Enabling new product developers to win consistently

OpLaunch enables individual contributors to win consistently by improving their capabilities to shape their new product development efforts. These capabilities maximize a new product development network's capabilities to improve their focus and expectations as they develop multiple advantages to win.

New product developers at whiteboard. What is Phase 2?

OpLaunch enables individuals (such as engineers, coders, graphics designers, business specialists, and communicators) to shape their approach to new product development and to win consistently. Impacts include outstanding product reviews and project reviews.

Development Options

Development options are more than:

  • Operational, tactical, or strategic choices
  • Real options (delaying decisions until the last responsible moment)
  • A contract, like a financial option, where individuals may obtain items at a specified price in the future
  • The creation of two versions of a component followed by comparative (A/B) testing within a specialty group

A development options approach is characterized by synthesizing and exercising multiple perspectives, concurrent, recursive options to maximize the development of the network’s capability to evolve expectations and self-correct focus throughout projects.

Synthesis: a process of connection. Synthesis generates something new and different. A synthesis approach enables one to imagine how a series of efforts may work together to produce the desired result.

Exercise: a combination of decision, action, and interaction. Exercise includes the interaction of people with prototypes.

Many: more than one potential solution. Having several options reduces the reliance on the accuracy of detailed forecasts.

Multiple Perspective: an orientation that benefits from a diversity of views. Orientations are better informed. This approach supersedes compromise or consensus. The potential for mismatches (the difference between the actual and the interpretation) is reduced. John Boyd referred to this as “an ongoing many-sided implicit cross-referencing process of projection, empathy, correlation, and rejection.” (Boyd, The Essence of Winning and Losing, 1995)

Concurrent: more than one option can be synthesized and/or exercised at one time. Learning is accelerated. Parallel experiments, including A/B testing, are encouraged.

Recursion: any solution or technique in which large problems are solved by reducing them to smaller problems of the same form. Sub-optimization is reduced.

Focus: the item for temporary, concentrated attention. The current objective.

Expectations: a set of beliefs that evolves during a project. Expectations include requirements, specifications, value propositions, and hypotheses.

Vision and Version interplay

In this illustration, synthesized development options are represented by four items described in documents. Exercised options are represented by three prototypes and their interaction with the environment which includes potential customers. The interactions shape subsequent syntheses.

Characteristics of Attractive Development Options

Attractive development options:

  • Provide a framework to improve the capacity for a continuously self-correcting, network-informed expectations (schwerpunkt) and focus throughout development
  • Enable a dynamic network to detect and correct mismatches from factors such as accumulated learning, evolving market conditions, and new boundary conditions
  • Provide a way for individuals to express autonomy within a network that involves a multitude of efforts within boundaries
  • Expedite the validation of more project details
  • Prepare for informed synthesis in the future
  • Are tasks that are likely to impact the antifragility of the network during a project
  • Answer the question ‘what should the network embrace now to improve the potential to win in the future?’
  • Are synthesized and exercised continuously during a project to refine expectations and focus of efforts to generate a win
  • Are consistent with the concept of safe-to-fail experiments that have an asymmetric payoff function (large potential gain, small potential loss)
  • Are exercised, evolve, or expire

The capabilities of the network impact the attractiveness of the development options that are generated. To the extent that options are exercised and provide feedback, the confidence in their attractiveness tends to increase.

Multiple development options can be active simultaneously to provide multiple opportunities to win within the project’s current constraints.

Development options throughout new product development

ThIs illustration contains representations of four snapshots of the development network from the beginning of the project to pre-launch. Individuals engage and disengage throughout the project. The image in the upper-right corner represents the holistic solution set. The arrow represents a corrected version of the focus of efforts after a change in expectations early in the project. The graphic elements within the arrow represent the details of synthesizing and exercising development options to evaluate multiple opportunities to win as well as to detect and to correct mismatches. Discontinued development options are represented using red octagons.

Pathways to new product development proficiency

While some organizations develop new products by assigning tasks to existing, available resources, our approach enhances the optionality of the development network to be more effective and efficient. Instead of the limitations of templates, tutorials, patterns, and checklists, our approach goes beyond compliance with explicit processes to training individual contributors to do things beyond their current ability, to do new things, to analyze the results, and to correct their mistakes. While some offer common incentivization techniques, the OpLaunch approach improves antifragility.

We help individuals improve specific NPD skills. We design deliberative practice exercises to improve implicit coordination, cross-functional collaboration, mutualism, and the cohesiveness of efforts within development networks.

Strategies to Win

We embrace a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach to new product development.

Instead of requiring extensive design efforts with rigid requirements at the beginning of a project followed by explicit execution, our approach promotes an interactive process of continuous learning.

While others emphasize processes with a series of handoffs and gates, the OpLaunch approach capitalizes on multiple options across multiple domains to provide multiple opportunities to win.

We design development environments to improve the capabilities for better development experiences to engage individual contributors. We increase the elements of motivation (such as autonomy, mastery, and purpose) to out-perform development environments characterized by procrustean rules, mediocrity, and apathy.

Our approach includes recursion (solving problems of the same form) and reductionism (splitting tasks to conform to existing silos). Our approach promotes simultaneous development efforts. Our approach capitalizes on diversity in the development network.

Why improve your capability to synthesize and exercise development options?

With enhanced development optionality, individuals can transition from their roles of specialists to become contributors to development options.

This approach is more powerful than cross-training. An engineer does not need to become a marketer. A marketer does not need to learn how to code.

Rather than maintaining functional silos, the OpLaunch approach capitalizes on domain diversity. A specialist can practice their craft in new and powerful ways to accomplish the objective - adding value to the development effort. Our approach facilitates pair development to synthesize options that are informed by the analyses of multiple perspectives.

Pair Development

This approach promotes qualities such as flow, and harmony.

When you enhance your NPD optionality, your development experience (DX) improves and the development experiences of your colleagues improve.

Better successes

Typically, specialists express their successes to peers. For example, a coder may express their successes through recurring actions such as pushing files to their Github repository. This approach applies to individuals during projects. To a greater extent, this approach applies to individuals throughout their careers.

OpLaunch develops solutions that enable product users to feel more successful. Customers may express their s by actions such as posting product reviews that describe how the products enable them to be successful.

OpLaunch develops solutions that improve business, project, and portfolio metrics. Managers may express their endorsements through actions such as presenting at an innovation conference. Managers may quantify their success using business metrics and projects metrics.

Management receives better returns on development investments. Competitive advantage. Less grief.

Improve your capabilities to win

OpLaunch can contribute to development in two ways:

  • New product development services to specific projects
  • Consulting, coaching, and training to individuals and groups in online and on-site sessions in hourly, project, or retainer arrangements