New product development and product management are complicated in all industries. A core challenge is that project managers and product development professionals must understand how to identify and then leverage product line platforms. The gains from this strategic orientation are simply too large to ignore. And the losses from allowing competitors to gain greater leverage through smarter platforms and execution can be truly business life threatening.
Good product line strategy requires cross-organizational focus to overcome NPD challenges and realize positive returns throughout the product line platform lifecycle. Our free eBook to Product Line Strategizing and Roadmapping helps you create common mental models and shared thought processes across all contributors in your organization, facilitating communication and creative thinking on critical product line strategy.
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Learn how Product Line Strategizing and Roadmapping can help your organization:
- Build out Product Line Roadmaps that enable critical leverage and lifecycle management of product platforms
- Plan and execute Product Line Roadmaps to intelligently add new technologies and attributes to your platforms that match customer needs (VoC) in critical market segments
- Deliver greater value from your NPD investment by lowering development costs
- Improve existing processes by connecting Product Line Strategizing and Roadmapping to front-end concept generation, portfolio management the full business strategy of the organization.
New Product Development
Product Line Strategizing and Roadmapping
When combined, product line strategizing and roadmapping create a powerful process. Smart managers use this process to coordinate and accelerate work that pulls together and creates critical insights related to a line of products. This might sound simple and straight-forward, but in practice it is quite dynamic and thought provoking. Activities within product line roadmapping help to focus knowledge gathering, business analysis, and strategic thinking on one thing: advancing a product line both economically and competitively. In a full architecture of new product development (see diagram 1), product line roadmapping is a sub-process within the front-end, preceding concept generation and feasibility testing activities.
Diagram 1: Full Architecture of New Product Development Processes
Good product line roadmapping sets the stage for new product development by linking true strategy to meaningful and purposeful investments. The goal of the process is to create a focus for innovation that is understood and embraced across functions and up and down the hierarchy of an organization. When done well, the resultant documents and roadmapping diagrams, i.e., the full product line strategy story, will address all of the influences and true possibilities for a product line over both the short term and the long run.
Strategizing and Roadmapping Output
Teams following a robust product line roadmapping process have the objective of generating specific targets for product innovation, along with a priority ranking from the perspective of the product line of current and potential projects. These outputs of product line roadmapping have a key role in enabling the full architecture of product development — tying business strategy to product line strategy and product line strategy to concept generation. Product line roadmapping also provides guidance to insightful portfolio “mix management” and pipeline “flow management.” But perhaps the most important feature of product line roadmapping is that it facilitates a deep cross-functional exploration of the reality and possibility: the balance of strategic and creative opportunities with resource, competitive and knowledge constraints.