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The column about Product Launch...
V.1 no. 5: "New Product Portfolios"
What's the best way to manage multiple
company that wants to grow its business
must become proficient at managing
multiple products that may be in
varying stages of the new product
cycle. This is sometimes referred
to as a "product portfolio".
Some products may be in the idea
stage, others might be just entering
or completing development and others
may already be launched to the marketplace.
By examining four key groups of
issues, a simplified high-level
plan will help guide new products
through the cycle simultaneously.
These four issue groups are: market,
strategy, planning and profitability.
The best way
to approach this exercise is to
gather up the facts about the multiple
products. You'll need product descriptions,
target customer, lists of existing/new
customers by name, target market
size, pricing information, and most
importantly, the stage of the cycle
that they're in now. You will also
need information on the primary
competitors for each product and
the nature of the sales cycle for
each one. Once you have the facts,
start at a high level. Create a
one-page diagram (or on a white
board) that places each product
on a timeline representing the new
product cycle. Now you're ready
to examine the issues, first at
a high level and then in more detail.
From examining each group of issues,
you will have a master "To-Do"
list with dates that you can use
to develop a new product management
plan for your portfolio.
(NOTE: For each
of the major issues sections below,
I have indicated pertinent chapters
and/or page numbers from my latest
book, "From Idea to Launch
at Internet Speed". The book
is all about managing new products
from beginning to end. Those of
you that have the book can consult
it for more detail on these issues.
For those of you interested in learning
more about the book, you can visit
the books section of this website.
It can be ordered from www.pelepubs.com.)