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NPI

New Product Planning Template

I spend a lot of time at the beginning stage of new product development gathering my thoughts and formulating a coherent strategy to move forward. Some time is spent looking for a template that I find is an acceptable framework to build a strategy. With each new product, I look for a new template as I’m never happy with any template I’ve used before – until now.

I’ve worked for established organizations with successful products yet I find the Startup Customer Discovery Process from Steve Blank (“The Startup Owner’s Manual”) a good framework to get started. Using Steve’s process, I developed this New Product Plan template.  Anyone could use this template and modify it to fit their project objectives. However, if you are more of a visual person, Ash Maurya offers a nice high-level representation of the process here.

I’ve realized that there is no point in writing too much. There is also no point early on in spending a lot of time playing with numbers and building a business case until you have met some potential customers and are clearer about the product-market fit. Keep your strategy document simple direct and point form if possible. When it’s time to present the strategy to others outside my immediate group/department, I’ve actually built a business case based on hypotheses that I have tested and I am confident that the new product will solve a need. At that time, I summarize the strategy using only a few PPT slides with key information.

I hope you find this useful.

The art of new product development

art A NPI (new product introduction) structure or methodology can help cross-functional team members follow specific steps in a coordinated way through a product development process that fits the business objectives and its culture. However, new product development is not a science; I would argue it is more of an art. Business leaders need to recognize […] Continue reading →

Striking the Right Balance to Manage Innovation

I was reading a great article in Harvard Business Review about managing your innovation portfolio.  It made me appreciate that for most organizations, it is difficult to strike the right balance of core, adjacent and transformational innovation.  As a new product development manager, I enjoy working on the real breakthrough ideas, but those are few […] Continue reading →