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Speed Review: Managing New Products

Speed Review: Managing New Products

Speed Review: Managing New Products

Competing Through Excellence

by Thomas Kuczmarski

An innovation and marketing consultant, Kuczmarski presents a new framework to guide companies in developing new products that will effectively contribute to the company’s growth. One pillar of the framework is attitude — that is, creating a culture that encourages and rewards risk-taking and innovation.

Review

Product Development Begins with a Strategy
In Managing New Products, Thomas Kuczmarski, an innovation and marketing consultant, presents a new framework to guide companies in developing new products that will effectively contribute to the company's growth. This framework, the MAP(tm) System, addresses what Kuczmarski sees as seven fundamental steps in successful product innovation:

  • Measure. Regularly monitor new product results and compare to projections.
  • Manage. Organize for innovation. Specify who is responsible.
  • Motivate. Motivate employees to take measured risks.
  • Attitude. Create a culture that encourages and rewards risk-taking and innovation.
  • Plan. Plan a product strategy that clearly pinpoints the role of new products in the company's strategy.
  • Process. Put in place and communicate a step-by-step process for product development.
  • People. Teamwork and communication are key. Kuczmarski encourages a full-time person to manage the innovation process.

Specific Advice
Throughout the book, Kuczmarski offers specific, applicable advice. For example, in planning product development, he urges companies to conduct a "diagnostic audit" in order to understand the strategic and financial roles that new product development has played in the past, then extrapolate that information into the future to guide product development strategy. Kuczmarski cites the example of a company that was losing ground to a competitor despite maintaining an aggressive new product development strategy. A diagnostic audit revealed that in recent years, the company's "new" products consisted of line extensions and improvements to existing products, not "new to the company" or "new to the world" products that would give them a competitive edge.

Managing New Products offers a straightforward, pragmatic framework for planning and implementing a product development strategy. And don't be fooled by the "Third Edition" label on the book. According to the publisher, the MAP(tm) system is completely new.