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Category Archives: Risk

Exploratory PD and Business Fit Framework Discussion at SWE Conference

Drotar and Morrissey will be discussing their innovative approach to developing products, called Exploratory PD® (ExPD) at the SWE Conference in Milwaukee WI.  ExPD is vastly different from the traditional phased and gated approach to developing products. An ExPD pilot was conducted at a division of a Fortune 500 company, and the VP of Engineering…
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Get small to improve time to market

Small batches will help you improve time to market, read the difference  between the traditional and non-traditional approach to product development below. Traditional approach to product development (Batches of major activities) In a traditional phased-and-gated system, each phase is a batch of activities that has to be completed in order to produce a set of…
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Planning for an Uncertain Future: 8 steps in Scenario Planning

A recent article in MIT Sloan Management Review, “Using Scenario Planning to Reshape Strategy,”[i] indicated a resurgence of scenario planning that initially gained recognition in the 1960s and 70s. Royal Dutch/Shell has been the ‘poster child’ of success using scenario planning to address the instability and uncertainty during the 1973 oil crisis. I was fortunate…
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Think like a detective when dealing with uncertainty in product development

Sometimes in product development the team has several choices on how to create the product. Choices can include: Which technologies to use Which market segments to serve Which value proposition to deliver Which elements of the business model to leverage Often times these decisions are interdependent. For example, choosing a particular market segment may eliminate…
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Are you a mad scientist?

Do you ask yourself this question…’Am I a mad scientist*?’ when your project has doubled in cost, the feature set is stripped beyond recognition, and it no longer meets original customer requirements since they’ve changed numerous times during the project?   And to top it all off, you’re experimenting and trying to solve an important problem…
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Dealing with Uncertainty in Product Development

One of the defining characteristics of product development is making decisions and judgments, in the face of uncertainty. Exploratory Product Development (ExPD) is based on the premise of reducing risks and uncertainty. We’re defining uncertainty as having imperfect or limited knowledge about something, resulting in the potential for surprise or unpredictability in the future. You’ll…
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The Myth of Doubling Down

It is tempting, when witnessing a failure of product development, to blame the people. Why? Because the company has invested substantial resources installing a product development process that follows the best practices of the day. They probably also installed an expensive software tool that promised to streamline the process. On top of that, they trained…
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