The Formula of Project Management

The Formula of Project Management
The two practices, Project Management & Product Development, are joined together at the hip. Depending how a firm is structured will depend on the flow of fresh ideas, innovation, market research, as well as the managing of the invention process. Some enterprises will just throw their Project Managers to the wolves and let them fend for their own reasons. In this way I was introduced to Project Management. It had been this feel of being thrown to the wolves that led me to develop a technique that worked for every individual in the development process.

There's a proper methodology when generating any new product from any industry and the steps to product development as well as project management don't change. However, if these steps aren't followed the results could be fatal. A project that gets off on the wrong start is doomed right from the start. Whenever the product or project doesn't invest in "Front End Planning" the job will not run smoothly. Any product or project which has not been totally scoped out is doomed for mediocrity with a lower than favorable profit margin.
When we discuss front end planning I am talking about the following:

  • The marketplace is explored and the Sales Department is aware whether or not their clients and target customers have a need along with a wish for the item
  • The components of the product have already been determined and confirmed which the customers want them.
  • A complete preliminary set of standards include every aspect of the product; from the packaging and also the owner's manual to the plastics, printed circuit boards, to the outgoing Quality control tests, the accepted Mil Spec sampling; to the written acceptable quality level.
  • This document will be given to the industrial designers to create a killer ID, (industrial design).

"Front End Planning" is an essential part of any project BECAUSE every person involved has something in writing to start from. Your vendors have suggested specifications that they will either conform to or go back and offer an alternate or your vendor can come back and offer value engineering to the specifications. This is how real dialogue begins.

It is certainly this "Front End Planning" joined with innovative design that will make your product a home run. Supply the design team the initial specs, your clients input, your concept of the product and the end product will be a product that comes into production; is sold thru; has repeat orders; and runs for a number of years. The ultimate confirmation of your product being a hit is when it is knocked-off by the competition.