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Q1..the seven main steps in product planning and development. The steps are: 1. Generation of
New Product Ideas 2. Screening of Ideas 3. Product Concept Development 4. Commercial
Feasibility 5. Product Development 6. Test Marketing 7. Commercialisation.

Product Planning and Development Step # 1. Generation of New Product Ideas:

The first step in product planning and development is generation of ideas for the development of
new/innovative products.Ideas may come from internal sources like company’s own Research
and Development (R&D) department, managers, sales-force personnel etc.; or from external
sources like, customers, dealers, competitors, consultants, scientists etc.At this stage, the
intention of management is to generate more and more new and better product ideas; so that the
most practical and profitable ideas may be screened subsequently.

Product Planning and Development Step # 2. Screening of Ideas:

Screening of ideas means a close and detailed examination of ideas, to determine which of the
ideas have potential and are capable of making significant contribution to marketing objectives.
In fact, generation of ideas is not that significant as the system for screening the generated ideas.

The ideas should be screened properly; as any idea passing this stage would cost the firm in
terms of time, money and efforts, at subsequent stages in product planning and development.

Product Planning and Development Step # 3. Product Concept Development:


Those product ideas which clear the screening stage must be developed into a product concept –
identifying physical features, benefits, price etc. of the product. At this stage product idea is
transformed into a product concept i.e. a product which target market will accept.

Product Planning and Development Step # 4. Commercial Feasibility:

At this stage, the purpose is to determine whether the proposed product idea is commercially
feasible, in terms of demand potential and the costs of production and marketing. Management
must also ensure that product concept is compatible with the resources of the organization
technological, human and financial.

Product Planning and Development Step # 5. Product Development:

Product development encompasses the technical activities of engineering and design. At this
stage, the engineering department converts the product concept into a concert form of product in
view of the required size, shape, design, weight, colour etc. of the product concept.
A model or prototype of the product is manufactured on a limited scale. Decisions are also made
with regard to packaging, brand name, label etc. of the product.

Product Planning and Development Step # 6. Test Marketing:

A sample of the product is tested in a well-chosen and authentic sales environment; to find out
consumers’ reaction. In view of consumers’ reactions, the product may be improved further.

Product Planning and Development Step # 7. Commercialisation:

After the management is satisfied with the results of test marketing, steps are taken to launch a
full-fledged programme for the production, promotion and marketing of the product. It is the
stage where the new product is born; and it enters it life cycle process.


Product Life Cycle Stages Explained

The product life cycle has 4 very clearly defined stages, each with its own characteristics that
mean different things for business that are trying to manage the life cycle of their particular

Introduction Stage – This stage of the cycle could be the most expensive for a company
launching a new product. The size of the market for the product is small, which means sales are
low, although they will be increasing. On the other hand, the cost of things like research and
development, consumer testing, and the marketing needed to launch the product can be very
high, especially if it’s a competitive sector.

Growth Stage – The growth stage is typically characterized by a strong growth in sales and
profits, and because the company can start to benefit from economies of scale in production, the
profit margins, as well as the overall amount of profit, will increase. This makes it possible for
businesses to invest more money in the promotional activity to maximize the potential of this
growth stage.

Maturity Stage – During the maturity stage, the product is established and the aim for the
manufacturer is now to maintain the market share they have built up. This is probably the most
competitive time for most products and businesses need to invest wisely in any marketing they
undertake. They also need to consider any product modifications or improvements to the
production process which might give them a competitive advantage.

Decline Stage – Eventually, the market for a product will start to shrink, and this is what’s
known as the decline stage. This shrinkage could be due to the market becoming saturated (i.e.
all the customers who will buy the product have already purchased it), or because the consumers
are switching to a different type of product. While this decline may be inevitable, it may still be
possible for companies to make some profit by switching to less-expensive production methods
and cheaper markets.


Why the project monitoring and controlling phase is important?

For a successful project, there are some best practices to implement a good project monitoring &
controlling. Because monitoring and controlling activities check if there are deviations from
the expected results of the project. So what kind of activities should be done during this
important phase? In this article, we will list the project monitoring and controlling process group
best practices one-by-one.

The 16 Best Practices for Project monitoring and controlling process

1: Take action to control the project
Necessary steps, control points, and actions are taken to monitor and control the project. These
actions provide if the project is deviating from the planned baseline.

