The Future of Product Development

For the past couple of decades, product developers have improved their performance largely by making the process more disciplined and rigorous. Such improvements can no longer satisfy the increasing demand for better products launched more frequently and aimed at ever-narrower customer segments. Companies must now turn their attention to building a more nimble and flexible product-development organization. To do so, they will have to focus on information flows within the development team, coordinate the efforts of dozens of subteams more successfully, learn to solve problems and synthesize results on an ongoing basis, and give more decision-making authority to project leaders.

Those companies that meet the challenge will have an undeniable edge over their competitors because they will succeed not only in responding to customer and market changes right up to a fairly late stage in the process but also in bringing their products to market more quickly and efficiently.

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