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Product Concept Definition Essay

1694 words - 7 pages

The Product Concept PhaseAs discussed in Chapter 2, new ideas for new products and services are generated in many different ways in and outside the modern company in the market. Today a more open and collaborative process of accessing innovative ideas and problem solutions is available to companies on the Web in the form of wiki platforms. A wiki is a collaborative Website that can be directly edited by anyone with access to it. This virtual market for new product ideas that is generated by a wiki is called an ideagora, from the Greek word "agora" (marketplace). An ideagora is a global marketplace on the Web where insights and experiences are shared, debated, and refined. Companies get access to a global pool of talent through this system and can access particular partners or suppliers for specific new product initiatives.Because there are major issues of intellectual property in this open-ended, ideation process, many companies do not want to share their inside ideas on new products and services, and do not trust unknown, "global" partners to act in their corporate interests. But the process is gaining ground simply because it taps into a wide variety of new product concepts effectively and inexpensively.Entering the Concept Definition ProcessWherever a new product idea is generated in this ideation process, the product concept phase begins when an idea or new product innovation is documented and initially reviewed by management. If management commits to supporting the definition and evaluation of the concept for possible funding, as part of the project portfolios, it enters the product concept phase.After a new product concept has been selected from the portfolio for implementation, it is entered by management into the product concept phase and put through a scheduled concept development phase. This is the first test of the new idea as a product concept. The purpose of this phase is to flesh out the product concept so a decision can be made whether or not to proceed to design and development. This decision is made in the project review session at the end of this phase, and the whole phase activity is focused on gathering "actionable" information for a go or no-go decision in project review.Controlling Premature Product Lock-inBefore we discuss the concept definition phase it is important to focus on what is actually managed in this phase. In addition to the normal controls on time (schedule), cost and resource, and quality issues, the major challenge to project management is to avoid locking into a product design before options and impacts are explored. The purpose of this phase is not to pin down the exact specifications and design for a product, but rather to explore its performance requirements and business promise. Management must work hard, especially in technical and engineering processes, to keep options open and to offset the tendency of engineers and technical staff to lock in on a design too early. When product design begins before a...

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