Effective Corporate Product Process

Years ago I was on a business trip and one in which a clean dress shirt and jacket was required. In my usual last minute packing I grabbed a couple of shirts direct from the cleaners. So the second day I pull out the last shirt only to discover that it was not mine, it looked like a shirt I have, the right color and size but not the right cut and it had French cuffs!

As someone who is eager to literally roll up my sleeves and work with clients and the French cuffs made that uncomfortable. On the flight back reviewing my trip I had not felt that I gave the session my best, it was all just a little uncomfortable and rough. I remember returning the shirt to the cleaners and the clerks comment, “Why would you wear another mans’ shirt?” Truly prophetic.

All this to draw the analogy with companies who try to install innovation frameworks rather than guide the team to create one that works for them. You are never comfortable in another mans’ shirt even if it seems attractive.

On the other end of the spectrum, some years ago I was brought into a company to run a tiger team. The company was growing rapidly and focused on creating a new products funnel for the core products. The CEO hired a big national frim to install their modified version of the most popular framework of the day.

The team worked to customize the framework but had never actually worked it and the product mangers rapidly took advantage of the situation customizing it so they could do as they wanted with little accountability. This mistake ended up costing the company a few million dollar in wasted infrastructure spending. The team started projects outside the company mission wasting key resources and chased ideas over market data.

Custom build your Product Process from a Core that serves the business today to more dynamic models for your New Product Development. Never wear another mans’ shirt!

Tim Bates