Take advantage of Schedule Associates’ rich background in new product development projects to improve your own product development efforts. New product development projects differ from other types of projects in a number of ways that present challenges to maintaining schedule, cost and quality performance. These include:
- the project’s scope is often more difficult to define than in other types of projects such as construction or IT infrastructure projects for example and avoiding scope creep once the project is under way may be more challenging,
- requirements definition and management often becomes closely intertwined with management of the project,
- extensive use of matrixed cross-functional teams may make resourcing of the project more difficult and risk prone, particularly if team members have highly specialized skills that can’t be easily procured elsewhere in the event they become unavailable,
- the decision to outsource particular parts of the project may be less clear if the technical capabilities also reside in-house,
- likely changes during the course of the project due to competition and other market forces,
- the product under development may push the boundaries of what’s technically feasible and may closely follow more pure research introducing associated risks.
Significantly, new product development projects are perhaps the only ones that are so dramatically impacted by methodology. Agile, dual agile, lean, waterfall…the project plan must fit with whatever method is being used to pursue the product opportunity.
Schedule Associates personnel can help by:
- assisting with project scope definition so that scope is defined in a way that allows for subsequent development and management of the project’s schedule and spending,
- crafting a project schedule, spending and resource plan that are consistent with the methodology being used to define and create the product,
- implementing and managing a change management process to keep the project on track once it’s underway,
- facilitating risk mitigation planning,
- modeling alternate scenarios to understand schedule and spending impacts due to such things as pursuing different designs for the product or doing project work in- versus out-of-house,
- developing a detailed understanding of resource demands and utilization for the project,
- maintaining the schedule in scheduling software such as Microsoft Project and incorporating changes as appropriate,
- forecasting schedule and cost status as the project progresses,
- developing relevant reports and reporting project status during the project.