Eric P. Rose, NPDP, MBA, has developed new products in many sectors including consumer, healthcare, and industrial safety. He is an inventor with over 80 patents, teaches innovation at Pepperdine, and is certified as a New Product Development Professional – the NPDP certification. And, for those in Southern California near Sherman Oaks, he manages the Inventors’ Mastermind meetup for sharing invention experiences.
Practices and Ideas for Product Managers, Developers, and Innovators
Highlights from the discussion include:
- Eric’s road to product development and management started by studying industrial design at Arizona State University.
- The “ah-ha” moment for a new toy concept came from gluing a webcam onto a laboratory microscope. The QX3 digital video microscope was conceived, which went on to be the best selling technology toy one Christmas.
- The toy was a joint creation from Mattel and Intel.
- A skunk works approach made the project successful. Mattel product designers and software developers were co-located with Intel engineers in an off-site facility in downtown Portland. Having those responsible for hardware, software, and firmware working together in the same office without unnecessary bureaucracy was a new model for the partnership.
- After the project, Mattel tried to integrate into the company what they learned from using a skunk works and created the X Team to bring together people in R&D, marketing, and operations.
- Finding a supplier that could integrate the technology and optics became a challenge.
- Eric wrote an article published in the Product Development and Management Association’s (PDMA) Visions magazine titled “Managing NPD Project Tradeoffs.”
- He created the NPD Project Pentagon, taking the common triple constraints of schedule, scope, and budget from project management and categorizing budget into the three parts of product costs, development costs, and capital cost.
- The Pentagon approach helps to improve conversations with those controlling finances and helps account for the total costs involved in product development. An example of the trade-off is capital cost versus product cost. More expensive molds could be used to decrease product costs but they increase capital costs.
- A useful exercise to understand the trade-offs is to rank the key attributes of the product from the stakeholders’ perspectives and consider the cost contributions of each. An example is a status display on a product that is over 50% of the product’s cost but is a feature that stakeholders rank very low.
- The Kano model is useful for understanding customers’ needs in terms of product features on the dimensions of achievement and satisfaction to distinguish between features that delight and wow users from those that cause dissatisfaction. Learn more about the Kano model here.
“Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance” – unknown
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