In our final blog post in the series exploring the 5 Key Ingredients to Fuelling a Successful Product Launch, we look in closer detail at the importance of speed, and ways in which you can accelerate new product development.

Speed counts, and in most cases it is the first in that wins. Some have argued that often the number two product learns from the mistakes of the pioneer and therefore ends up making more money. However, according to Dr. Robert G. Cooper in his book “Winning at New Products”, on average, the first entrant usually does better: “First-in products have a success rate of 70 percent at launch versus 58 percent for third-in product; and first-in have a higher profitability rating.”

However, simply speeding up product development does not guarantee success and there is a ‘dark side’ to accelerated product development where short cuts are taken and decisions are made in haste. Instead, you need a systematic and quality approach to ensure things happen as they should, without cutting corners. Therefore, sensible ways to accelerate development need to be built into your system, helping you to gather the right information to get it right first time.

“First-in products have a success rate of 70 percent at launch versus 58 percent for third-in product; and first-in have a higher profitability rating.”

There are many ways to accelerate product development without the expense of quality. These include:

  1. Prioritize and focus. We have previously discussed the importance of prioritizing effectively. Concentrating your efforts and resources on fewer projects means work will be done better and faster.
  2. Do it right, first time. Quality of execution not only yields better results but reduces delays.
  3. Front-end homework and definition. Getting clear product and project definition – based on facts rather than speculation – saves time in the long run.
  4. Having a well-organized team with a clear structure and clearly assigned roles. Effective communication between team members along with access to the most up to date information will save time.
  5. Using parallel processing (where activities overlap), rather than a linear model (similar to as relay-race) can accelerate productivity. With parallel processing, activities are taken concurrently, rather than sequentially; thus, more activities are completed in the same period of time.

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Related Articles:

5 Key Ingredients to Fueling a Successful Product Launch

Collaboration and Communication – The Key to Success

How to Prioritize Effectively

Managing Risk in New Product Development

The Importance of Appropriate Governance when Launching a New Product