In the Ideation stage of the new product development process you created a pipeline of breakthrough ideas. So what's the best way to rank and prioritize them for further concept development?
Start by bringing the team back together and also get key stakeholders in the room to discuss collectively the pros-cons of each idea or concept. Successful companies and leaders uncover the best ideas by asking the right questions. I’ve found somewhere in the region of 5-10 key questions focused on different elements - customer, brand, profitability, production, manufacturing, marketing, technology or distribution - are enough to create a short-list of ideas to take to the next stage.
It’s best to apply a simple scoring system (1-5 points for each question) as this makes it easier to contrast and compare, while also helping to validate and communicate the choices within your organization. Here are some example questions for evaluating your ideas;
- Does the idea fit with our business model, our brand or product portfolio?
- Will this new product provide us with a competitive advantage?
- Does the idea meet a customer need and add real value? Why do those needs exist?
- What unique benefits will the new product provide to the consumer?
- Can the product be copied? Is there patent protection or are there substitutes?
- Is the market an attractive one – size, growth rates, profitability, competition?
- What is the complexity of implementation? Will we have to build or acquire new technology?
- Would the idea meet our minimum return on capital or profit margin requirements?
- Is the product easy for the target customers to understand?
- Can the product be sold through existing sales and distribution channels?
Phil McKinney www.philmckinney.com also suggests some great questions on his Killer Innovations Podcast to help rank your ideas.