Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Can Product Development Be Improved?

According to Chris Conklin, our Principal and Actuary, product development is a slow, inefficient, and stressful process for most carriers. In his latest white paper, Improving Product Development: How to Become the Speed-to-Market Leader in the Life and Annuity Marketplace, Chris aims to change all of that by giving some key steps to quickly improve the product development process.

According to Chris, and detailed in his white paper at www.improvingproductdevelopment.com, these four proven strategies can enhance the product development process:

  1. Determine your desired outcomes and put them in writing, along with who is responsible for specific outcomes. This will help shorten your timeline and drive down your costs.
  2. Devote qualified staff to a permanent product development team - designating this as their primary priority cuts down on conflicts that bog down the process.
  3. Let the product team determine the target dates, rather than senior management.
  4. Put in place concrete incentives for achieving the goals.

Chris believes that putting these changes into practice can result in creating big advantages.

What are your thoughts? Has product development ever been a nightmare for you or an effective process? Please share your thoughts and experiences.