Product design and development is a must-have feature in any company that wants to keep up its rank at the top. Perhaps there is no other field where this is more evident than in the medical field. With advancements in technology resulting in new medical devices and the creation of new dietary supplements almost every other day, there is a race to stay ahead.
This is the reason the product development department has to be ahead of the game, since this department is one of the most stressful departments in the organizations that have them. The product development manager is under intense pressure to come up with a workable schedule of the product development when the truth is that this might very well be out of their hands.
While it is understandable why this is necessary, and the product managers are trying to rise up to the challenge, some false beliefs that they might be holding might actually be dragging them behind.
- There needs to be maximum use of resources for best performance
This might actually have worked, if the main resources in the product design and development department was not human capital. While demanding 100% of your employee might result in some gains for the company, you will have to keep in mind that this will only be temporary. There is so much a human being can do and pushing them to the limit is not the way to get maximum results.
You might say that you are not doing this to your employees. Well another mistake that people make is by expecting the employees to produce the same quantity and quality of work in every stage of the product life-cycle.
Given the high rate of uncertainty associated with product development, is not wise, not only are you putting unnecessary pressure on your employees, you will also most likely experience delays. Create room for variation.
- You should process the work in larger batches for shorter time taken
A product may be composed of up to 200 components. This fallacy proposes that all 200 components should first be completed before testing. Makes sense because it will greatly reduce on the time it would have taken if, say, the product was tested after every 10 components.
However, does it really work that way? Not really. Most of the time the process is delayed much more because if a problem is discovered after the 200 components have all been added, all the hours put into that work need to be undone and the process began again, bad move.
The best thing for the company is to figure out the ideal size for their product batches and work with that.
- The sooner you start the project, the sooner you will finish
While it is understandable that no manager is pleased when the employees do not have much to do during down-times, the option they choose, to start projects at this moment even when they know they will not be able to follow it through to the end, does not make matters any better.
The assumption made by the managers is that as long as that work has been started, even though it cannot be followed through to the end, when the time does come for that project they can just pick up where they left off.
This presents obvious challenges. First, the efforts directed towards the project in the first instance will be diluted because of the fact that none of the people working on it will take it too seriously. In addition, what might have been in vogue at the beginning of the project might be redundant by the time it is actually being implemented.
- Stick to the plan, no matter what!
No matter how good your product development plan is, there will almost certainly be a need to adjust it at some point. Companies, which put unwavering faith in their plans and completely resist any attempts to adjust it most of the times, wind up in disappointment.
The project requirements are bound to change, and as such, the plan cannot be followed to the letter. Many companies blame any deviation on poor management, but this is just a normal part of any project implementation.
This article was written by Chad, a passionate blogger on product design and development.