Product Development Process #2: Building the Business Case

The second step in the product development process includes building a business case. During this step, you’ll define and further analyze your product as well as create a project plan. This step is the most important in the product development process and will take time to do it right.

Building a Business Case: Move Forward or Recycle?

A business case is a detailed explanation of the product and the factors that surround it. The completed business case will include information such as:

  • A description of the product
  • The benefits
  • The risks
  • Costs associated with the development of the product
  • The initial timeline of product development

Once created, it’s shared with key stakeholders who then decide if a project should move forward, be recycled into something else or killed altogether.

Typically, at the business case stage of the process, less than 20% of the total project spend has occurred. The low commitment makes this stage the perfect opportunity to decide to kill or recycle a program if it isn’t meeting all the necessary goals to move forward.

What to Expect During the Second Product Development Stage

During this stage, you must refrain from taking shortcuts. Each data point, target and requirement will drive future decisions and directly affect the result of the product development process. This stage includes many steps that result in a:

  • VOC, VOB and VOR: You’ll develop a voice of customer, voice of business and a voice of regulation during this stage.
  • Program charter: You and your team will create a program charter that includes the project’s scope, timeline, required resources, cost, target markets and more.
  • Clear direction: Leadership will determine if your project is a candidate for success. If so, you’ll gain a clear picture of what direction your team will continue to move in.

A positive result at this gate will give the green light to develop the product and the processes and to build and internally test prototypes per the original plan.

The RFA and Matrix product development process is a derivative of the Stage Gate® process.

Give Your Product the Best Chance of Success With RFA & Matrix

You must follow a structured product development process without shortcuts to give your product the best chance of success. If you need assistance with your project, RFA delivers product development and manufacturing support in addition to Matrix’s engineering consulting. To learn more, give us a call at 952-843-2700 or send us a message.


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