If you're new to the world of product development, it can be easy to feel like you're swimming in a sea of unfamiliar terms and acronyms. To help you make sense of it all, we've put together a quick jargon buster.
So, if you're ever stuck in a meeting where everyone seems to be speaking a different language, don't panic! Just refer to our handy glossary and you'll be up to speed in no time.
Technology transfer is a bit like trying to get a cat into a bathtub. Y
A new product or new product strategy based on the strength of a technical capability. Sometimes called "solutions in search of problems."
A test market is like dipping your toe in the water before jumping in the deep end.
Time to market is the length of time it takes to develop a new product, from an early initial idea for a new product to initial market sales.
Total Quality Management comprehensively and continuously involves all an organisation's functions in improvement activities.
The triple constraint is the combination of the three most significant restrictions on any project: scope, schedule and cost.
The Fuzzy Front End is the messy "getting started" period of product development when the product concept is still very fuzzy.
A detailed plan for executing a project, identifying each phase of the project, the significant steps associated with them, and the specific tasks to be performed.
The term "whole product" refers to a product definition concept that emphasises delivering all aspects of a product which are required for it to have its full value.
A value proposition is a short, clear, and simple statement of how and on what dimensions a product concept will deliver value to prospective customers.
A corporate strategy is a vital tool for ensuring that a company's product development efforts are aligned with its overall business goals.
Corporate culture can be defined as the "feel" of an organisation. Culture arises from the belief system through which an organisation operates.
Core competence is a company's unique ability to provide customers with a distinctive competitive advantage.
The Core Benefit Proposition (CBP) is the central benefit or purpose for a consumer buying a product.
Convergent thinking is a technique used to narrow down a large number of ideas into a smaller group or a single idea.
Ambidexterity is a vital skill in today's business world. Organisations must be able to balance exploitation and exploration to stay afloat.
In product development, a consumer need is a problem that the consumer would like to have solved. It is also what consumers would like a product to do for them.
The consumer market is the market for goods and services purchased by individuals and households rather than businesses.
In the context of product development, a consumer is defined as the most generic and all-encompassing term for a firm's targets.
Conjoint analysis is a market research technique in which respondents are systematically presented with a rotating set of product descriptions.
Concurrent Engineering (CE) is a methodology used in product development that emphasizes concurrent development of the product and manufacturing process.
Concept screening evaluates potential new product concepts during the discovery phase of a product development project.
Concept generation generates new ideas or concepts for products or services; this can be done individually or in groups.
A product concept is a description of a new product idea that includes its primary features and consumer benefits.
Competitive intelligence (CI) is a broad practice of collecting, analyzing, and communicating the best available information on competitive trends externally.
Commercialisation is the process of taking a new product from development to market. I
Co-location refers to the physical act of locating project personnel in one area; this enables more rapid and frequent decision-making and communication among them.
Collaborative product development (CPD) is when two or more firms work together to create and bring a new product to market.
The circular economy is an economic system that is restorative and regenerative by design.
A checklist can be used to help identify all of the necessary steps in the development process, and to ensure that each step is completed properly.
In product development, a charter is a document defining the context, specific details, and plans of a project.
A champion is a person who takes a passionate interest in seeing that a particular process or product is fully developed and marketed.
A Center of Excellence (CoE) is an organizational or geographic unit with an acknowledged technical, business, or competitive competency.
Cash cows are products with a high share of a market with low overall growth.
Carbon credits are a type of offset that can balance out emissions from businesses and other entities.
Capacity planning is a technique used in product development to ensure that the right mix of resources is available to develop a product on time.
Cannibalisation is the portion of the demand for a new product that comes from the erosion of the demand for (sales of) a current product the firm markets.
A buyer is the person who purchases a product, whether or not they will be the ultimate user.
Business-to-business (B2B) can be characterized as a business model that involves one business entity selling products or services to another business entity.
A business case is the result of the market, technical, and financial analyses conducted during the product development process.
Business analysis is the process of reviewing the business situation surrounding a proposed project and developing a financial plan for the project.
Breakthrough projects are those that strive to bring a new product to the market with new technologies; and depart significantly from existing organizational practices.
The breakeven point is the point in the commercial life of a product when cumulative development costs are recovered through accrued profits from sales.
A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or other feature that identifies a seller's product or service as distinct from those of other sellers.
Brainstorming is a group method of creative problem-solving frequently used in product concept generation.
The bottom-up approach to portfolio selection starts with a list of individual projects and narrows it down through a process of evaluation and screening.
A bowling alley is a type of early stage business strategy that emphasizes focused growth in specific niche markets.
The Bill of Materials is a critical tool in product development. Essentially, it is a list of all the subassemblies, intermediate parts, and raw materials that are needed
There's no magic formula for developing successful products, but there are certain best practices that tend to improve the odds.
