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Getting to the Customer’s Pain: Using Customer Centered Definition to Drive Product Development (Part One of Two)


Consultant and author, Sheila Mello, has brought her experience to bear on the problem of developing innovative new products that address genuine customer needs.  In this interview, Mello describes the basics of a process called Market Driven Product Definition (MDPD) which takes the guesswork out of the discovery of customer requirements.  MDPD is a replicable process for discovering, understanding, systematizing and prioritizing customer requirements – including customer’s latent needs.  The process encourages cross-functional involvement in a program of visits where developers observe customers in their native environment, developing a holistic view of their products in actual use.  In the first part of this interview, Mello shows that by asking customers probing questions that get to the customer’s pain, product developers can ensure a greater likelihood of success at product launch.
(6 pages)

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