Product / Service Planning
”A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.” George S. Patton
Many companies today are running on momentum. The company frequently unintentionally runs off the end of an old plan before there is a chance to update the roadmap.
The result is that resources within the company are squandered or certainly not used in an optimal manner. This situation can be remedied by putting in a place a well-managed Product and Technology Roadmap process coupled with documented Product Plans.
A Product Roadmap will show in a clear and concise way:
- Which products the company is currently shipping,
- Their planned availability dates and life-cycle
- Which products will replace the current products
- When will the current products be replaced
Similarly a Technology Roadmap is a tool that can help companies visualize which technologies they will use over the coming months and years. In particular a Technology Roadmap can help identify up and coming technologies which might require resources within the company to receive additional training or even the hiring or shifting of skill sets.
Whereas the Product Roadmap can provide a high level overview, Product Plans can help guide development, manufacturing and sales teams to meet targets. By capturing sales targets and combining with development plans, company management is able to decide appropriate resourcing levels and ensure that the key objectives are met.
ZedCan can help catalyze the activities around preparing and managing the Product and Technology Roadmaps as well as detailed Product Plans. Using standard processes and templates helps ensure quality results. Sometimes an external view can help break deadlocks and bring rapid closure to open issues that impede the completion of the these plans.
Motorola Wireless Data Group
For several years Motorola’s Wireless Data Group struggled with entering the market for public wireless data network infrastructures. The vision was often articulated but the execution was impeded by a lack of cohesion in the product development and delivery process.
By introducing a structured product planning process and later extending this into a Product and Technology Roadmap the Group was able to define first the DataTAC and later the CelTAC wireless data network infrastructure product lines. These were complex product lines which required the co-ordination of many workgroups.
The planning process led to successful development and delivery of the DataTAC and CelTAC products which in the following years generated over $250 Million revenue for the Wireless Data Group.