The Scientific approach is a series of steps that are used by a scientist to parent out if they can validate something to be true or false, especially regarding new product development. The most important parts of this method are, declaring the problem, forming the hypothesis, testing the hypothesis, collecting data, inspecting data and finally making conclusions. The Scientific technique provides some rules that must be applied in an orderly manner to provide solutions to questions. New product development is a process of including a new product to the market. New product development can be achieved correctly and efficiently through systematically making use of scientific method principles as follows.
Stating the hassle or asking a question.
The first step in developing a new product using scientific technique is stating the problem or asking questions on something that you have observed missing in the market. It is where the idea of developing a new product is generated. SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis is the major place where ideas are generated (Mills & Brooke, 2012). Questions like How, What, When, Who, Which, Why, or Where are helpful when stating the problem. Stating the problem and asking questions helps in identifying the gap left by other competitors.
Doing background research
A thorough research is done using library and internet to help find the best way of doing things and avoid mistakes that might have been done by other competitors. In new product development, the reason behind the gap left in the market should be identified (Mills & Brooke, 2012). All the alternatives of filling the gap should be noted. Doing background research helps to refrain from the mistakes of the past (Fuchs & Schreier, 2010).
The hypothesis is a likely solution to the stated problem after collecting all relevant information about the problem in concern. It is a trial to answer the stated question with a solution that can be subjected to a test. Before introducing a new product to the market, questions on how to fill the gap in the market should be answered (Mills & Brooke, 2012). A reasonable hypothesis should impose a prediction. In new product development, questions on whether to improve the existing product or to introduce a new product should be answered. Upgrading the existing products, developing a new product, partnering with competitors to improve existing products, are among the hypothesis to be considered in this case.
Testing the hypothesis
To determine if a particular hypothesis solves the stated problem, an experiment is carried out. Good records and information are of great importance when carrying out the test. Testing hypothesis helps to know if the predictions made by the assumption are accurate. To achieve a fair test, only one factor should be changed at a time. In new product development, the hypothesis can be tested by comparing profit margin, expense analysis, and profit by segment while holding other factors constant (Mills & Brooke, 2012). A sample of the new product can be used to test the hypothesis by testing the customers’ response. Improvement in the existing products can be tested by comparing the rate of sale.
Collecting the data
Collection of data is where information, measurements, and observation from the experiment are recorded (Mills & Brooke, 2012). Once you complete your experiment about the new product or improved product, measurements and observation about the customers’ response are collected for analysis.
Analyzing the data
Analyzing data is where the data collected is used to indicate whether the stated problem has been solved. In other cases, the hypothesis and the prediction are found inaccurate, and researchers go back to form a new hypothesis and prediction on the basis of what they have learned from the experiment, this is similar to starting the scientific method again (Fuchs & Schreier, 2010). The hypothesis can be tested in a new way if the initial experiment does not support it.
Drawing conclusion and communicating results.
The conclusion is communicated using a simple way by either accepting or declining the hypothesis. In new product development, a decline in sales after product improvement results to rejecting the hypothesis while an increase in sales gives the go-ahead to improve the product (Fuchs & Schreier, 2010). A positive response by customers to the new product sample indicates the company can go ahead and introduce the new product to the market and vice versa. The final result is communicated in the form of a final report or a display board.
Fuchs, C., & Schreier, M. (2010). Customer Empowerment in New Product Development*. Journal Of Product Innovation Management, 28(1), 17-32. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-5885.2010.00778.x
Mills, N., & Brooke, M. (2012). New Product Development. Routledge.