Prototypes cost money and a lot of time passes before the sales start. The Product Journey builds a bridge from the prototype to series production. It is also used to optimize products that create losses, where competition has an advantage, potential is unused, or basic conditions have changed. The goal is a substantial course change within a week.

Do you also know the following situation? An ambitious research project, possibly even funded by the EU, has been successfully completed. The applicability of new products has been proven. This completes the research assignment, but the path to market and series production is still very far. Many questions remain unanswered. Therefore, the prototype remains in a passive state. A sales start is a long way off. Transparent are only the costs incurred that have arisen in considerable height. This is where the Product Journey comes in as a new agile instrument. It builds a bridge from the current status of an individually assembled prototype to a salable product.

Fig. 1: Earnings Performance – Product from an International
Research Project

The same applies to products and services that generate losses. Further reasons for the need for optimization include unused potential or possible losses of revenue due to new competitive products. Basic conditions, such as consumer habits or regulatory requirements may change. A Product Journey can develop, combine, test, reject and re-work improvements in a few days. Why are these products, prototypes or projects in this condition at all? More on this in the blog Prototype in deep red figures? Into the profit zone with a Product Journey.

Fig. 2: Result Crisis after the Product Launch

Typically, further investment is needed to make it ready for the market. But then a product must reach the profit zone in a timely manner.

Validation of Different Options Brings Clarity

A product journey can make a difference within a week. Concrete results can be:

  • Assumptions regarding customer benefit, customer experience, business value, competition and technical feasibility were reviewed and adjusted as necessary
  • Options for improvements have been developed and validated
  • Complete transparency of all necessary steps is available. Critical paths, fallbacks and bypass variants are defined. Exit points are available.
  • Backlog is created (“From 1,000 question marks to a structured backlog”)
  • Required framework conditions for a successful product transformation are defined
  • A decision template is completed. If necessary, various alternatives are presented (different variants of optimization, change supplier, restructuring, disposal, phasing out product, etc.)

Fig. 1: From a Thousand Question Marks to a Structured Backlog

The Product Journey is specifically designed to optimize non-serial prototypes or unprofitable products. It is based on methods of design thinking and agile development. If it is well prepared, an optimal solution can be worked out in a concentrated week.

In the blog Product Journey – How to bring your product into the profit zone in 5 days, the contents of the Product Journey are described in detail.