A great question.
When looking to develop a new product, it can be very daunting, and you can find yourself asking questions such as, Where do I start?, What steps do I need to take?, How do I know it's going to be successful?, etc, etc.....pretty stressful, eh?
In short, it's an absolute minefield.
And practically, you don't head off across a minefield without some serious planning and more importantly, the experts to show you the way.
Failure to do this could be catastrophic.
If you're going to invest hard-earned cash into developing a new product, you need to ensure that you've got your ducks in a row before you start.
This article is to help you do just that.
SO, WHERE DO I START?
Start by answering four questions - the very act of answering these will actually help you get it clearer in your own head about the whole project.
You need to answer the WHY, the WHAT, the WHO, and the HOW.
The WHY (Outline Business Case)
You need to be absolutely clear as to the actual reason you're doing this development. You need to remember that "Just because there is a gap in the market, doesn't mean there is a market in the gap".
Within this section, you need to ask yourself the following;
- What is the project's purpose?
- What problem is it trying to solve?
The WHAT (Project Product Description)
Hopefully you already have a vision or an idea of what this product might look like, even if it's a sketch or a scribble at this point - it might even be an image in your mind, but you can't put it to paper, and that's fine at this stage. Try to describe the following;
- What might the product be like?
- What sort of size?
The WHO (The Project Team & Stakeholders)
You need to be clear at the start about who is actually going to be part of this project. It won't be just you, and you'll need extra support, and it needs to be in place from the very beginning. Have a think about these;
- Who in your team needs to be involved? (bearing in mind they may have day-jobs to do)
- Do you need an investor?
- Do you have the CAPACITY and CAPABILITY in your own team to do this project?
- Do you need to engage experts in Product Development to either help with parts of the project, or even manage the project for you?
- Do you need to think about an end-user or consumer who could help you with trials, etc?
The HOW (The Scope Of The Project)
Absolutely critical that your scope the project out, albeit very high-level at this point. Don't go into too much detail here, but just get an idea, a vision.
So, consider these points;
- How much time will you need to put into this?
- What sort of timeframe do you have for development?
- When do you want to launch this product?
- What level of quality are you looking for?
- Do you have a budget in mind for this project (albeit, very ball-park)
The Next Steps
Once you have this information (or as much of it as you can), it is then time to take the next steps as follows;
PDC (Project Discovery Call)
- Book a FREE 30 min consultation with one of Innovolo's team of experts (www.innovolo.co.uk/contact-us) - you can pick the consultant of your choice.
- This phase is NOT chargeable.
Even if you need help to pull this info together, you can still book your consultation, and we'll help you fill in the gaps.
Once the PDC is complete, we can then go to the next phase;
PEP (Project Estimation Phase)
Within this phase, you can expect the following deliverables;
- A draft Business Case
- A Project Brief
- A Project Product Description (greater detail)
- A high level Project Plan (rough estimation of expected window of Time & Cost)
This phase is chargeable.
On completion of the PEP, we can proceed to the PPW:
PPW (Project Preliminary Works)
This is the final phase to carry out before the project can commence, and again, very important this is carried out. You can expect the following deliverables upon completion;
- Project Definition
- Project Approach
- Updated Business Case
- Project Management Team Structure
- Role Descriptions
- Quality Management
- Change Control
- Risk Management
- Communications Management
- Project Plan
- Project Controls
- ...and any other documentation as individually required.
Once again, this phase is chargeable.
Upon completion of the PPW, the rubber hits the road, and the project is off.
At the end of the day, your project needs to be a success - why wouldn't you plan it properly?