Every potential new product or service needs a dedicated development team.
In creating your team, you need to include people with a variety of skills. For example, you may need:
- a creative ideas person
- a technical expert
- a marketing specialist
- someone in charge of market research who understands customer needs
- someone who can source components
- someone who understands the supply chain difficulties you could encounter
All team members should understand your business' objectives and be committed to them. You may also want to appoint a project manager to coordinate the rest of the product development team.
Managing product development process
Project managers are essential to ensure the successful development of new products or services. The project manager is responsible for:
- controlling costs and allocating resources
- drawing up the product or service's specification
- co-ordinating the product development team
- timetabling the development process
Timetabling the development process
Your project manager should draw up a critical path for the completion of key tasks and stages in the product development process. SMART (specific, measurable, agreed, realistic and time-bound) objectives should be introduced to help measure and monitor progress.
However, your plans should be flexible as well so that you can deal with any unknown event that occurs. For example, you may have to deal with a change in the project's specifications or expected completion date. For more information on managing your development project, see how to manage your research, design and development.
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