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Detour NPD bottlenecks

The Board of Directors want to increase productivity of successful new products. Their decision sets ups a tussle between the CEO and the new product development (NPD) leader. I’ve seen this tussle during many client projects.

The tussle is not about NPD strategy

The CEO and the NPD leader accept the Board’s strategy of leveraging the firm’s top-notch technology assets. But they differ on the number and priority of the NPD projects placed in the development queue.

The CEO considers NPD to be an engineering system with a queue of projects running at full capacity.

The NPD leader considers NPD to be a development system. In the leader’s system, keeping the queue of projects below 80% capacity, cuts Time-To-Market (TTM) of successful products by 30+%.

The CEO viewpoint … I know what customers want. For higher productivity, the NPD leader needs to use my ideas and priorities. The NPD leader viewpoint … For higher productivity, I need to learn what customers really need and will buy.”

In line with the Board’s Strategy, the NPD leader will:

Using the power of reciprocity to gain the CEO’s compliance

The NPD leader starts dialogues with CEO. Their focus is on business problems caused by jumping the queue.
For example: Sales’ insistence on quick responses to major customers’ requests.

The leader says:

The CEO says: “It sounds like there is a pattern here. What is going on?”

The leader’s response: “Sale’s contacts are buying agents. Buying agents are not the real decision-makers for products meeting our Board’s strategy.
The true decision-maker is a technical expert, hidden from public view. When we contact that expert, we can beat our competitors.”

The CEO says: “OK, go ahead. But, keep me informed every step of the way.”

NPD leader hires a consultant who finds the true decision-makers.

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