Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Delivering to the Plan

What does the statement " Delivering to the Plan" mean to you? To me it means that the right product was developed at the right cost and in the right time frame. Essentially, the project was successful in meeting the revenue and margin goals, as per the business case that launched the project. As you are working on projects what objectives are on your radar screen? If you are like most development organizations the milestone focus is probably on tapeout, first samples, evaluation, characterization and production release. Yes, of course you know you need revenue, but that’s not your responsibility, right?

Who is responsible for revenue generation? Sales and marketing, right? WRONG! Everyone on the New Product Development team is responsible for revenue. One important question to ask is, “Are projects failing to meet revenue objectives while at the same time showing success for milestones such as tapeout, samples, characterizations or production release?” If this is the case, it is time to institute new criteria for measuring the success of a project, one that keeps everyone focused on making money.

Success against revenue/margin goals indicates the team’s project decisions and actions were aligned to produce the right product at the right cost and in the right time frame. Setting the objective on revenue and visibly measuring the project’s ultimate success or failure against that objective will create the proper incentive for everyone on the team to challenge product assumptions. When this occurs, the project objectives and goals will reflect a heightened level of clarity, realism and buy-in; enabling projects that deliver to the plan, and that means meeting revenue and margin objectives.

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