The first and second articles in this series of four illuminated the new product development challenge and discussed the first two keys to sustained innovation success: maintaining a balanced innovation portfolio and a protected budget for innovation aimed at new markets and new customers. They provide helpful additional background for what is discussed in this article, and you can find them online at pcimag.com or in the December 2018 and March 2019 print editions.
The series is based on work my firm did over the last 15 years on hundreds of new product development projects at global manufacturing companies. In the course of that work we extracted six practical techniques that can help you achieve consistent, long-term revenue growth. The GrowthPilot keys work because they make you better at three critical tasks: (1) asking the right questions at the right time during new product development, (2) minimizing your spend (in time and resources) on ideas that are unlikely to find market success, and (3) delivering the data that decision makers need to confidently make large investments in the best ideas. This article will describe the third and fourth keys: managing product development efforts differently before and after what we call the Moment of Commitment, and the role of an engaged executive in the process.