How does your company decide on new products?

Hey all,

My company is struggling with the high-level decision-making on new products. As a designer, I’m basically given a to-do list each season, but upper management is having a hard time determining the contents of that list.

How does your company decide which products to give to the design team? Does the design team work on a bunch of stuff and then present concepts/drawings/samples to upper management? Or does design only work on projects that are approved?

Please keep in mind that everything we do is in-house.

Any insight would be appreciated!

In the best-performing companies, senior management does this through portfolio management based upon a solid corporate & new product development strategy.

The portfolio is best viewed as a bubble-diagram like this:

The bigger the bubble, the more valuable the project. But your management will need to determine what “valuable” means to them…That’s where strategy comes in.

Where do the bubbles come from? You for one!

Here is the best-practice literature on the subject:

Winning at New Products by Robert Cooper
New Product Management, Crawford, Merle &DiBenedetto
Revolutionizing Product Development, Wheelwright & Clark

This thread on New Product Development training could hold the answers to your problems. Because these responsibilities belong with Senior Management, you will have limited ability to change the status-quo… You need to get them to buy in.

Thank you, this is incredible info that I will certainly use!

That’s really interesting. I’d also suggest along with that excellent diagram (very informative!) that you look into lean manufacturing techniques and project management. You can get lost in all the tiny details in the development process & blow the project by not keeping a tight time-line.