Best practices for New Product Introduction process have been in existence for nearly 30 years. In this blog, Industry Forum’s principal consultant for New Product Introduction and Life Cycle Management, Robin Talwar, will present a view on the most common challenge with adopting best practices, an approach to trial as a solution and some tips on what to do next in making NPI best practice work for you;

Since inception a number of organisations have adopted NPI best practices in pursuit of achieving launch excellence. In the same period requirements for quality management standards have developed in line with customer demands on supply chain to deliver quality products on time and at a competitive cost. Preventative thinking and risk based approach to New Product Introduction has increasingly been adopted by organisations to satisfy both the requirements from management systems and meeting customer requirements.

Challenge

On your NPI improvement journey and in pursuit of launch excellence, learning from best practice is admirable. Gaining cross functional stakeholder commitment  is one of the common challenges in implementing a chosen NPI best practice. This is likely to be underpinned by missing a solid business case for using a particular best practice approach. Another challenge is an assumption made for best practice approach that it can be applied universally and equally across all situations – Really?

Solution

It is my view that organisations do not need to apply the whole structure of a NPI best practice approach model page by page, but instead ask themselves what problems are we trying to solve, what improvements do we want to achieve and how a best practice framework would help us to achieve that. With this approach it is more likely that best practice will more become a “best fit” and if done correctly will reflect an organisations strategy and values, responsiveness to customer needs and above all improve the competitiveness.

What to do?

Current state process mapping approach following Lean principles is a good starting point. Where required seek help to complete a technical assessment considering the best practice criteria. Following this build consensus in the team on how far the best practice needs to be implemented considering the needs of business and define a clear action plan to implement.

Over the years Industry Forum has worked with clients to map the current state process and complete a technical assessment related to New Product Introduction best practice criteria. Following this a facilitated discussion with the team has resulted in an agreed work to plan for achieving the required maturity of New Product Introduction (NPI) process based on needs of the business.

You can also start the journey right here by completing a free NPI self-assessment. This NPI self-assessment is based on process pillars in our NPI model for launch excellence (see Fig. 1)

Fig. 1: Industry forum NPI model for Launch excellence