One of the most well-attended seminars at the 2014 Snow Show was “20 Top Tools for Managing the Product Development Process,” presented by Pete Frickland, founder and principal of Concurrent Product Development LLC.
Frickland’s 40 years of experience in the field includes 20 years at Cascade Designs, where he oversaw the integrated growth and development of several well-known product-driven outdoor brands, including Therm-a-Rest, MSR, SealLine, Platypus, PackTowl and Tracks.
Over the years, Frickland said he’s learned many ways to simplify the management of product development, or to make the process more effective by using the data in new ways. “The seminar was a survey of simple tools for managing product development that everyone could find something interesting in. Many of them are new to the outdoor industry and could be very helpful to a lot of manufacturers,” he said.
Some examples he highlighted as especially useful to snow sports manufacturers were the Non-Financial Portfolio Analysis and the Deliverables Roadmap Checklist. “These are tools that are cheap to apply and are universally applicable; some are already used by companies in the industry quite successfully.”
An especially interesting note was Frickland’s assertion that many manufacturers are not taking advantage of the data in ways that could be very helpful to them. “The research done by SIA gives manufacturers very useful information, but many don’t realize they can take that raw data and use it in some amazing ways. They can extract specifics to find new needs and underserved interests. And by using non-financial data, you can use it early in your analysis, and get the same answer by using a different route. Using the tools I present can help manufacturers bring the correct products to market in a more logical fashion.”
Summing up his description of the presentation, Frickland said, “The presentation provided an adaptable framework for organizing, planning and controlling the product development effort along with a list of recommended, proven tools, methods and approaches that can be used to ensure proper execution of critical elements of the process. Each of these tools discussed could be used independently or they could be used to assemble a system that is customized to the company’s specific product development management needs.”
Click here to download Frickland’s seminar. For a brief description of each of the slides in the download, as shown in the examples in the sidebar, click here. For more information, contact Pete Frickland at Pete.Frickland@ConcurrentPD.com, call him at 425.785.1941, or check out www.ConcurrentPD.com.