The Six Tenets of Successful New Products
By Robert Goldberg
As consultants to new product development teams, the interplay of team and process is a dynamic that we think about and research on a consistent basis. It’s long been believed that the right hire outweighs a standard process. Smart, talented teams will always figure out how to make it happen, right? What if we put the right processes in place and train everyone? That will give us the edge that we need, maybe?
If I may paraphrase Peter Drucker, he talks about the discipline of managing people. He says that you don’t manage people—you lead people and make them productive by enhancing specific strengths and knowledge (Management Challenges for the 21st Century, 1999). He goes on to say that people and process don’t determine the other, but rather shapes the other.
I might conclude then, as managers, we lead people and manage a process and this is holds true for new product development. Seven years of conducting MIDIOR’s Benchmark Study of Product Development and Management Practices has highlighted six key tenets that will have a measurable positive effect on the success of your new products.
These tenets support another of my favorite Drucker aphorisms: “success is more likely to result from the systematic pursuit of opportunities than from a flash of genius” (The Discipline of Innovation, 1985). Our clients see the benefits in increased productivity and effectiveness by subscribing to the six tenets of successful products everyday. What tenets does your product organization live by?