Sustainable Product Development: Streamlining and Optimizing from Research to Execution

Developing products which cater to the needs of the customer are essential to any business, to this end, streamlining and optimizing are a must.

We live in an age of acute disruption, Covid-19 has been gradually altering life in the day-to-day since March and it shows no real signs of abating. As we’ve entered the latter half of 2020, we’ve witnessed an exponential rise in global cases and a consequent surge in businesses struggling in their wake.

Amazon, Microsoft, Google – these organizations have served as champions of digital innovation in the new millennium and have profited hugely from that investment throughout the pandemic. If, as stated above, we do live in age of acute disruption; it’s high time that business & tech leaders intervene.

Sustainable Product Development

A company is defined by the services that it provides and consequently, creating peerless digital products which cater to the current needs of consumers is essential. However, according to 280 Group 21% of new products fail to meet customer’s needs, as a result, failing fast is the name of the game.

New product development – following the relative return to normalcy in recent month – is on the rise. Where businesses were initially forced to focus on ensuring employee safety, stabilizing operations, and preserving cash, now they are pursuing innovations to help them plan for the ‘next normal’.


When it comes down to it, streamlining your digital product development process is essential in increasing speed across your enterprise. Altering your process to focus on efficiency and simplicity will prove paramount in the post-Covid-19 period and, due to the pandemic, we’re already seeing leadership teams start to more readily improve their processes by doing the following:

  • Analyze Workflow & Identify Focus Areas – Your business process is rote and often undertaken thoughtlessly, but by studying each individual step in your product development pipeline you’re better placed to uncover the means of systematically improving them
  • Prioritize Work and Documentation – Break your process down into key steps and rank each process by importance, this helps to maintain & achieve outcomes from research to execution
  • Automate the Work Process – Make use of software tools and apps which help to streamline team processes and workflows, these help to avoid human data errors and miscommunication
  • Test Your Workflow and Adjust – Test your workflow in an upcoming project and use data collection tools to study the success in practice and to remove bottlenecks.
  • Put the Workflow into Action – Implement and train employees on the new approach to work.
  • Continuously innovate and improve – This last step is key, there is no such thing as a fully streamlined workflow, innovations in the field are constant, executives must stay informed.


Optimization is the second step in effective and sustainable product development and where streamlining helps to increase speed, optimization increases efficiency and cost effectivity. The key to optimizing your product development process in terms of performance and execution capability lie in the organizations commitment to continuously assess and update these processes.

Effective optimization ensures that the technology solutions that you implement meet and exceed business objectives through proper planning, operational preparation, organized deployment, and ongoing performance measurement. According to Scoro, 42% of firms report that outdated, inefficient business processes and frameworks contribute to a decline in employee productivity, and consequently their ability to institute effective change across their product development process.

Innovation for the sake of innovation is meaningless, you must make sure that the technologies that you employ are working for you and your business specifically. By streamlining and optimizing your business processes and the technologies which lead them, you are better placed to test best practices, generate a healthy and sustainable product development engine, and provide for your consumers when they need it most.

To learn more, download the full report here or continue the debate at the Digital Innovation Insight Summit NA, a GDS Summit, where we bring together senior Digital executives who are actively seeking to share, learn, engage, and find the best technology solutions.

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