This is Canonical Stuff. These words are valuable to all, regardless of their position within the Innovation Process. The only tweak I would make is to retire the antiquated term "Multi-Disciplinary" and replace it with "Interdisciplinary". Having a multitude of electrical components in a collection can be impressive, but it is not until they are integrated into a cohesive product that the magic can emerge. Interdisciplinary teams already appreciate, respect, and value the contributions from other disciplines, including the front office and customers.
We have already evolved from assembly lines, through predict, budget and prepare, and are well onto leading through innovation. This style of project management that specifically incorporates customers into the project has been championed by eXtreme Programming and other Agile Software Development methods. We would be wise to learn from their best practices.
Absolutely! This should be Marketing for Engineers 101 (or maybe Engineering for Marketing 101). Too many times we try to tell the customer what they want. Steve Jobs made a successful career out of that, but for most places listening to the customer is where it's at.
I completely agree with this post. Your customers may not know exactly what form their wants, needs should take, but you probably do! (If you take the time to listen to what they're saying.)
We have actually moved toward a MVP model in the last year with some of our new products, and it has allowed us to work with customers to discover interesting use cases, and be much more innovative and customer focused.
To arenasolutions: Excellent point. Your customers really don't know what form the solution will take. That's why engineering teams need to be able to understand and interpret customer needs and figure out how to get from A to B. Apple's customers could never have described the interfaces that eventually took up residence on the iPhone and iPad. But Steve Jobs understood their needs and and created a technology that met those needs.
We have also moved toward a MVP model in our company during the past few months. We have found that it has worked well with our customers. I think it is very important to always listen tou your audince when marketing a message.
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
With strong marketplace demand for qualified engineers across the board that currently outstrips the available supply, there may never be a better time for engineers and project managers to advance their careers and salaries. Whether those moves are successful in the short-term and long-term is likely to depend on how the transition from one job to the next is handled.
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