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Image by Colin Czerwinski

New Product Development Banana Skins 

#1     Regulatory Surprises

The regulations that define and control your industry can spring surprises both internally and externally. To avoid bombshells later in the development cycle it is important to know what standards are applicable to your product or device.


Use these to understand the testing needs and mimic final tests in development stages. You won’t necessarily be able to simulate all the relevant tests inhouse so get friendly. with test houses who can help you run pre verification testing throughout your development. 

Your internal regulatory controls are largely under your control, but external factors may pose more of a challenge. Engaging with notified bodies early is vital to understand what documentation is required for certification and to set realistic timelines. Book testing as far advance as possible as lead times can be surprisingly lengthy.  


#2 Inconsistent Market Feedback

In the early stage of a product development gleaning market insights can be an interesting and easy task. Turning these into actual product solutions is harder and  as designs advance the focus can shift away from people to the solution.


Ironically often the deeper into a development, when costs are racking up, the less people who use the product are part of the decisions being made. Leading to designs just not being right for their intended market and nobody wants it by the time it is ready.


Involving the people who use your product, buy it, specify it, throughout the process is critical to developing the right features for your product. 

#3 Forever Developing

Deciding when the development is finished, freezing the design and starting the transfer into production and launch is critical.  Done too early and you risk unresolved features, done too late and you risk rapidly depleted funds and missing market opportunities. Design freezes need to be done at the right time and taken seriously. 

Launch dates and regulatory submissions define key milestones for when development needs to be completed, but what if the deadline doesn't match the evolution of the project? Not advancing quickly enough to earlier milestones can be the culprit. When you are in the thick of a new product development, it is easy to believe that the design is more advanced than it is.


By setting early milestones that align with product requirements, developers can keep their attention on solutions, not on design details. Helping achieve the NPD zen of  harmonious design freeze and timelines.  

Any of these topics are pertinent to challenges you currently face?  give us a shout

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