Saturday, October 21, 2006

PDMA 2006 Research Forum – 10-21-06 Afternoon Track 2

Success measures for product development programs (Manion, Cherian)

Last year they presented on PD projects, but this one is on programs.

There have been two types of success measurements programs often use: growth-orientation vs. efficiency-orientation.

Similarly, there are three categories typically used to characterize PD efforts: Prospector (“first mover”), Analyzer (“early follower”), Defender (“efficiency expert”).

This study’s survey looked at the type of measurements chosen based on how the firm is characterized. They hypothesized the following mapping:

  • Prospector = Growth-Oriented Measurer
  • Analyzer = Efficiency-Oriented Measurer
  • Defender = Efficiency-Oriented Measurer
The data supported this for the most part, but it found the middle mapping was incorrect, suggesting that the mapping should be:
  • Prospector = Growth-Oriented Measurer
  • Analyzer = Growth-Oriented Measurer
  • Defender = Efficiency-Oriented Measurer

The study also recommends the following measurements based on the program type:

  • Prospectors: opportunities, new profits, new sales, growth
  • Analyzers: strategic fit, new profits
  • Defenders: success rate, 5-year objectives, efficiency

They surveyed 222 PD professionals.

The Comprehensive Strategic Positioning Framework (Blankson, Hirunyawipada)

The purpose of this study was to provide managerial guidelines for strategic positioning.

Positioning has been defined in two ways. One school of thought is that positioning is about how you describe your product so it resonates with consumers. Another school of thought is that positioning is about adjusting customer beliefs about the benefits and qualities of an offering so they desire it. This was one of the most interesting learnings today because it represents such as a clear difference in the meaning of a word that we as practitioners use all the time.

This study takes positioning to be both of these things.

Two frameworks were combined into the Comprehensive Strategic Positioning to frame the managerial guidelines Brand Concept Image Management (BCM), and General Positioning Framework (GPF). Here were the problems identified with the two frameworks that had to be addressed by the new one:

  1. Positioning over time
  2. Aim of positioning

Aim: effectiveness of the strategy should be based on convincing the buying community.

Positioning strategies:
Top of the range
Country of origin
Brand name

Managing Fail Early Fail Fast (FEFF) Decisions in NPD (Darroch, Schmid)

Because the drug development process is so long, the key is to fail early, before it gets too expensive. This is a generally accepted idea in big pharma (and other big firms doing NPD). But is FEFF a good strategy for small companies that can’t really afford to fail?

To achieve success with NPD, you have to look at a large number of opportunities because the chance that any one will pay off is low. The way to minimize costs, given this strategy, is to fail fast. Knowing sooner, though, requires a lot of information, quickly. That’s why innovation project teams need a steady stream of insights to determine viability quickly and cost-effectively.

A question I asked was: what are the keys challenges to putting FEFF into practice? They answered that nobody wants to stop their project. These side projects can continue longer in large companies than in small.

This was the most interesting presentation so far.

Pioneer vs. Follower: The time-to-market dilemma (Voigt, Brem, Scheiner)

If you have market insights, it’s more likely the product will be a success.


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