Product development: five keys to increasing speed and predictability

John Covington (John Covington is president of Chesapeake Consulting, which provides value‐chain improvement solutions that enhance growth through increased speed and predictability. A manufacturing‐industry specialist for almost 30 years, he has served as vice‐president of operations and plant manager for a Fortune 200 company. Author of Tough Fabric, a supply‐chain case study published by the Institute of the Theory of Constraints, he holds a degree in chemical engineering and has studied at both the United States Naval Academy and the University of Alabama. He serves on several boards of directors, including the non‐profit Bello Machre, which provides group homes for the developmentally disadvantaged.)

Handbook of Business Strategy

ISSN: 1077-5730

Publication date: 1 December 2004


The dream scenario for thousands of businesses would be to gain the ability to get their products to market faster, and to know with some certainty that their product‐development projects would be completed on schedule. Speed and predictability are particularly elusive in new‐product development. In heavily regulated industries, for example, the best‐laid plans may fall apart when the rules change. In industries in which products are intimately related to technological advances, the new thing may become obsolete before it gets through research and development. And in some industries, a shortage of workers with specific skills can seem like a permanent guarantee of falling behind schedule.



Covington, J. (2004), "Product development: five keys to increasing speed and predictability", Handbook of Business Strategy, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 269-274.

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Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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