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Why You Need to Participate in Industry Research About Your Product Development and Innovation Efforts [Interview]

Make Your Voice Be Heard: An interview with Innovation and NPD Evangelist, Carrie Nauyalis, on why your input matters!

Published By Leyna O’Quinn
Why You Need to Participate in Industry Research About Your Product Development and Innovation Efforts [Interview]

Okay, I know what you are thinking, “Ugh, not another survey!” I know the feeling. But wait, what if I told you the findings from this survey can impact the way you work, the way you get products to market, and ultimately the way your executives think about how to increase revenue from new, innovative products. To change your mind about sharing 8-minutes of your time to participate in the survey, I interviewed Carrie, Nauyalis, Executive in Residence at Planview – AKA PDPM Princess on the ins and outs of this benchmark study and why your feedback matters. Here’s what she had to say …

Why are you so excited about this research?

OMG!  You don’t even KNOW how excited I am about this. (Okay, so maybe you do, because it is all I can talk or tweet about right now.)  This is the 6th time Planview has sponsored this deep-dive look into what is REALLY going on inside of product development organizations. What challenges are they facing? How are companies getting their products to market? What considerations are impacting their product portfolio decisions? How are they balancing risk against achieving their strategies? Inquiring minds want to know! And it’s not just me – I’ve had countless product and innovation friends in the business ask me when we would be launching this research because they use it to benchmark themselves against the industry and their competition. And finally it is here!

Product Innovation Benchmark Study Survey

What is the purpose of conducting this market research and are there any market trends you are hoping to identify?

While we ask a consistent set of trend questions every year around risk, reporting and analytics, strategic alignment, resource capacity, tools of the trade, and market performance – this year we are asking new questions around smart, connected products. Companies are going to bed as manufacturers and are waking up as technology companies in this world of IoT. This is adding a whole new set of complexities to the innovation and commercialization process. We are seeking to hear from folks who are actively facing and solving these challenges, so we can share it with everyone. Planview also uses this unbiased industry research to drive the product roadmap, designing forward-thinking features to address the business needs of our customers.

Who should take the survey?

Good question. While I desperately want to say EVERYONE, that’s really not true. We are looking for people who are in some way involved in product development, innovation, or commercialization process. This includes engineers, gatekeepers, process owners, portfolio leaders, executive decision makers, product managers, people who own the product P&L, and everyone in between. If you touch the product in any way, I am asking for your vote … ummm, I mean, your completed survey.

Why should people participate?

Because I asked sweetly? No, really, there are some serious benefits and WIIFM for participants in completing the survey. Not only do they get to pause for 8-minutes to really think about and assess the current state of their product portfolio practices (how often do we take time to do THAT?), but respondents will get a copy of the completed benchmark study. After answering those questions for themselves, they can then compare how they are doing against their peers. Are there changes they should consider making? What best practices are getting the job done? Is their organization achieving its potential in contrast to the rest of the market? This is the type of research that I know ends up on the desks of executives to prove that it is time to change.

Prediction question: What do you think are the top challenges product development teams are facing when it comes to innovating in today’s global climate?

Ohhh, this is a fun one, Leyna! Thanks! Given that I talk to product development and innovation leaders on a daily basis, I have 3 predictions on the outcome of the survey:

  1. The number one challenge will be (drum roll, please): approving too much work for their resources. I know so many companies who say “yes” too frequently because they look at each product idea individually without the context of how it fits in with the rest of the portfolio, how it will deliver against the corporate or innovation strategy, and whether or not they have the resources to get it done. It’s the shotgun approach. I see it every day and it clogs the pipeline.
  2. The large majority companies will report that innovation is “critically important” to achieving the company’s current strategic objectives, but that those same majority of companies will rate their organization’s ability to take risk on new product innovations is categorized as “highly risk averse.” I often see a mis-match because organizations cannot visualize their innovation portfolio in context with their cash cow product portfolios. They don’t walk the walk of innovation investments.
  3. As it relates to smart, connected products, I predict that the complexity of products and processes have both “significantly increased.” While this seems like a softball prediction, I will up the ante to state that the number one challenge created by this increased complexity is “More risk to meeting launch dates” as a result of “More departments needed to make decisions.” Because the products organization now needs new expertise around securing these connected devices, storing the data that is produced by these products, and analyzing / reporting against that data to identify trends requires a whole new skill set not previously housed inside of traditional engineering groups. There is no question – connected devices are disrupting how we get products to market.

See! Your feedback is crucial! So if you are a participant in the product development process, take the survey now! We look forward to sharing the results with you! Stay tuned to the Planview Blog for the latest information on the survey findings.

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Written by Leyna O’Quinn Sr. Content Strategist

Leyna O’Quinn is a Certified Scrum Master and Certified SAFe Agilist. She has been managing the Planview blog strategy for more than 7 years. She writes about portfolio and resource management, Lean and Agile delivery, project collaboration, innovation management, and enterprise architecture. She has more than 15 years of experience writing about technology, industry trends, and best practices. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Business with a concentration in Marketing.