The Unexpected Benefit of Interactive Prototypes in New Product Development

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The Unexpected Benefit of Interactive Prototypes in New Product Development

When the development of interactive prototypes involves many individuals from a diversity of specialties throughout development, it changes the way the network approaches development. When individuals from different perspectives (such as engineering and marketing) work together to develop and build an abundant number of interactive prototypes, new opportunities for cooperation, collaboration, and harmony emerge.

Fewer tasks must be defined explicitly. Tacit knowledge is developed. The construction and maintenance of To-Do lists can be minimized because corrections are more likely to be made in real-time instead of adding items to a backlog for processing at a later time. Frequent attempts to integrate deliverables drive the network to become more cohesive. Appreciation of other perspectives improves. Situational awareness improves. The ability of the network to adapt improves. Network agility improves. The orientation of the network becomes more implicit. The potential for innovation improves.

The potential for innovation spans the current project, the next project, and adjacent projects. Individuals retain enhanced capabilities for future development projects with other networks.

Produced by Mark A Hart, NPDP, OpLaunch

Published in: Business, Technology
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  • The Unexpected Benefit of Interactive Prototypes in New Product Development
    The greatest value of producing interactive prototypes can be the impact on the network developing new products. In some development environments, this value may not be communicated as a primary objective.
  • Sequential Development ProcessSome textbooks summarize the steps to new product development (NPD) as a sequential process:
    Select one idea from a large list of possibilities
    Scope the project. Develop a plan that includes estimates to transition from an idea to a complete new product
    Craft a business case or business model
    Develop the product. These development activities are typically done by individuals in roles such as scientist, engineer, coder, tester, marketer, subject matter expert, project manager, product manager, …)
    Test the product internally
    Produce high fidelity prototypes
    Place prototypes with potential customers for external test
    Craft a marketing communications package
    Launch the product to the intended market
  • Sequential Development ProcessOften, this approach is administered by:
    A formal management process such as a Stage-Gate® process
    Stage-Gate® process
  • Sequential Development ProcessOften, this approach is administered by:
    A formal management process such as a Stage-Gate® process
    A resource management process that includes a list of requirements for specific project roles
    Other explicit processes, checklists, procedures, and practices
  • Sequential Development ProcessOften, when Agile or Lean concepts are introduced, the impact is limited to the day-to-day activities of development.
    Often, when Agile or Lean concepts are introduced, the impact is limited to the day-to-day activities of development.
  • Common Uses of PrototypesThere are many kinds of prototypes associated with a sequential product development process.
    Some prototypes are produced quickly. They are used to evaluate a few design parameters. Typically, these prototypes are discipline specific. Artists sketch. Electrical engineers breadboard. Designers wireframe. Marketers test messages with focus groups. Typically, these prototypes are produced early in the development effort. Often, the process of designing and building these prototypes enhances the capabilities of the functional specialists that produce them. The raw data from testing these prototypes remains within a small group of like-minded specialists. In many cases, an interpretation of the test results is summarized in reports that are distributed to other specialists and managers.
    Other prototypes are produced in limited quantities near the end of the development process. The construction of these high-fidelity prototypes requires the integration of components from multiple functional disciplines. Since the prototypes are constructed prior to the market launch, the potential for changing the product is minimized. Often, the major reasons for the production of high fidelity prototypes are:
    Test the integration of components developed by separate groups of specialists
    Gather testimonials for use in the market launch
    Use for compliance testing (such as electrical safety, crash testing, drop testing,…)
    Forecast production problems
    Typically, the benefits associated with high-fidelity prototypes anticipate the production of products — the expected output of the development process.
    Other names for these prototypes include alpha-units and beta units.
    Other names for these prototypes include alpha-units and beta units.
  • Common Uses of PrototypesPrototypes can be static or interactive. Typically, interactive prototypes can provide insights that a static prototypes can not. For example, instead of a designer producing static sketches of web pages, the prototype could be designed and developed in HTML and CSS. Instead of asking someone to evaluate the aesthetics of sketches, evaluators interact with dynamic prototypes to perform tasks and solve simulated problems.
    Dynamic prototypes have the potential to provide valuable feedback. Since the feedback loop from the evaluator to the designer is faster, the potential for misinterpretation of the evaluator’s comment by the designer is minimized. The potential to detect mismatches (what the designer believed that the customer wanted and what the customer needs) is maximized.
    Typically, the primary benefits associated with the testing of interactive prototypes are associated with the anticipation of the product's production.
    When evaluators interact with prototypes, deficiencies are revealed. Individual contributors are presented with an opportunity to fix their mistakes and learn from the experience. When the testing efforts focus on product functions, prototype testing tends to impact individual contributors. Individual learning is associated with this testing.
    Typically, interactions with prototypes impact an individual contributor’s orientation (the way they approach the challenges of development).
    orientation (the way they approach the challenges of development).
  • Common Uses of PrototypesTypically, the primary benefits associated with the testing of interactive prototypes are associated with the potential to improve user experience (UX).
  • Unexpected BenefitThe value of producing interactive prototypes can go beyond generating user experience data. The greatest value can be the impact on the network developing the new product.
    When the development of interactive prototypes involves many individuals from diverse specialties, it changes the way the network approaches development. 

