Product developers understand the difficulties of trying to hit a moving target from atop a runaway train. Competitors come and go, technological change occurs at an ever‐increasing rate, customer wants and needs are constantly shifting, and a product's life cycle may be shorter than its development time. We can't meet these challenges with a methodical, step‐by‐step approach to product development. In such a fast‐paced environment, product development must be transformed into a continuous, iterative, learning process focused on customer value. G. David Hughes and Don C. Chafin describe one means for making this transformation: the value proposition process (VPP). The objectives of this development approach are continuous learning, identifying the certainty of knowledge used for decision‐making, building consensus, and focusing on adding value. The VPP consists of a framework of continuous planning cycles, called the value proposition cycle (VPC), and an integrated screening methodology, called the value proposition readiness assessment (VPRA). The VPC comprises four iterative loops, addressing the following activities: Capturing the market value of the proposition (Does the customer care?); Developing the business value (Do we care?); Delivering a winning solution (Can we beat the competition?); and, Applying project and process planning (Can we do it?). Somewhat akin to stage‐gate methods (but with the added dimension of continuous cycling), the VPRA involves screens along each loop in the VPC. This screening methodology summarizes the company's critical success factors, allowing the project team to assess the success potential of a new product idea. Each screen involves a structured set of questions. For each question, respondents provide three measures: their evaluation of that success factor's favorability to the company's position, the certainty of their evaluation, and their estimate of the relative importance of that success factor. Rather than building a model that computes a weighted‐sum score for predicting the success of a new idea, the VPRA serves as a consensus facilitator, allowing team members to see how closely they agree. The certainty measures help the team identify knowledge gaps, and the importance measures help the team set priorities for successive iterations of the VPRA.
The Journal of Product Innovation Management – Wiley
Published: Mar 1, 1996
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