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Increasing product development

velocity
A leading electronics company tries to increase market share by increasing
the velocity of new product development
Executive Summary:

Client’s challenge:
Slow product development cycle
caused a variety of problems:
• Fragmented decision making
authority among development
team
• Lack of synchronization between
hardware and software schedules
• Priorities around engineering
capabilities rather than market
needs
• Antiquated processes relying on
checklists vs. workflow

PwC’s solution:
Create multi-functional design team
to develop new development
methodology and instill new
market-driven culture.
• Develop core and extended team
model with clearly defined role
• Assign accountable leader
Technology • Simplify & streamline the
processes to be workflow-based
Consulting • Executive commitment and
December 2014 support
• Controlled piloting of new
methodology
With the company losing
market share and revenue… Business impact:
they needed to accelerate • Adopting Core/Extended team
model led to clearer
their product development communication and faster
cycle… decision making
• Pilot tests indicate 20%
improvement in time to market
• Simplified processes and defined
team roles have improved
qualitative measures of employee
satisfaction and confidence
Client’s challenge: operations, and services. The design program to stress test the new
A slow product development cycle team came up with a series of development methodology. PwC not
caused a variety of problems for a recommendations: only conducted over 20 training
leading electronics company, with sessions for more than 100 key players
1. Develop a core and extended (including both executive leadership
over $7 billion in annual sales. The
company appeared unresponsive to team model with clearly defined and product development engineers)
market needs and demands, as its roles and responsibilities in the product design process, but also
products arrived late in market cycles. facilitated and assisted the new
2. Assign an accountable leader with development teams in executing the
With the company losing market
share and revenue, ultimately its responsibility for the process and process. This involved PwC providing
competitiveness was threatened. the authority to make decisions hands-on coaching as well as
Failure to address this problem put developing key project deliverables
3. Simplify and streamline the such as Marketing Requirements
the company’s long term growth
prospects at risk. They needed to processes, and update them to be Documents. The Pilot programs
accelerate their product development workflow-based – primarily to get helped overcome resistance to change
cycle, but had neither the specific rid of the “checklist robot and build acceptance of the new
skills nor the necessary perspective to mentality” product development methodology.
do so on their own.
4. Revamp the Phase Exit Review
PwC’s Solution: process
PwC assembled a team that included
However, fixing the process would
industry veterans, with deep
involve more than just diagnosing the
knowledge of product development
problem and proposing a solution. To
methodologies, who assessed the
truly address the long time-to-market
company’s product development
issue, a new, market-driven culture
process leveraging PwC’s product
needed to be instilled in the product
development assessment framework.
development teams. To promote
The key reasons for the delayed
success, two key tasks were imperative
development life-cycles were (1)
fragmented decision making authority  Executive commitment and
among the development team support to the new development
members, (2) conflict between
methodology
product management and
development teams, (3) Lack of  Controlled piloting of the new
synchronization between hardware methodology using high profile
and software schedules, (4)
development projects
Engineering capabilities as opposed to
anticipated market needs guiding key PwC planned and managed a pilot
product decisions, and (5) antiquated
processes relying on checklists rather …this multi-billion dollar,
than workflows. In short, this multi- 12,000-plus employee company
billion dollar, 12,000-plus employee
company ran product development ran product development based
based on archaic product on archaic product development
development methodologies. methodologies.
PwC and the client created a multi-
functional design team to develop a …fixing the process would
new development methodology. involve more than just
Drawing on both PwC's leading
practices and the company's expertise,
diagnosing the problem and
a design team was constituted with proposing a solution.
functional specialists in hardware,
software, product development,

2 Consulting December 2014


Impact on client’s While the results of the new process
business: are yet to be measured fully owing to
the 18-24 month long development
As a result of this engagement, the cycle, the pilot programs that began in
client instituted leading product January 2014 are on track to realizing
development practices: 20% or more reduction in time-to-
While the results of the market. Qualitative feedback
new process are yet to be 1. Adopting the Core/Extended indicates that employees believe that
measured fully owing to team model with clearly defined the product development process is
roles for each member, facilitated simpler, the teams are better
the 18-24 month long clearer communication and faster empowered to manage the process,
development cycle, the decision making and more importantly, that the new
pilot programs that began process will improve the firm's
2. Updating the workflows product success rate.
in January 2014 are on simplified the process, facilitated
track to realizing 20% or consistency, and reduced
more reduction in time- execution delays
to-market. 3. Assigning a core team leader with
ultimate product responsibility
established a culture of
accountability with desired
market focus

4. Aligning individual incentives to


common product development
goals helped to establish that
ground-level decisions were made
in the best interest of the business

5. Aligning hardware releases to


Software Release trains

For more information, please visit


www.pwc.com/us/consulting

Or contact
Rakesh Mehrotra
Thomas Archer
Director
Partner
(408) 230-1088
(408) 316-1558
rakesh.mehrotra@us.pwc.com
thomas.archer@us.pwc.com

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