New Product Development: Industry Challenges and Resolution

“It has been my philosophy of life that difficulties vanish when faced boldly.”
― Isaac Asimov


Problems are part of the process. The problem is not with the ‘problem’ but how we are dealing with it. The more we will try to ignore them, the harder they will come back to us. So, the golden rule is to ‘accept the problem, analyse them, find possible solutions, implement and verify its effectiveness (PDCA!).’


As we are in the process of completing this series of New Product Development (APQP), it cannot be over unless we identify the challenges that an organization, customer, supplier and other relevant interested parties face during the development process. Once we identify them, we can see their possible impact, reasons why they happen and possible solutions.

Detailed Information

As per ISO 9001 and IATF 16949, Clause 8.3, following are some of the common problems that New Product Development process faces, its impact on the organization, customer, supply chain and relevant interested parties, what can be the possible reasons and possible measures.    


S.No. (1) Possible Challenges (2) Impact

(related to 1)

(3) Possible Reasons

(related to 1)

(4) Possible Measures

(related to 3)

1 Ineffective use of Cross-Functional Team (CFT) Approach – The decision making is not comprehensive.

– Many key factors related to customer, organization and relevant interested parties will be left out. They will create problems later.

The concept of CFT approach does not exist in the organization. – Organization needs to understand the importance and power of the cross-functional approach.

– Top management can be involved for effective use of CFT approach.

– Failures in the previous can be identified and highlighted so that CFT approach can be used in future projects.

Few individuals consider themselves to be more intelligent than others!
Few individuals want to overpower and control the development process.
2 Lack of Competency of Cross-Functional Team (CFT) members


– Customer requirements (voice) will not be understood

– Development of product and services will be incomplete

The selection of appropriate CFT member is not effective – In a structured way, training needs to be identified, provided and its effectiveness can be measured.

– Based on the competency only, anyone should be selected as part of CFT

The organization never thought about enhancing the skill of their team by providing training and exposure
3 Delay in timely review and up-dation of APQP Timing Plan and different phases of APQP


– Customer and organization Deadlines will be missed

– Project will not complete on time

– Cost of the project may increase

– QCD may not be met

The CFT never feels the importance of reviewing and updating the timing plan – The top management should communicate the importance of meeting the timeline to the CFT.

– Periodic meeting can be planned and ensured that it happens with all the CFT members

Since the CFT is not meeting regularly, the timely review never happens
4 Lack of involvement of Top Management and escalation to them in case of any delay


– Many key issues will remain unresolved

– Leads to customer dissatisfaction

– Future business may also get impacted

Top management feels that it is the job of the CFT team to manage the development -The voice of the customer can be shared with top management

– The dissatisfaction of the customer and its consequences can be shared with them

– Where possible, support can be taken from customer to engage top management!!

The new development process is not on the priority list of management
The CFT is too weak to raise any issue with top management
5 No systematic identification and review of the VOICE of the customer


– Many key points related to customer requirements will be missed and not incorporated into the product/services


Lack of CFT approach – Effective CFT approach

– Formal communication with the customer to share their requirements

– If there is no response, the organization can share their requirements and how they are going ahead with development (based on experience) and try to get the approval of the customer

Customer is never asked to share their requirements
Customer may be thinking that the organization is aware of its requirements!
6 No review of Quality, Cost, Productivity (QCP)performance once the project is handed over to Operations


– May be Quality, Cost and Productivity targets will not meet which may lead to customer dissatisfaction and organization loss


– Generally, these targets are not defined in the beginning.

– Even if set, they are never shared with the CFT so that they can review.

– No demand from the top management to verify, whether the project is profitable or not!

– Targets for QCP to be set at the beginning of the project.

– It should be communicated to the CFT

– Its performance should be reviewed during development phases

– Once the development is complete, the overall performance should be reviewed and shared with top management

7 At Pre-Launch stage, trial production conducted with machines, operators, tooling and environment which will not be part of mass production


-The mass production will never be stabilized

– The rejection will be high

– The cost of production will be high

– The productivity will be low

The organization wants to get the approval of the prelaunch stage quickly so that they can start mass production -The periodic review of APQP timing plan can help the organization to complete its activities on time

– Waiver from the customer can be taken, where needed.

– Involvement of top management and escalation about the delay

– Prelaunch production trial can be delayed till the time, the organization is ready with tooling, fixture, machinery and required environment

The customer is not keen to understand the gap!
The organization is not yet ready with final tooling and machinery
8 No systematic capturing of a lesson learnt (Things Gone Right-TGR & Things Gone Wrong-TGW) for the next development


– Similar kind of issues will repeat again

– No benefit of learning new things

The concept of documentation is weak – A culture of documentation has to be initiated.

– TGR and TGW should be a mandatory part of the review in every design review

– The project should be handed over to the operations team only once TGR and TGW are documented and shared

Some individuals may be interested to keep their knowledge with themselves only!
9 Customer Approval/Waiver in case of a change in 5M (Man, Machine, Material, Method, Measurement), Environment during the development process


– Customer trust will be lower

– Possibility of customer complaint

The organization is not sure whether the customer will agree or not – The communication and trust level should be enhanced so that organization feels comfortable to share any change (same applicable to Supplier too)

– All such decisions regarding change should be taken by CFT

– The customer should be considered an equal partner in the success of the organization

The organization does not want to share any change as it is leading to cost reduction which they may not be interested to share with the customer
Many times, organization do not realize that they need to communicate the changes with customer


There are many more challenges related to the New Product Development process which industry is aware of.

Benefits to Organization:

  • The relation between customer, organization and all relevant interested parties will improve
  • Overall Productivity, Quality and Cost indicators will improve for new development
  • The organization will be able to develop new products with much ease and effectiveness
  • During the development process, the possibility of sample and mass production lot’s First Time Right (FTR) will enhance.
  • The overall morale of the development team will improve



ISO 9000: 2015

ISO 9001: 2015

IATF 16949: 2016

ISO/TS 9002: 2016

APQP Manual 2nd Edition

This is the 81st article of this Quality Management series. Every weekend, you will find useful information that will make your Management System journey Productive. Please share it with your colleagues too.

Your genuine feedback and response are extremely valuable. Please suggest topics for the coming weeks.

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10 months ago

learned a lot