Revolutionizing product development for growth
By Talita Lemes
Industries are constantly facing the challenge of emerging technologies, and companies that respond with agility and flexibility tend to gain a competitive edge in bringing their products to market.
Within the field of electrical power transmission systems, two primary types exist: DC (Direct Current) and AC (Alternating Current). While AC systems are currently more widely used due to their historical development and compatibility with existing infrastructure, DC systems offer several advantages in certain applications. These include higher efficiency, lower cost, better control, reduced electromagnetic interference, and longer transmission systems. With the rise of renewable energy sources and the need for more efficient power transmission, DC systems are becoming increasingly important in modern power systems.
Highberg (formerly known as BlinkLane) was contracted by a forward-thinking company that specializes in developing innovative DC power transmission products. As a company that is experiencing growth, it recognized the importance of operating with greater professionalism to maintain its competitive edge and minimize lead times. One of the primary challenges facing the company was transitioning its products from a prototype phase to a more refined version that is ready for mass production. Additionally, identifying the optimal market to target its products was also acknowledged as a significant challenge. In essence, the company was seeking to establish a new product development process, and Highberg was entrusted with the responsibility of assisting them in achieving this objective.
Highberg's approach began with a comprehensive analysis of the company's current operating model, which helped to identify the root causes of the challenges that were impeding its progress. Armed with this knowledge, Highberg was able to develop a customized plan to streamline the product development process and address these challenges. The goal was to create a more effective process that would enable the company to produce high-quality products faster and with greater consistency. By working closely with the company's stakeholders and leveraging their expertise, Highberg was able to design a new product development process that better supported the organization’s engineering and commercial ambitions.
By empathizing with all employees, the organization was able to gather a full spectrum view of their roles, needs, and ambitions. This, in turn, ignited a creative process within the company. The injection of fresh perspective provided by the employees' feedback prompted them to question the way of working and consider how to operate more effectively in the new moment.
By carefully listening to the feedback from both internal and external audiences, the company was able to gain a common understanding and alignment about where they currently stood and whether this aligned with their desired direction and strategy.
Overall, this collaborative approach fostered a culture of innovation and continuous improvement, enabling the company to adapt and evolve in response to changing circumstances and maintain a competitive edge in the market.
Highberg Consulting provided the client with exposure to best practices from other clients and guidance on how to transition from a project-oriented to a product-oriented organization. This strategic direction was chosen because product-led organizations offer several benefits, including clear focus, better resource allocation, continuous improvement, brand loyalty, and long-term planning.
By achieving clarity and alignment on product and organizational strategies, the company was able to develop a future vision that provided a clear direction for its growth. To sustain this vision, Highberg recommended implementing Agile practices that foster collaboration, continuous improvement, and responsiveness. This would enable the company to oversee spending, compliance, and performance while also driving the organization to operate optimally.
By adopting an Agile mindset and methodology, the company will be able to better manage its resources, prioritize, and deliver higher-quality products to the market. This, in turn, will help to increase customer satisfaction and build brand loyalty. Highberg recommended a roadmap to transition from a project-oriented to a product-oriented organization, setting the stage for long-term growth and success.
Co-designing a new product development process with a client requires a collaborative and iterative approach that demands open-mindedness, engagement, and commitment from all parties involved. Sustaining the new way of developing products in a flexible and agile manner requires the establishment of cross-functional teams that incorporate new roles and rituals.
Organizing the new product development process as a system that operates in sync with all key stakeholders can deliver better products with shorter lead times. This approach benefits from the best skills and inputs of all stakeholders, including customers, suppliers, and internal teams, enabling them to work together effectively towards the common goal of delivering high-quality products.
By utilizing a cross-functional team approach, the product development process can be streamlined and optimized to meet the changing needs of the market. This can help companies stay ahead of the competition by delivering innovative and high-quality products that meet the needs of their customers. With Highberg's guidance and expertise in agile methodologies, our clients have been able to successfully create a new product development process that is sustainable, flexible, and effective.
After a period of extensive exploration and immersion into the inner workings of the company, Highberg has gained a profound understanding of its products, collaborators, culture, and challenges. This newfound clarity has allowed for a comprehensive analysis of the root causes of the organization's obstacles. In collaboration with the invaluable human capital of the company - its employees - tangible improvements to the product development process have been recommended, propelling the company towards a new era of growth. Moreover, a transformative shift towards agile practices has been embraced from the bottom-up, fostering better communication, cross-functional teams, and a nimble response to change. This marks a significant milestone in the company's journey towards greater success and innovation.