Concise yet comprehensive, Product Planning Essentials addresses the complex, interdisciplinary nature of product development and product management. It covers strategic issues that emerge during the product life cycle, including identifying opportunities, idea generation and evaluation, technical development, commercialization, and eventual product dismissal. Special topics include public policy, international issues, and intellectual property. An interesting summary of product development best practices from several companies appears at the end of the book. Instructors, students and practitioners will appreciate the balanced managerial and how-to orientation.

Opportunity Identification

Opportunity identification

Not all companies begin the product development process with strategic planning. Most companies, however, engage in some sort of opportunity identification stage at the start of the product development process. That is, there is an assessment of what potential opportunities currently present themselves to the company, and of these, which opportunities are the best ones for the company to pursue.

In general, there are four sources for opportunities. Opportunities can come about because of underused resources, new resources, external mandate, and internal mandate. Underused resources such as excess production capacity can offer a new product opportunity. Companies typically are able to pursue most line and market extensions because of an ability of the production system to handle a greater variety of product types ...

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