It’s 2013 and it’s time to bring your product development process back into focus by strengthening your product innovation process. Here are a few New Year’s resolutions we hope your team will set:

Resolution #1:
Involve your customers at ALL stages of product development. Once customer insight is captured at the front end of innovation, this feedback must then be captured, defined and integrated at all stages of of product development and continuously used to create, produce and launch profitable customer-driven products and services. In a constantly shifting marketplace it is also essential to actively and continuously check back in with your customer community by asking product-focused questions:

1. Is my product or service solving an important issue or problem?
2. Where do these ideas originate from? (Customers? Team members? External partners?)
3. Are ideas well-defined, and developed with customers in mind?

Resolution #2:
Embrace customer-centricity. It’s been proven that customer-focused companies attract more customers, as well as retain them. These companies bring in more revenue than their competitors. turn your company into a more customer-focused one by listening to customers, and letting them know you are listening to them.

Resolution # 3:
Structure collaboration between customers, colleagues, and business partners. While it may seem impossible at times, encouraging the sharing of ideas can help transform your products into great ones. When several people get together to discuss an issue or an idea, and they must make a decision collectively, a lack of structure in the group process will produce suboptimal results. If collaboration is disorganized and stakeholders are disconnected or poorly integrated into an overall business process, the outcomes can actually be detrimental.

Helpful tips for breaking down the silos of communication between stakeholders:

1. Encourage sharing of product-related feedback across your organization
2. Use social collaboration tools that enable you to gather and manage stakeholder input.
3. Centralize and organize product feedback

Armed with these simple game-changing new year’s resolutions, you and your team are one step closer to making it an innovative and prosperous year for your business!

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