Product Development Best Practices & Assessment Software

DRM Associate’s Product Development Best Practices and Assessment (PDBPA) software describes 270 best practices identified from researching and examining many companies’ product development practices from around the world.


The PDBPA provides a structured benchmarking and assessment methodology for the product development process based on these best practices. While our experienced consultants have used and refined this assessment methodology for the last seven years (see Product Development Assessment services), we have now developed a software-based self-assessment that describes these best practices and guides company personnel through the assessment process. This provides an extremely cost-effective way to benchmark and improve product development performance. (see Benchmarking Best Practices to Improve Product Development) A companion product, the IPPD Best Practices and Assessment software, provides an assessment tool for an individual program developed under contract whereas the PDBPA provides an overall enterprise assessment. This assessment and improvement process is represented below.

NPD Improvement

These best practices have been organized into twenty-eight categories covering strategy, organization, process, design optimization and technology.


In addition to describing the best practices, the assessment methodology contains questions to help probe at the use of these practices within a company (see Assessment Worksheet Example), an evaluation scale, and a weighting factor and performance rating. Performance is summarized to the category level, and, when compared to that of other companies, gives an indication of the urgency of improving the development process. Gap analysis (see Gap Analysis Example) is then employed to focus attention on the improvement opportunities that will yield the highest payoff.

The software also relates the product development practices to six possible product development strategic orientations:

  • Time-to-market (development schedule)
  • Development cost
  • Low product cost
  • High product innovation and performance
  • Quality, reliability and dependability (robustness)
  • Service, responsiveness & flexibility to respond to new product opportunities & markets

Based on performance in the various related practices, the software assesses how well the development process is aligned to and supports the desired strategic orientation.

Finally, a streamlined orientation based on 40 of the most key best practices is available for a streamlined assessment or use in smaller business units.

The PDBPA software uses Microsoft Excel 97 or later to run. It is available for the Windows and Macintosh environments. The software includes further instructions on applying this methodology, descriptions of best practices, worksheets for performing the self-assessment, and summary reporting of the results.

The software license fee is $500. It is a license for one computer at a single business unit site. Additional licenses for use within the same business unit site are $250. A business unit license is $3,000 and a corporate license is $5,000. The business-unit and corporate licensing unlock the practices so that they can be modified, e.g., practices added or deleted, wording and terms changed, or language translated. The software is shipped via email. Order with a credit card below or contact us with a purchase order. Training in this benchmarking and assessment methodology and in the use of the PDPBA software is also available.

In addition to the self-assessment option, we can provide support in organizing the assessment, facilitating the assessment process, reviewing the assessment results, and developing an action plan for improvement. This approach begins with an interactive workshop to brief company personnel on the assessment process and organize into groups to undertake a self-assessment. Consultant participation in the group self-assessment brings some objectivity and perspective to the process. The results of the individual break-out assessment groups are presented to the overall team and further validated. Finally, gap analysis is performed and the resulting needs discussed. The consultant facilitates discussion of an action plan. This process typically takes two to three days. A more comprehensive alternative is a rigorous, comprehensive and objective consultant-led Product Development Assessment.

Over 50 companies (see PDBPA users) have successfully used this software to benchmark their product development process, understand best practices, align product development practices with strategy, and improve their new product development process.

PDBPA License Types

For questions or to order by purchase order or wire transfer, contact Kenneth Crow by email at: