the entrepreneur privacy policy and terms of your own business plan ». Development business and bonds offers expertise in market research, channel distribution, channel development, and market development that allow clients to choose their preferred relationship: these include retainer consulting relationships, project-based consulting, sales representation and market representation, project-based market research, published market research, information forum events, business plans, and marketing and bonds offers the expertise a proactive-oriented and market-opportunity seeking company needs to develop and enter new product distribution and new market segments in new markets. We intend to provide a number of necessary services to the business community and to the public. 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Any investor or banker will disagree and insist on much more information prior to making a financial decision regarding funding a business. We want to provide the opportunity for businesses, which have potential to receive the funding that would help them become solid research:  (discussion omitted in this sample business plan) retainer consulting: (discussion omitted) cash flow analysis: (discussion omitted) project consulting: (discussion omitted). This brochure was developed as part of the start-up expenses including the business cards and company profile, mainly for the large organizations that often recommend services to potential investors. However, economics has provided us with a new era of opportunities for the small business in which we can only guess at the needs. We also have what we call a "core service engine" (market research) that will be the foundation of future products. Now we have the possibility of new money being loosened for entrepreneurs and that means there will be a substantial increase in the number of feasibility studies and business plans. We are also studying the possibility of newsletter or electronic newsletter services (for the international market), or perhaps special on-topic reports, pending further research on client your own business plan »your business plan can look as polished and professional as this sample plan. Just wrote my first business plan in 24 hours using liveplan and it's beautiful and complete. With 500 complete sample plans, easy financials, and access anywhere, liveplan turns your great idea into a great plan for more about research reports for engineering, accounting, research, management, and related services d business spa business planpersonal event planning business plancar wash business consulting plansmore services plansmore business support services plansmore marketing and advertising 't bother with copy & can download this complete sample plan as a text document for the #1 business planning software risk-free for 60 contract, no risk. Conference & internet marketing services for small retirement plans for small antivirus software for small businesses. Ways to finance your credit card processors for small business in crm software for small businesses in e-commerce platforms for hr outsourcing for small business in to build a profit-sharing to choose a payroll . Straight to your up for today's 5 must to write a great business plan: products and fourth in a comprehensive series to help you craft the perfect business plan for your haden is a ghostwriter, speaker, linkedin influencer, and contributing editor to buting editor, inc. Jeff_ the products and services section of your business plan, you will clearly describe--yep--the products and services your business will in mind that highly detailed or technical descriptions are not necessary and definitely not recommended. Use simple terms and avoid industry buzzwords so your readers can easily the other hand, describing how the company's products and services will differ from the competition is critical. So is describing why your products and services are needed if no market currently exists. For example, before there was federal express, overnight delivery was a niche business served by small companies. Copyrights, and trademarks you own or have applied for should also be listed in this ing on the nature of your business, your products and services section could be very long or relatively short.

