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Will the new Seventh D of NPPDI Please Stand Up?

In previous blogs, I described iNPD’s Seven D’s of an integrated product planning process. As with any good process, improvements are always possible, and what do you know, today’s blog will update the Seven D’s.

To refresh your memory and perhaps clarify my own the seven D’s of “new product planning, development and introduction” (a.k.a. NPPDI) are:

1. Direct: The skills, techniques and processes to set a strategic vision and define the markets a company chooses to compete in.
2. Detect: The skills, techniques and processes to uncover market opportunities and user needs. Also know as market sensing, discovery, etc.
3. Define: The skills, techniques and processes to take outputs from the detect activities (detecting an opportunity and/or market gap) and transforming it into market and product requirements.
4. Decide: The skills, techniques and processes to make decisions in an uncertain world. As a side note, NPPDI really is a decision making process, a decision to move forward and invest resources on concepts that have an uncertain outcome.
5. Develop: The skills, techniques and processes to transform requirements into specifications and then into a product record for production and delivery.
6: Deliver: The skills, techniques and processes to get the goods and services to the end customer. And least and now obsolete:
7: Do it better. The skills, techniques and processes to improve the processes.

But wait you say, improvement can’t possible be obsolete! You are right, I am not suggesting that improvement is obsolete, it’s just the term “do it better” didn’t quite resonate with me. It was a bit forced and not worthy of being a pillar in the Seven D’s of NNPDI. So after some though (a lot actually – believe it or not) I have come up with a better term, my “aha” moment hit me. The skill, technique and processes that encompass improvements and quite frankly the willingness to rethink and re-invent to be more competitive is:

Dedicate: The dedication to create customer value and the eliminate waste in achieving your mission and reaching your vision.

It includes constantly improving your skills, techniques and processes to “do it better” each and every time. But it also requires that we take a moment to rethink what we are doing and explore if there isn’t a better way to create customer value and eliminate waste in how we transform ideas into deliverable products.

It’s that dedication to create customer value and eliminate waste that separates the great companies from the rest of the pack. If that means changing the way we do things around here, then so be it. Change can be hard, but not changing can be even harder when the rest of the world is changing around you.

You have a choice though, you can either embrace change and be a market leader by anticipating what customers will value, or you can play the reaction game and hope that there is enough margin available to counteract the waste that results from playing the catch-up game.

Cheers!

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