Tenet #10: Remove the distractions
It should come as no surprise that, without active management, the resources needed for NPD will have a strong pull away from projects and toward seemingly urgent and very important tasks. Some of these tasks will be as critically important as advertised, while others will have the illusion of importance due to their urgency. Keeping your resources focused on generating new products is not always easy, and this undertaking is made much harder for the smaller firms where everyone must wear many hats. Potential distractions abound, and I would like to break down these distractions into three buckets of possible recourse:
- Reduce: Distractions that should be anticipated and diminished, and ideally barred from utilizing your NPD resources.
- Plan: Distractions that can be handled proactively by appropriate planning or changes in roles and responsibilities.
- React: Distractions that unfortunately must be handled reactively by using your NPD resources.
Clearly those tasks that fall under Plan or React are not seen as adding zero value. These tasks should be done, but some of them will not add value to a given project and so should be managed for as little impact on the project as possible.
From my experience, the following are the major issues that draw heavily on some, if not all resources used in a NPD processes. I have also made an attempt to put each of these into one of the three buckets listed above.