If your business is product-focused, you will want to spend more time describing those you plan to sell a commodity item and the key to your success lies in, say, competitive pricing, you probably don't need to provide significant product detail. Or if you plan to sell a commodity readily available in a variety of outlets, the key to your business may not be the commodity itself but your ability to market in a more cost-effective way than your if you're creating a new product (or service), make sure you thoroughly explain the nature of the product, its uses, and its value, etc. Otherwise your readers will not have enough information to evaluate your questions to answer:Are products or services in development or existing (and on the market)? The cycling rental business example we've been using, products and services could be a relatively simple section to complete or it could be fairly involved. It depends on the nature of the products the company plans to rent to blue mountain cycling rentals plans to market itself as a provider of high-end bikes, describing those bikes--and the sources for those bikes--is important, since "high-end cycling rentals" is intended to be a market differentiation. If the company plans to be the low-cost provider, then describing specific brands of equipment is probably not , keep in mind that if a supplier runs out of capacity--or goes out of business altogether--you may not have a sufficient supply to meet your demand. Plan to set up multiple vendor or supplier relationships, and describe those relationships er, the primary goal of your business plan is to convince you that the business is viable--and to create a road map for you to products and services section for our cycling rental business could start something like this:Blue mountain cycle rentals will provide a comprehensive line of bicycles and cycling equipment for all ages and levels of ability. A grace period of two hours will be applied to all rentals; customers who return equipment within that two-hour period will not be charged an additional mountain cycle rentals will have clear advantages over its primary competitors, the bike shops located in harrisonburg, virginia:Newer equipment inventory with higher perceived quality price points 15 percent below the competition online renewals offering greater convenience a liberal return grace period that will reinforce our reputation as a customer-friendly rental ion will allow us to move product offerings into new equipment sales. We will also explore maintenance and fitting services, leveraging our existing maintenance staff to provide value-added services at a premium you draft your products and services section, think of your reader as a person who knows little to nothing about your business. Be clear and to the of it this way: the products and services section answers the "what" question for your business. Make sure you fully understand the "what" factor; you may run the business, but your products and services are its let's take a look at the next major section of your business plan: the market to write a great business plan: key concepts how to write a great business plan: the executive summary how to write a great business plan: overview and objectives how to write a great business plan: products and services how to write a great business plan: market opportunities how to write a great business plan: sales and marketing how to write a great business plan: competitive analysis how to write a great business plan: operations how to write a great business plan: management team how to write a great business plan: financial hed on: apr 6, 2015. The march–april 1992 –april 1992 anything else go wrong with your company’s product development efforts? An aggregate project plan helps you manage your company’s project mix and allocate scarce resources shrewdly. And it highlights gaps in your development building an aggregate project plan, most companies eliminate the lion’s share of their existing projects—freeing up resources for their most strategically valuable build your aggregate project plan:Classify existing projects according to five categories. The greater the degree of change, the more resources the project incremental changes to existing products such as cheaper, no-frills versions, new packaging, or more efficient manufacturing. The models offered something tailored to every niche, distribution channel, and competitor’s ts creation of new materials and technologies that eventually translate into commercial developments. Many companies fail to include them in their project planning or to provide them with enough .

Example:Prequip reduced its number of development projects from 30 to 11 (3 derivatives, 1 breakthrough, 3 platforms, 3 r&d, and 1 partnership). The company’s commercial development productivity improved long-term competitiveness of any manufacturing company depends ultimately on the success of its product development capabilities. New product development holds hope for improving market position and financial performance, creating new industry standards and new niche markets, and even renewing the organization. For some months, the development budget had been rising even as the number of completed projects declined. And many of the projects in the development pipeline no longer seemed to reflect the needs of the market. Management was especially troubled because it had believed its annual business plan provided the guidance that the marketing and engineering departments needed to generate and schedule get to the root of the problem, the chief executive first asked senior managers to compile a list of all the current development projects. Further analysis revealed that the company had two to three times more development work than it was capable of completing over its three-year development planning horizon. Furthermore, as deadlines slipped and development costs rose, project managers faced pressure to cut corners and compromise quality just to keep their projects moving senior management team also discovered that the majority of prequip’s development resources—primarily engineers and support staff—was not focused on the projects most critical to the business. When questioned, project leaders admitted that the strategic objectives outlined in the annual business plan had little bearing on project selection. As long as there was money in the budget or the person making the request had sufficient clout, the head of the development department had no option but to accept additional project engineers were not only working on noncritical projects but also spending as much as 50% of their time on nonproject-related work. They responded to requests from manufacturing for help with problems on previous products, from field sales for help with customer problems, from quality assurance for help with reliability problems, and from purchasing for help with qualifying vendors. In addition to spending considerable time fixing problems on previously introduced products, engineers spent many hours in “information” and “update” meetings. In short, they spent too little time developing the right new products, experimenting with new technologies, or addressing new p’s story is hardly unique. They have far too many projects going at once and all too often seriously overcommit their development resources. They spend too much time dealing with short-term pressures and not enough time on the strategic mission of product , in most organizations, management directs all its attention to individual projects—it micromanages project development. Management must plan how the project set evolves over time, which new projects get added when, and what role each project should play in the overall development aggregate project plan addresses all of these issues. To create a plan, management categorizes projects based on the amount of resources they consume and on how they will contribute to the company’s product line.

