© Linda Gorchels (2011)
There are several processes and templates (including many variations of Stage-gate) available evaluate a firm’s new product development approach. To better understand the product manager’s role in the process, it is useful to collapse the process into a product manager’s 3C development process: Concepting, Creating, and Commercializing. During concepting there’s a strong emphasis on data capture, with the product manager taking a lead role in gathering and evangelizing market insights. As the process moves into product creation (design and development), emphasis morphs slightly from product management to project management. Whether team leadership stays with the product manager or shifts to a separate project manager depends on company procedures, product complexity and role expectations. Either way, the product manager must stay actively involved in oversight, ensuring that the new product project effectively passes gate reviews (or occasionally making the recommendation to kill a project). If the project moves into the final C, the product manager should again take the lead during commercialization, including pre- and post- activities.