Avoiding Product Development Blind Spots

Avoiding Product Development Blind Spots

Detecting the Blind Spot

Gated development processes are often compromised by bias and blind spots

Could a Blind Spot be hiding in your gated product development process? Every company has a development process. They go by different names, but each involves a process that guides a team through a series of gates from concept to launch. At each gate, the team presents its update and asks for permission to go on to the next step. The process is supposed to place rigor around activities that help define, develop and launch products. In theory one of the best ways to get a launch right is through the use of a good stage gate process that is data driven, governed by senior managers experienced enough to avoid biases and remain objective.

These processes are an integral part of business and product development. Yet despite this widely accepted practice, new products have a failure rate of 25 to 45%. In many cases, the issue can be traced to a “blind spot”.

Avoiding “The Blind Spot” According to Andrew Campbell, Jo Whitehead, and Sydney Finkelstein in their 2009 HBR article “Why Good Leaders Make Bad Decisions” unintentional biases creep in to the decision making processes, often with tragic results. They postulate that a simple solution to eliminate biases that causes a blind spot is to involve someone who has no attachments or self-interest in the team, the management, and/or projects goals and objectives.

Case in point A $300 million Healthcare group known as Envision Health (Not the Real Name) acquired a new technology from a small entrepreneurial company. Upon first glance the product value proposition and recent sales history indicated its potential as a rising star. That data looked good, everyone was on board with the project and it breezed through their development process. Contracts were signed, payments made, manufacturing begun, the launch was eminent.

Identifying the “Blind Spot” Soon after Envision acquired and launched the product it became clear that something was wrong. Initial sales and pricing were lagging far behind expectations. They called in the Launch Advisory Team to analyze the situation and bring an outside perspective to the process. The analysis exposed a “blind spot”.

The analysis showed that initial sales and higher ASP were the result of a nationwide backorder caused by a recent epidemic that coincided with the launch of the product prior to acquisition. Customers snapped up the product regardless of price, but once the backorder ended, the market quickly returned to its normal state, dominated by 2 large competitors.

Making the Hard Choices Sometimes it is hard to identify the blind spot, particularly when there are pressures to move ahead with the project and show results. In this case, poor launch sales had cause the leadership team to take a step backwards and reevaluate the program. With the blind spot exposed the company was able to make adjustments to their launch strategy on the fly, but more than likely would not have acquired the product in the first place.

Knowing what could go wrong sooner would have complimented the stage gate process by introducing an unbiased analysis, and would have gone a long way in making the right decision. That’s why we are the Launch Advisory Team.

Here is what clients say about our ability to deliver Insight?

“Tony’s has been instrumental in getting us focused on our future and growth. He asks the hard questions and provides constructive support in finding the best answers.”

Moments After Launch,  Will You Get Long Term Growth?

Moments After Launch, Will You Get Long Term Growth?

Unique Workshop to be held March 20, 2017
Launching a Business Product or Service?
After that initial blush of sales, where will you get your long term growth from? Take the hassle out of launching your business/product.

Tony Spadaro

The Launch Advisory Teams’ Tony Spadaro and KOI Creative Space team up to produce a unique workshop called:

 MOMENTS AFTER LAUNCH:

A SIX PART SERIES DESIGNED TO TAKE THE COMPLEXITY OUT OF PLANNING YOUR SUCCESS.

-LEARN PROPRIETARY TECHNQUES THAT SIMPLIFY MARKET, CUSTOMER AND COMPETITIVE ASSESSMENT

-FOCUSES ON ENSURING LONG TERM REVENUE GROWTH

-EXAMINE & OPTIMIZES YOUR BUSINESES /PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE

-LEAVE WITH A ONE PAGE PLAN AND DASBOARD MAPING YOUR SUCCESS

-WORKSHOP CONSISTS OF SIX 2-HOUR SESSIONS

KOI Facilities

KOI WORKSPACE FACILITIES

Series begins Monday March 20th @ 6:30P
Where: KOI Creative Space, White Plains, New York
For More Information visit: Koicreativespace.com/Launch  

A Low Hanging Fruit Strategy Can Launch Your Success

A Low Hanging Fruit Strategy Can Launch Your Success

Going after low-hanging fruit can be an effective sales and business strategy, but don’t confuse it with “Easy Pickings”. It can be harder than you think to find the fruit, and if found, the opportunity it provides is either limited, and/or may be already picked over. Experts agree that for the most part, a low hanging fruit strategy is not a long term solution. Use it to achieve short term objectives such as making the quarter, and/or as a final push to achieve the annual budget, and/or as a way to stimulate new business sales.

Making this strategy work requires that the low hanging sales are easily identified, available for harvesting and that sales and marketing programs be in place to drive success. Read more »



    

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