Then, by mapping the project types, management can see where gaps exist in the development strategy and make more informed decisions about what types of projects to add and when to add them. Over time, companies can focus on adding critical resources and on developing the skills of individual contributors, project leaders, and y, an aggregate plan will enable management to improve the way it manages the development function. Simply adding projects to the active list—a common practice at many companies—endangers the long-term health of the development process. Management needs to create a set of projects that is consistent with the company’s development strategies rather than selecting individual projects from a long list of ad hoc proposals. And management must become involved in the development process before projects get started, even before they are fully defined. It is not appropriate to give one department—say, engineering or marketing—sole responsibility for initiating all projects because it is usually not in a position to determine every project’s strategic companies should start reforming their development process by eliminating the lion’s share of existing , most companies—including prequip—should start the reformation process by eliminating or postponing the lion’s share of their existing projects, eventually supplanting them with a new set of projects that fits the business strategy and the capacity constraints. The aggregate project plan provides a framework for addressing this difficult first step in creating an aggregate project plan is to define and map the different types of development projects; defining projects by type provides useful information about how resources should be allocated. The two dimensions we have found most useful for classifying are the degree of change in the product and the degree of change in the manufacturing process. The remaining two categories are research and development, which is the precursor to commercial development, and alliances and partnerships, which can be either commercial or basic research. The five types of development of the five project types requires a unique combination of development resources and management styles. Understanding how the categories differ helps managers predict the distribution of resources accurately and allows for better planning and sequencing of projects over time. Here is a brief description of each tive projects range from cost-reduced versions of existing products to add-ons or enhancements for an existing production process. Designing the stretch was primarily a matter of changing the pment work on derivative projects typically falls into three categories: incremental product changes, say, new packaging or a new feature, with little or no manufacturing process change; incremental process changes, like a lower cost manufacturing process, improved reliability, or a minor change in materials used, with little or no product change; and incremental changes on both dimensions. Because design changes are usually minor, incremental projects typically are more clearly bounded and require substantially fewer development resources than the other categories. And because derivative projects are completed in a few months, ongoing management involvement is hrough projects are at the other end of the development spectrum because they involve significant changes to existing products and processes. Like compact disks and fiber-optics cable, they create a whole new product category that can define a new e breakthrough products often incorporate revolutionary new technologies or materials, they usually require revolutionary manufacturing processes. Management should give development teams considerable latitude in designing new processes, rather than force them to work with existing plant and equipment, operating techniques, or supplier rm projects are in the middle of the development spectrum and are thus harder to define.

They entail more product and/or process changes than derivatives do, but they don’t introduce the untried new technologies or materials that breakthrough products do. Honda’s 1990 accord line is an example of a new platform in the auto industry: honda introduced a number of manufacturing process and product changes but no fundamentally new technologies. In the computer market, ibm’s ps/2 is a personal computer platform; in consumer products, procter & gamble’s liquid tide is the platform for a whole line of tide brand -planned and well-executed platform products typically offer fundamental improvements in cost, quality, and performance over preceding generations. Because of the extent of changes involved, successful platforms require considerable upfront planning and the involvement of not only engineering but also marketing, manufacturing, and senior ies target new platforms to meet the needs of a core group of customers but design them for easy modification into derivatives through the addition, substitution, or removal of features. Over the life of the 486 platform, intel will introduce a host of derivative products, each offering some variation in speed, cost, and performance and each able to leverage the process and product innovations of the original rms offer considerable competitive leverage and the potential to increase market penetration, yet many companies systematically under-invest in them. To address the problem, companies should recognize explicitly the need for platforms and develop guidelines for making them a central part of the aggregate project ch and development is the creation of the know-how and know-why of new materials and technologies that eventually translate into commercial development. Even though r&d lies outside the boundaries of commercial development, we include it here for two reasons: it is the precursor to product and process