In product development, a benefit is an attribute expressed in what the user gets from the product rather than its physical characteristics or features.
If you want to develop a new product, you'll need to benchmark its performance against similar products. This process is known as benchmarking.
The Balanced Scorecard is a comprehensive performance measurement technique that balances four performance dimensions.
A balanced portfolio is one where the proportion of product development projects in specific categories focuses on strategic priorities.
The lead project is the one that's moving ahead in development, while the backup task is lagging (or working in sync) to provide an alternative asset should the lead proj
Technical debt is the term used to describe the extra development work that is caused by taking shortcuts when building a product.
The waterfall product development process is a linear approach to development where each phase must be completed before moving on to the next.
Time to market (TTM) is a measure of the elapsed time from when a product idea is conceived until when it is available for sale.
The Total Addressable Market (TAM) is the total amount of revenue that a company can generate by selling its products or services to its target market.
The Triple Bottom Line is a product development philosophy that takes into account, not just the financial bottom line, but also the social and environmental impact.
The Voice of the Customer, or VOC, is an important concept in product development. Simply put, it refers to the needs and wants of your target market.
Vanity metrics are those product development metrics that make us feel good but don't necessarily translate into real success.
Porter's Diamond Model is a framework for identifying the factors that contribute to the competitive advantage of a nation or region.
The Ansoff Matrix is a tool used by businesses to help them plan their product development.
The Boston Matrix is a tool used by businesses to help them make decisions about product development.
A user story is a description of a feature or requirement from the perspective of the person who wants it.
A user persona is a fictional character that represents a specific type of user of a product or service.
Acceptance testing is a process in product development whereby a prototype or product is heavy-duty and subjected to realistic environments and conditions.
An acceptance test specification (ATS) is a document that defines the criteria that a product must meet in order to be accepted by the customer.
An acceptance test procedure (ATP) is a type of testing that is used to ensure that a product meets the specific requirements of the customer or client.
Awareness is a key metric in product development, as it helps to gauge how well a new product is being received by the target market.
An autonomous team is a product development team that is completely self-sufficient, with very little need for input or supervision from the funding organization.
The augmented product is the core product, plus all other sources of product benefits, such as service, warranty, and image.
An audit of new product development is an appraisal of the effectiveness of the processes by which the new product was developed and brought to market.
Attribute testing is a quantitative market research technique in which respondents are asked to rate a detailed list of product or category attributes
In product development, an as-is map is a version of a process map that depicts how an existing process actually operates.
Anticipatory Failure Determination (AFD) is a failure analysis method used in product development.
"Analyser" is a term used in the business world to describe a company that follows an imitative innovation strategy.
The Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) is a decision-making tool for product development and other complex multi-criteria problems where both qualitative and quantitative
A final stage of product testing in which the product is subjected to a series of extreme conditions (e.g., high temperatures or extremely heavy use) to ensure that it ca
In product development, an alliance is a formal arrangement with a separate company for the purposes of shared risk and reward.
Agile product development is an iterative approach to product development that is performed in a collaborative environment by self-organizing teams.
Affinity charting is a "bottom-up" technique for discovering connections between pieces of data.
The adoption curve is the journey that consumers or a market take when adopting a new product or technology.
Accidental discovery is a new design, idea, or development from unexpected insight; this can be obtained from within the organization or from an external source.
It helps you understand what people need from your product, and how you can design something that meets their needs.
Usability testing is a process in which potential users of a product are asked to use it in order to assess its strengths and weaknesses.
And it's even harder to keep their attention when they're bombarded with advertising from all sides. How can you make sure your product stands out?
TRIZ works by understanding the relationships between different elements in a problem and then using that knowledge to find solutions.
The next and final document in this list is the Work Package (WP) and this is a document that essentially encompasses a set of project tasks.
A Quality Register is a document that is produced to record activities that relate to quality. It attempts to control quality and any changes to it.
The next document is a Project Product Description, somewhat like the Product Description.
The next document is th Project Initiation Documentation or PID for short. This documentation is arguably the most important of any within the PRINCE2 project management
The Product Status Account breaks down the current product status, by communicating information such as test results, current cost status and varying factors.
The next document is the Product Description, and this is relatively self-explanatory. The outputs of the project may be a service, a product, or it could be both.
Even if you do your research and ask customers what they want, sometimes they can't articulate their real needs. They might not even be aware of them themselves.
MRLs are quantitative measures used to assess the maturity of a given technology, component or system from a manufacturing perspective.
In order to make sound decisions about product development, it's important to have a way to adjust for the inherent risk in early-stage projects.
NPV, or Net Present Value, is one of the most common measures of NPD programs and of the portfolio.