Go Find It BEFORE You Need It

Sunday, 27 September 2015 17:04
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In new product development, teams usually don't seriously consider technical feasibility until they've selected a product concept for commercialization. Then, it's up to R&D to figure out how to make the product viable. As resourceful as a company's technical team may be, it can be challenging and risky to wait until after the project clock starts ticking before working to identify, develop or source feasible technical options.

However, what if project teams could begin this work prior to concept development activity? They can and they should.

Curious to learn more? Read on, dear friends...

Go Find It BEFORE You Need It

Does the following seem familiar? Marketing identifies a new product concept they're really excited about. They reach out to R&D with their plea: "We must have this product for launch next year. How quickly can you get it for us?" R&D rushes to identify internal and external development options and the race is on...

Given this all too common occurrence, I assert that project teams should actively identify and preliminarily qualify external technologies as a precursor to developing new product concepts, versus waiting until later. This will enable them to consider more varied and technically feasible options than they would otherwise...all without losing valuable project time. For a description of how this would work, consider the following hypothetical example:

Acme Company's project team has been challenged to develop a new bandage concept to compete with Jackson and Jackson, which launched a bandage that contains Nuvosporin branded topical antibiotic to help prevent infection. What could be Acme's basis for competitive differentiation?

Acme enlists a creative technical resource to identify feasible technical alternatives to deliver a range of consumer benefits. A two week search effort yields some very strong candidates. The scout confirms each of the technologies' development status and each developers' preliminary interest in exploring a business relationship. (Note, while the case described is hypothetical, each of the following technologies is real and exists today.) These candidates include:
a rapid, color changing indicator to signal the presence of a topical infection,an antibacterial derived from algae with formidable anti inflammatory properties to reduce swelling and promote healing,a safe, proprietary compound that rapidly stops bleeding,a wound dressing that releases oxygen to accelerate wound healing,
In concept screening, consumers express very high purchase interest in the infection sensor and the wound dressing. The project team moves quickly to pursue further discussions with these technologies' developers.

It is important to remember that the existence of feasible technical options does not ensure their performance, availability, or cost attractiveness. Even so, preliminarily scoping technology options will help enable teams to get an early jump on qualifying select leads, and help reduce the need to be reactive.

Many programs readily lend themselves to this accelerated creative scoping approach. Whether you'd like to learn how to do this yourself, or enlist my assistance, we can discuss your particular needs today.

"Connecting You With The Right Solutions" BFS Innovations, Inc.

Since 2005, BFS Innovations has helped its Fortune 500 clients with technology scouting, new business creation and development services. Contact Michael today at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 614 937-2408 to discuss your company's needs.

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