development; and, in terms of future resource allocation, employees move between basic research and commercial development. Because r&d is a creative, high-risk process, companies have different expectations about results and different strategies for funding and managing it than they do for commercial development. These differences can indeed be great, but a close relationship between r&d and commercial development is essential to ensure an appropriate balance and a smooth conversion of ideas into ces and partnerships, which also lie outside the boundaries of the development map, can be formed to pursue any type of project—r&d, breakthrough, platform, or derivative. As such, the amount and type of development resources and management attention needed for projects in this category can vary though partnerships are an integral part of the project development process, many companies fail to include them in their project planning. They often separate the management of partnerships from the rest of the development organization and fail to provide them with enough development resources. Even when the partner company takes full responsibility for a project, the acquiring company must devote in-house resources to monitor the project, capture the new knowledge being created, and prepare for the manufacturing and sales of the new five development categories are vital for creating a development organization that is responsive to the market. Relying on only one or two categories for the bulk of the development work invariably leads to suboptimal use of resources, an unbalanced product offering, and eventually, a less than competitive market p’s project these five project types, prequip set about changing its project mix as the first step toward reforming the product development process. Prequip’s product line consisted of four kinds of analytic instruments—mass spectrometers, gas and liquid chromatographs, and data handling and processing equipment—that identified and isolated chemical compounds, gases, and liquids. Its customers included scientific laboratories, chemical companies, and oil refineries—users that needed to measure and test accurately the purity of raw materials, intermediate by-products, and finished p’s management asked some very basic questions in its attempt to delineate the categories. Then turned its attention to those development projects that did not fit into any category. Why spend huge amounts of money developing products that at best would produce only incremental sales?

The realization triggered a reexamination of prequip’s customer needs in all product er mass spectrometers, instruments that identify the chemical composition of a compound. It envisaged a single platform complemented with a series of derivative products, each with a different set of options and each serving a different customer niche. By combining some new product design ideas—modularity and simplicity—with some features that were currently under development, prequip created the concept of the c-101 platform, a low-priced, general-purpose mass spectrometer. In part because of its modularity, the product was designed to be simpler and cheaper to manufacture, which also helped to improve its overall quality and reliability. By adding software and a few new features, prequip could easily create derivatives, all of which could be assembled and tested on a single production line. In one case, a variant of the c-101 was planned for the high-end laboratory market. By strengthening the casing and eliminating some features, prequip also created a product for the industrial g out the new mass spectrometer line and the three other product lines was not painless. It took a number of months and involved a reconceptualization of the product lines, close management, and considerable customer involvement. To provide additional focus, prequip separated the engineering resources into three categories: basic r&d projects; existing products and customers, now a part of the manufacturing organization; and commercial product determine the number of breakthrough, platform, derivative, and partnered projects that could be sustained at any time, the company first estimated the average number of engineering months for each type of project based on past experience. Prequip then selected specific projects, confident that it would not overallocate its the dust had settled, prequip had reduced the number of development projects from 30 to the end, prequip canceled more than two-thirds of its development projects, including some high-profile pet projects of senior managers. After: prequip’s development process was changes led to some impressive gains: between 1989 and 1991, prequip’s commercial development productivity improved by a factor of three. To avoid over-committing resources and to improve productivity further, the company built a “capacity cushion” into its plan. By leaving a small percent of development capacity uncommitted, prequip was better prepared to take advantage of unexpected opportunities and to deal with crises when they on the p’s development map served as a basis for reallocating resources and for rethinking the mix of projects. In all four product lines, platforms played a particularly important role in the development strategy. In the early stages of growth, innovative, dynamic companies gain market position with products that have dramatically superior performance along one or two dimensions. But as the industry develops and the opportunity for breakthrough products decreases—often because the technology is shared more broadly—competitors try to satisfy increasingly sophisticated customers by rapidly making incremental improvements to existing products. As happened with prequip, this approach ultimately leads to a proliferation of product lines and overcommitment of development resources.