2: Measure performance
You should measure the performance in order to check whether the project is going well. For
instance, cost performance of the project will give an indication whether the planned budget will
be sufficient to complete the project. Schedule performance of the project will give an indication
whether the planned schedule and dates can be reached.

3: Determine variances and if they warrant a change request

If there is a lot of variance from the baseline, for instance, if it is expected that the project
duration will exceed the planned duration by 20%, then regarding actions must be taken to meet
the project targets.

#4: Influence the factors that cause changes

Changes are inevitable in a project. But, preventive actions can be taken to influence the factors
that cause changes. For instance, a detailed scope and requirement clarification with the
customer will reduce the changes that will be coming from the customer.
Project monitoring and controlling step #5: Request changes
If there is a deviation from the planned values, then a change can be requested to meet the
planned values again.

Project monitoring and controlling step #6: Perform integrated change control
Changes in a project must be implemented in an integrated manner. Because a small change in
one aspect of the project might impact the overall project. Performing an integrated change
control evaluates the changes and its impacts on the project. Then, a proper change
implementation is planned to minimize the risk of changes.
7: Approve or reject changes
Project monitoring and controlling process may approve or reject changes. Changes are
evaluated by the change control board and if this board rejects the change, it won’t be
implemented. If a change is approved, project plan revisions must be done and change should be
implemented properly.

8: Inform stakeholders of approved changes

If the decision of the change control board is approving a change. This must be communicated to
the stakeholders. Because, the previous plan, scope, and targets have a change. So
the stakeholders must be notified about this change.

9: Manage configuration
The configuration of a project describes the meaningful and properly working combination of
different modules or parts. In order to ensure healthy project progression, the configuration is

#10: Create forecasts

Project monitoring and controlling process group activities create forecasts. What will be the
budget of the project on completion? What will be the end date of the project if the project
performs as it performed till now? These types of forecasts help to see how far the project is
from its targets.

11: Gain acceptance from customer

Once the project deliverables are completed, they are presented to the customer. If the
deliverables meet the requirements agreed with the customer, in the beginning, the customer
accepts the project and closing phase is triggered.
Project monitoring and controlling step #12: Perform quality control
Quality control activities check the quality attributes of the delivered outputs. For instance, the
product of a project might meet the budget and schedule targets. But the quality requirements
might not meet the customers’ expectations. In this case, the project will be considered as failed
as well. Therefore, performing a quality control is important.
13: Report on project performance
Since forecasting and project performance is measured during monitoring and controlling,
project performance reports are sent to relevant stakeholders during this phase as well.

14: Perform risk audits

Risks may affect a project drastically. Therefore, each anticipated risk must be documented, and
risk response strategies for each risk must be planned in case a risk occurs.

15: Manage reserves

Reserves are planned to accommodate costs of risks and unexpected situations in projects. For
instance, if the project budget is 100,000 USD, a 10% reserve can be planned to accommodate
impacts of risks. Or, if the project duration is 12 months, an additional 2 months can be planned
as a buffer to overcome any kind of risks that might occur during the project. These reserves are
managed in monitoring and controlling phase.

16: Administer procurements

Tools, equipment or resources can be outsourced from a supplier during a project.
Administration of these purchases, outsourcing, and leasing activities are done during monitoring
and control phase of a project.
If a successful monitoring and controlling process can be implemented, the whole project has a
better chance to be a success. So the outcomes of closing process group activities will be as
planned in the planning phase.
Evaluation of the project involves a comprehensive assessment of the given project, policy,
program or investments, taking into account all its stages: planning, implementation, and
monitoring of results. It provides information used in the decision-making process.
Evaluations can be divided from the point of view of the project goals (evaluation of action in
relation to the objectives, national or community) and operational aspects (monitoring of project
There is also the separation due to the moment of performing evaluation: evaluation ex
ante (before implementation), current evaluation (during implementation) and ex post evaluation
(after implementation).
To achieve goal of cost-effective allocation of capital, investors use different methods to assess
the rationality of investment. From the point of view of the time factor, techniques profitability
of investment projects are divided into: static methods, (also known as simple) and dynamic
methods (so called the discount methods).

