Putting together a new product development team is a task that requires identifying the types of skills and experience needed to manage the development process, considering which individuals have the talents needed to make the development project a success, and even assessing which individuals will work together in a manner that makes the team more productive and efficient. In addition, the leadership of the new product development team must be capable of making informed decisions, organizing the project to best effect, and ensuring that the channel of communication between all team members is constantly open for a free exchange of ideas and thoughts.
One of the first steps in putting together an effective new product development team is to consider the range of abilities and experience that will help the project reach its goals. To that end, identifying individuals who possess those skills and also have a history of being able to work well in a team setting is very important. The idea is to make sure all the knowledge and resources necessary for the task are secured thanks to the blend of talents that the team cumulatively brings to the work.
Along with making sure all the skill sets and background required are included in the selections for the new product development team, it is also crucial to make sure the mindsets of the team members are varied enough to allow a balance between visionaries and those of a more practical frame of mind. The team needs people who can bring creativity to the project, while also including those who are able to keep the work grounded in reality. Failure to include a balance of these two mindsets can hamper the forward movement of the development process, increasing the chances for failure.
Interaction between members of the new product development team is also important. Simply put, everyone needs to get along. While a candidate for the team may be brilliant and offer essential knowledge and expertise, an inability to work with others on the team as equals will quickly undermine morale and hinder progress. The project manager should seek to secure team members who have a professional respect for one another and can communicate in ways that are productive.
A final key element of any effective new product development team is strong leadership. The project manager will ultimately be accountable for the development effort, and should be prepared to make difficult decisions when the need arises. The manager must also make sure that agreed upon policies and procedures are followed, tasks are allocated equitably among team members, and that the flow of communication among everyone, including the manager, is maintained at all costs. By still holding ultimate responsibility and decision making while also empowering team members to be effective and participate in the overall development effort, there is a good chance the work of the new product development team will produce goods or services that generate a great deal of success for the business.