The solution lies in developing a few well-designed platform products, on each of which a generation of products can be the hospital bed industry, for example, companies that design, manufacture, sell, and service electric beds have faced a mature market for years. Each generation of product typically lasts 8 to 12 years, and companies spend most of their time and energy developing derivative products. As a result, companies find themselves with large and unwieldy product the 1980s, hill-rom, a leading electric-bed manufacturer, sought a new product strategy to help contain costs and maintain market share. Like other bed makers, its product development process was reactive and mired in too many low-payoff derivative projects. The company would design whatever the customer—a single hospital or nursing home—wanted, even if it meant significant commitments of development new strategy involved a dramatic shift toward leveraging development and manufacturing resources. Hill-rom decided to focus on hospitals and largely withdraw from the nursing home segment, as well as limit the product line by developing two new platform products—the centra and the century. The products built off each platform shared common parts and manufacturing processes and provided the customer with a number of add-on options. By focusing development efforts on two platforms, hill-rom was able to introduce new technologies and new product features into the market faster and more systematically, directly affecting patient recovery and hospital staff productivity. This strategy led to a less chaotic development cycle as well as lower unit cost, higher product quality, and more satisfied companies that must react to constant changes in fashion and consumer tastes, a different relationship between platform and derivative projects makes sense. For example, sony has pioneered its “hyper-variety” strategy in developing the walkman: it directs the bulk of its walkman development efforts at creating derivatives, enhancements, hybrids, and line extensions that offer something tailored to every niche, distribution channel, and competitor’s product. As a result, in 1990, sony dominated the personal audio system market with over 200 models based on just three pioneered the “hyper-variety” strategy—its 200 walkman models are based on only three rms are critical to any product development effort, but there is no one ideal mix of projects that fits all companies. Every company must pursue the projects that match its opportunities, business strategy, and available resources. Of course, the mix evolves over time as projects move out of development into production, as business strategies change, as new markets emerge, and as resources are enhanced. Management needs to revisit the project mix on a regular basis—in some cases every six months, in others, every year or stream sequencing: prequip plans future ically evaluating the product mix keeps development activities on the right track. Companies must decide how to sequence projects over time, how the set of projects should evolve with the business strategy, and how to build development capabilities through such projects. Without an aggregate project plan, most companies cannot even begin to formulate a strategy for making those p was no different. Before adopting an aggregate project plan, the company had no concept of project mix and no understanding of sequencing.

Whenever someone with authority had an idea worth pursuing, the development department added the project to its active list. With the evolution of a project plan, prequip developed an initial mix and elevated the sequencing decision to a strategic responsibility of senior management. Management scheduled projects at evenly spaced intervals to ensure a “steady stream” of development projects. Introduced into the development cycle in late 1989, the c-101 was the first platform conceived as a system built around the new modular design. It entered the development process about the time the c-101 moved into manufacturing prototyping and was staffed initially with two designers whose activities on the c-101 were drawing to a similar to the c-1/x was the c-1/z, a unit designed for the european market; the c-1/x team was expanded to work on both the c-1/x and the c-1/z. Just as important, the project was an ideal way to gather market data that could be used to develop the p applied this same strategy across the other three product categories. Every other year it planned a new platform, followed by two or three derivatives spaced at appropriate intervals. For instance, a “secondary wave” strategy may be more appropriate for companies that, like hill-rom, have multiple product lines, each with their own base platforms but with more time between succeeding generations of a particular strategy works like this. Once the company completes that project, the key people from the team start work on another platform for a different product family. As that platform begins to age and competitors’ newer platforms challenge it, the company refocuses development resources on a set of derivatives in order to strengthen and extend the viability of the product line’s existing platform. The wave of derivative projects extends the platform life and upgrades product offerings, but it also provides experience and feedback to the people working on the product line and prepares them for the next-generation platform development. Key people then bring that information together to define the next platform and the cycle begins again, built around a team, many of whose members have just completed the wave of derivative products. Rather than going off to work on another product family’s platform following one platform’s introduction, the majority of the development team goes to work immediately on a set of derivative products. This requires a more compressed and careful assessment of the market’s response to the just-introduced platform and much shorter feedback loops regarding competitors’ products. Once the flurry of derivative products has passed, the team goes to work on the next-generation platform project for the same product 1987, kodak conducted a series of advanced development projects to explore alternative single-use 35mm cameras—a roll of film packaged in an inexpensive camera. During 1987, a group of kodak development engineers worked on the first platform project which resulted in the market introduction and volume production of the fling 35mm camera in january 1988. As the platform neared completion, management reassigned the front-end development staff to two derivative projects: the stretch, a panoramic, double-wide image version of the fling, and the weekend, a waterproof the end of 1988, kodak had introduced both derivative cameras and was shipping them in volume.

