Product management is a topic that has been talked to death. Still, it’s a process where a lot of companies–both big and small–struggle. Finding the perfect product management solution is an ongoing adventure, particularly as the role of the project manager has expanded over the years.

We’re not going to waste your time and tell you we’ve found the “perfect product management solution” because that doesn’t exist. What we will say is that, thanks to the power of Pega, product management has never been so intuitive and powerful. Perfect? Maybe for some, maybe not for others.

The concept of NPM is not new, but the process has changed over the years. The tools to help move a product through the various stages have also improved.

If you haven’t formalized your NPM process, let’s explore how Pega can help.

Spark of Inspiration?

What goes into the next great idea? Do you think you’ll wake up with the next big seller? Or do you delegate it to your “idea people” and hope for the best? Instead of just hoping for inspiration, it turns out you can increase your chances of catching that spark with a solid NPM process.

Begin by looking at the marketplace and trends–and then think about where the marketplace is heading. Find ways to improve on ideas, to cut costs, and in that process, you might discover a completely new product or service.

Just because you think of a good idea doesn’t mean you should floor it. The next step is evaluation. Come up with criteria that you can apply to all of your ideas, and then take a moment to see if your product is really worth the time, energy and money that you are about to invest.

More than any other NPM step, this is where most ideas die–and that’s okay!

Baby Steps

Once an idea forms and manages to get past your new product development screening, it’s on to one of the most important steps: concept development. Every great idea needs to crawl before it can run, and concept development are the baby steps before even crawling. The idea behind concept development is to take the primary idea and explore precise, alternative concepts.

When businesses integrate their efforts, it’s time to start thinking of a marketing strategy for this new concept. Yes, to some of you, this might seem early, but understanding your target audience and what messages will resonate with them might also help identify any last-minute problems. Having a hard time figuring out who your market is? This might be a sign that this idea didn’t really pass the screening phase.

Dollars and Sense

The next step provides a final check before your business starts investing more resources into this idea. Up until now, you have mostly spent time (which, yes, time costs money). After you conduct a thorough business analysis, it’s full speed ahead.

Business analysis looks at the nitty gritty of this idea and start asking the important questions. What are sales expectations? How much will this cost? How does this new idea align with the company’s core values? How much will the marketing campaign behind this idea cost? Prototyping? Personnel costs?

If this sounds like a lot of work, just think of it before we had tools like Pega. Back before we had AI and powerful data analysis, all we had to rely on was focus groups and the instincts of boardrooms stuffed with overweight white dudes puffing on cigars. Tools like Pega take the guesswork out of product development and launches.

As much work as all of this is, all of it is necessary for the health and prosperity of your business. Once you get through this prep work, you are well on your way to launching a new offering. In the next part of our series, we will discuss the final steps before you launch–including the last chance to stop the process!

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