Effective product development requires a clearly delineated timeline. There is nothing worse than having an approaching launch date without a product that is ready to go.
How to track Product Development Progress
The key to success is to set small goals and consistently track your progress to ensure that you are on track to meet big deadlines. Be sure to keep the following benchmarks and metrics in mind throughout the product development process.
Develop small deadlines
Development is often a long and windy road. Without clear benchmarkers along the path, it is easy to lose sight of the end goal and get lost along the way. A far-off product launch date is not what should guide your day-to-day activities. Instead, break everything down into smaller deadlines. The key is to make these deadlines absolutely. If your team thinks that the deadlines you impose are flexible or negotiable, that’s a recipe for tardiness. So be resolute and be stern. If something is due on a Thursday at 1:00 pm, it shouldn’t be done a second later than that.
Create tasks to accompany deadlines
Again, breaking things down into smaller units is the key to success. Create a list of tasks that must be accomplished in order to make the deadline. Put a project manager in charge to follow up and fix roadblocks so that team members can easily see how much needs to be done before a deadline and budget their time accordingly. Furthermore, it also allows team members to easily measure their progress toward a goal. It can definitely be a good idea to post these tasks to an online task board so everyone can visualize progress. You could also set up a whiteboard in the office.
Establish a burn chart
Burn charts can be a great way for the team to see how many tasks remain in a given project, and how the tasks are progressing over time. The y-axis is typically used to represent project scope, while time is tracked on the x-axis. Use one line to represent the ideal number of tasks remaining (according to your pre-established development timeline) and another to track the actual number of tasks remaining. This allows the team to clearly visualize whether or not they are on track (and if they aren’t how far behind they actually are). It is an excellent way to keep everyone on the same page and way to keep motivation high.
Pivot International is a product design, development, and manufacturing firm with extensive experience in the medtech industry. If you are interested in engineering a new product or updating an existing product, contact us at 1-877-206-5001 or request your free consultation today.