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Darwin and Product Roadmaps

 The NPI process is understood, more or less across many organisations. Customer needs are assessed, Specifications made and designs developed and tested.

The product is launched and now in full Production. Ramping predictably to volume and with all the expectations of continuing up to and past it’s product lifetime wherein the next generation is announced with great fervour and excitement on the market. The whole process then begins yet again.

But let’s just stop for a second and stand back to see what we have done. We have given our best effort to get it right first time. Experience tells us that this is the way. More effort up front, less issues later on. I’m not about to dispel this. It’s something I believe in.

 But what of the product once launched? Providing that you have already defined a suitable and sensible set of metrics, then you could be in a good position to monitor your baby and start to measure it’s performance against predicted Performance and known Process Variations.

But what also should be considered is intentional variations in product specification to test its performance within the market. These variations can be both within the current specification and therefore still in line with customer expectations and also outside, with the customers consent.

Allowing this sort of artificial Darwinian approach allows the product to be “dialled in” more to the customer and provides continuous feedback that means the next NPI cycle is less of a step change.









  Interim Engineering Director. Interim Engineering Manager. Interim R&D Director. Interim R&D Manager. Interim Project Director. Interim Project Manager. Interim CTO. Interim VP Engineering.