Static methods of project evaluation

A characteristic feature of static methods in assessing the effectiveness of investment projects by
defining the relationship of annual (medium or target) proceeds from investments and the total
nominal expenditure required for its implementation.
These methods do not take into account the effect of the time, which means that the individual
values are not differentiated in the following years, and the calculation involves the sum of the
expected costs and benefits, or average values selected from a specified period. These methods
only approximate capture the project life cycle and the level of commitment of capital
It is proposed that simple method should be used only:

 In the initial stages of the process of preparation of projects, when there is not enough
detailed and extensive information about the investment project,
 In the case of projects with relatively short economic life cycle, in which the different timing
of inputs and the effects do not affect in a decisive way calculation of the profitability of the
 In the case of projects of small scale, when both the inputs and the effects are minor and do
not affect the market position and the financial situation of the company implementing the
investment project.
The most frequently mentioned and described static methods of investment projects evaluation

 The payback period

 Account of comparative costs
 Account of comparative profit
 Account of comparative profitability
 The average rate of return on investment
 Test of the first year
Advantages and disadvantages of static methods of project appraisal
Their advantages include:
 Simplicity.
 Ease of communication,
 accessibility for every manager,
 clear mathematical formula,
 ease of interpretation of the results.
Criticism of these methods include:

 Not taking into account the distribution of payments over time,

 Uncertainty as to obtain future revenues (they are only expected values).
 The cost of unused opportunities associated with generating future revenue,
 Not taking into account inflation, which reduce real incomes.

Dynamic methods of project appraisal

For evaluation of investment projects, more common is the tendency to use the dynamic

 NPV - net present value

 IRR - Internal rate of return
 MIRR - Modified Internal Rate of Return
 Annuity method
 The profitability index
 NPVR - Indicator revised of net present value


The Project Manager is responsible for delivering the project, with authority and responsibility
from the Project Board to run the project on a day-to-day basis.

Role of the project manager

The project manager is the individual responsible for delivering the project. The individual leads
and manages the project team, with authority and responsibility from the project board, to run the
project on a day-to-day basis. In the NI public sector, PRojects IN Controlled Environments2
(PRINCE2(external link opens in a new window / tab)) is the standard project management
method and is applicable to all project types.

As well as the formal responsibilities set out in methods such as PRINCE2, the project manager
has an important role in interfacing between the project and the business area. This is important
for communicating and encouraging the need for transformation and change within the business
area in tandem with the delivery of new capabilities from the project. The readiness of the
business to exploit the new capability is crucial to success. Without this state of readiness in the
business, there are likely to be disruptions and delays in the plan for benefits realisation.

Specific responsibilities of the project manager

The project manager, operating within agreed reporting structures, is responsible for:

 designing and applying appropriate project management standards for incorporation in

the NI Gateway Review Process
 managing the production of the required deliverables
 planning and monitoring the project
 adopting any delegation and use of project assurance roles within agreed reporting
 preparing and maintaining project, stage and exception plans as required
 managing project risks, including the development of contingency plans
 liaison with programme management (if the project is part of a programme) and related
projects to ensure that work is neither overlooked nor duplicated
 monitoring overall progress and use of resources, initiating corrective action where
 applying change control and configuration management processes
 reporting through agreed lines on project progress through highlight reports and end-
stage assessments
 liaison with appointed project assurance representatives to assure the overall direction
and integrity of the project
 maintaining an awareness of potential interdependencies with other projects and their
 adopting and applying appropriate technical and quality strategies and standards
 identifying and obtaining support and advice required for the management, planning and
control of the project
 managing project administration
 conducting a project evaluation review to assess how well the project was managed
 preparing any follow-on action recommendations

In construction projects the project manager also provides the interface between the project
sponsor and the supply side of the project team.

Skills and attributes needed to be a project manager

The project manager should be able to:

 apply a PRINCE2 project management approach to the specific requirements of the

 establish a good working relationship with the Senior Responsible Owner
 direct, manage and motivate the project team
 develop and maintain an agreed project plan and detailed stage plans
 understand and apply business case and risk management processes
 tailor expert knowledge to meet specific circumstances
 plan and manage deployment of physical and financial resources to meet project
 build and sustain effective communications with other roles involved in the project
 apply quality management principles and processes