  • Unexpected BenefitWhen individuals from different perspectives (such as engineering and marketing) work together to develop an abundant number of interactive prototypes, the benefits include:
    New opportunities for cooperation, collaboration, and harmony
    Reduction of the innovation gap (the time from an idea to value creation)
  • Unexpected BenefitFewer tasks must be defined explicitly. Tacit knowledge is developed. The construction and maintenance of To-Do lists can be minimized because corrections are more likely to be made in real-time instead of adding items to a backlog for processing at a later time. The network becomes more cohesive. Appreciation of other perspectives improves. Situational awareness improves. The ability of the network to adapt improves. Network agility improves. The orientation of the network becomes more implicit.
  • Unexpected BenefitThe potential for innovation improves.
    The potential for innovation spans the current project, the next project, and adjacent projects. Individuals retain enhanced capabilities for future development projects with other networks.
    The potential for innovation spans the current project, the next project, and adjacent projects. Individuals retain enhanced capabilities for future development projects with other networks.
  • Feedback, Feed Forward, and Implicit Guidance & ControlWhen interactive, holistic prototypes are built and evaluated frequently throughout the development effort, the unexpected benefits include realtime improvements to feedback, feed forward, and implicit guidance and control proficiencies throughout the network.
    When interactive, holistic prototypes are built and evaluated frequently throughout the development effort, the unexpected benefits include realtime improvements to feedback, feed forward, and implicit guidance and control proficiencies throughout the network.
  • Common Uses of PrototypesAs the development capabilities of the network are enhanced, the development approach becomes more recursive, the Development Experience [DX] for improves, and the probability of project innovation is maximized.
    An improved potential for innovation is compounded. It can span the current project, the next project, and adjacent projects. Individuals retain enhanced capabilities for future development projects with other networks.
    An improved potential for innovation is compounded. It can span the current project, the next project, and adjacent projects. Individuals retain enhanced capabilities for future development projects with other networks.
  • This episode included extracts from the book "Developing Winners: Assimilating the Insights Encapsulated in Boyd's OODA Loop" by OpLaunch founder, Mark A Hart.
  • If you would like to learn more about The Unexpected Benefit of Interactive Prototypes in New Product Development or explore other new product development resources, I invite you to visit the OpLaunch website at www.oplaunch.com
    Thanks for viewing this presentation regarding Development Experience in New Product Development. Created December 19th, 2013.
    Thanks for viewing this presentation regarding Development Experience in New Product Development. Created December 19th, 2013.
  • The Unexpected Benefit of Interactive Prototypes in New Product Development

    1. 1. The Unexpected Benefit of Interactive Prototypes in New Product Development Mark A Hart, NPDP 1 1
    2. 2. Sequential Development • • • • • • • • • Select one idea Scope the project Craft business model Develop the product Test internally Produce prototypes Test externally Craft communications Launch the product 2 2
    3. 3. Administration • Formal management process 3 3
    4. 4. Administration • • • Formal management process Resource management process Other explicit processes, checklists, procedures, and practices 4 4
    5. 5. Sequential Development • • • • • • • • • Select one idea Scope the project Craft business model Develop the product Test internally Produce prototypes Test externally Craft communications Launch the product Agile / Lean 5 5
    6. 6. Common Uses of Prototypes • • Produced quickly by functional specialists to evaluate design parameters High-fidelity integration of components from multiple disciplines 6 6
    7. 7. Interactive Prototypes • • • • • • Users perform tasks Users solve problems Fast feedback Detect mismatches Reveal difficiencies Impact orientation 7 7
    8. 8. Interactive Prototypes Improve user experience [UX] 8 8
    9. 9. Unexpected Benefit Changes the way the network approaches development 9 9
    10. 10. Unexpected Benefit • • New opportunities for cooperation, collaboration, and harmony Reduction of the innovation gap 10 10
    11. 11. Unexpected Benefit • • • • • • • Fewer tasks defined explicitly Tacit knowledge developed Real-time corrections Cohesion Appreciation of other perspectives Situational awareness Network agility 11 11
    12. 12. Unexpected Benefit The potential for innovation improves 12 12
    13. 13. Feedback, Feed Forward, and Implicit Guidance & Control OODA Loop Sketch adapted from Boyd’s “The Essence of Winning and Losing” 1995 13 13
    14. 14. Unexpected Benefit • • • Development capabilities of the network are enhanced Development approach becomes more recursive Development Experience [DX] improves 14 14
    15. 15. Developing Winners: Assimilating the Insights Encapsulated in Boyd's OODA Loop www.Developing-Winners.com 15 15
    16. 16. The Unexpected Benefit of Interactive Prototypes in New Product Development www.OpLaunch.com Twitter: @OpLaunch Mark A Hart 16 December 2013 16 16

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