True to the definition of a derivative, both the stretch and the weekend took far fewer development resources and far less time than the fling. The development team then went to work on the next-generation platform product—a fun saver with a built-in matter which strategy a company uses to plan its platform-derivative mix—steady stream or secondary wave—it must have well-defined platforms. According to data collected in the late 1980s, european car companies changed the platform for a given product, on average, every 12 years, u. A number of factors explain the differences in platform development cycles—historical and cultural differences, longer development lead times, and differences in development both europe and the united states, the engineering hours and tooling costs of new products were much higher than in japan. This translated into lower development costs for japanese car makers, which allowed faster payback and shorter economic lives for all models. Competitors and thus were better positioned to satisfy customers’ needs and capture market long-term goal: building critical ly the greatest value of an aggregate project plan over the long-term is its ability to shape and build development capabilities, both individual and organizational. It provides a vehicle for training development engineers, marketers, and manufacturing people in the different skill sets needed by the company. The aggregate project plan lets companies play to employees’ strengths and broaden their careers and abilities over steps of an aggregate project plan. Work to improve development ng about skill development in terms of the aggregate project plan is most important for developing competent team leaders. And if she distinguishes herself there and has the other required skills, she might be given the opportunity to work on a breakthrough addition to creating a formal career path within the sphere of development activities, companies should also focus on moving key engineers and other development participants between advanced research and commercial development. This is necessary to keep the transfer of technology fresh and creative and to reward engineers who keep their r&d efforts focused on commercial is one company that delineates clearly between advanced research and product development—the two kinds of projects are managed and organized differently and are approached with very different expectations. As the project moved from research to commercial development, miyano moved too, playing the role of project champion throughout the entire development s improving people’s skills, the aggregate project plan can be used to identify weaknesses in capabilities, improve development processes, and incorporate new tools and techniques into the development environment. The project plan helps identify where companies need to make changes and how those changes are connected to product and process prequip developed an aggregate project plan, for example, it identified a number of gaps in its capabilities. In the case of the mass spectrometer, the demand for more software functionality meant prequip had to develop an expertise in software development. And with an emphasis on cost, modularity, and reliability, prequip also had to focus on improving its industrial design part of its strategy to improve design skills, the company introduced a new computer-aided design system into its engineering department, using the aggregate project plan as its guide. When the project ended, management dispersed team members to other projects so they could train other engineers in using the new cad prequip discovered, developing an aggregate project plan involves a relatively simple and straight-forward procedure. But carrying it out—moving from a poorly managed collection of ad hoc projects to a robust set that matches and reinforces the business strategy—requires hard choices and all the companies we have studied, the difficulty of those choices makes imperative strong leadership and early involvement from senior management.

Without management’s active participation and direction, organizations find it next to impossible to kill or postpone projects and to resist the short-term pressures that drive them to spend most of their time and resources fighting g to an aggregate project plan is not easy, but working through the process is a crucial part of creating a sustainable development strategy. Indeed, while the specific plan is extremely important, the planning process itself is even more so. But choosing the mix, determining the number of projects the resources can support, defining the sequence, and picking the right projects raise crucial questions about how product and process development ought to be linked to the company’s competitive opportunities. Creating an aggregate project plan gives direction and clarity to the overall development effort and helps lay the foundation for outstanding performance. Wheelwright is the class of 1949 professor at the harvard business school, where he specializes in product development. They are coauthors of design rules: the power of modularity (the first of two volumes), to be published by the mit press in article is about strategic ch & development.