Concept development is where most businesses start when they think about launching a new product or service.
It is one of the early stages of the innovation process, and it is integral to the continued success of any organization. In fact, one of the most important parts of running a successful business is identifying the right concepts that can turn into real innovations that will help you meet your customers’ needs. Without the right concept development process in place, companies often fail to identify the right opportunities at the right time.
Concept development can be managed in many ways, with some businesses still using Excel and PPT to run their concept development process. But today most big businesses and well-funded startups are leaning towards using cloud-based concept development tools and templates. That is because these tools allow teams and organizations to instantly begin to work across tried and true best practice templates and processes.
No matter what tool you decide to go with when choosing software for your company’s concept development process, remember to ask the right questions and do your research in order to make sure you are using a process which will help you streamline your operation, rather than complicate it. Here are four key lessons to remember when looking for tools to help you streamline your decision-making process and to help you select the best tools to help you develop the right concepts for your business.
- Focus on the business first. Before you go down a rabbit hole trying to identify the best software for your needs, make sure your core business is solid. This is especially true for startups. Your focus should be on growing your core business and making sure the processes are in place to support future growth and new concept development. The best tool or app won’t be able to help you fix a business that is fundamentally broken from the start.
- Analyze the company’s needs honestly. Think about the current state of your business and what you are looking to accomplish. A single piece of software won’t be the magic solution that solves all your problems, but it may help make certain parts of your business run a lot more smoothly. Take an honest look at your organization to determine whether you really need to invest in software to help you run your concept development process, or whether Google Docs and Excel will suffice for the time being.
- Do your research. Maybe you know for certain that investing in a tailored software solution to support your concept development process will help your team operate more effectively and efficiently. Once you’ve determined the need for a software or cloud-based solution to help with concept development, it’s important that you thoroughly research what’s out there. Not all software is created equal. Some SaaS products may have an incredible UI & UX, but are lacking when it comes to customization features which would make it the right fit for your business, while others may be too clunky to fit your requirements. Remember, the research process is all about finding the right tools that will support your team, goals, and workflows.
- Get everyone on board. Once you’ve found the right tool (you hope!) for your business’s needs when it comes to concept development, be sure to test the waters and get a few others within your organization to test out the platform. Without buy-in from others on your team, a tool is likely to find its place in some dark, dusty corner of the company cloud. The power of SaaS tools, especially concept development tools, comes from the network effect of multiple people brainstorming and prioritizing concept ideas together. Remember to make your business case effectively when trying to get everyone else on board, otherwise even the best tool in the world won’t be used.
No matter what you decide to do when it comes to developing a system for concept development within your organization, remember to consider the importance of selecting the right tool for your organization. Just as the culture of every company is different, the needs of every organization differ when it comes to the tools that will be most effective to push business goals forward in those companies.
Still want to learn more? Check out upBOARD’s approach to Concept Development in the cloud as well as the template we’ve created to help businesses like yours drive growth by creating more (good) ideas quickly and efficiently.