New Product Development Phase 1: Project Planning
You come to Keystone with an idea for a new product. We have the expertise to work with you to develop that product and bring it to the market place. It’s time for us to roll up our sleeves and get to work.
In the first two blogs of this series, we identified the five phases of product development practiced at Keystone, and what we expect you to bring to the table when you come to us with an idea for a new product. If you have a solid understanding of the market and a focused idea of the need you want to fill in that market, we’re ready to begin project planning.
Most entrepreneurs and start-up companies are eager to start “making their product”, they want to see and touch things, build prototypes, and we understand their excitement. Phase One forces us to take step back and look at the product with a holistic view and truly assess the scope of work and outline the funding necessary to see the project through to a successful launch into the marketplace. Project planning is the proverbial base of the pyramid of new product development
Keystone reviews any previous scope of work done before our involvement. With the client, we will integrate that work into a new design. To keep an accurate track of the design’s progress, we initiate the Design History File documentation. This gives us an engineering and regulatory baseline for reference as the project progresses.
Simply, what is the proposed product supposed to do? How does it function and what are the technical aspects and requirements of the product. Together, through formative studies and research, we examine more closely the market needs that the product is meant to meet. We determine the viability of your product to meet those needs with an adequate return on investment.
It’s not enough to determine how well a proposed product will meet a market’s need. We also need to consider the needs of the end user to make proper use of the product. When it comes to medical device development, we also have to consider how clinicians will utilize or prescribe the product and what are the indications for use. For that we have to look at the complexity of the product, the environment in which it will be used, and potential training necessary for the users. The easier a product is to use, the better chance for its success.
We will continue to refine our concepts of function and user needs throughout the product development process. Identifying those concepts right from the start, however, will keep us heading in the proper direction.
In order to fully understand a product and its’ potential in the marketplace we often work with our clients to build value that goes beyond the product itself. We assist with market research and competitive analysis. We do formal intellectual property reviews and assist with both patent and regulatory processes. This additional work gives us and our clients a better understanding of the freedom to operate and builds a roadmap to follow once we start the technical engineering and development phases of the project.
Now that we have gained an intimate knowledge of the product, and have assessed its functionality and market potential, we can move forward with great confidence. Then when we eventually build those really cool prototype and production products, they often have taken on a very different and much more impactful form than was originally conceived.