A case study from the Greek banking sector: Business analysis

In this stage, apart from the main concept and its supplementary services, market opportunity, sales and financial forecasts are also made. The director of the domestic private banking unit reported that ‘most of these forecasts refer to a period of three to five years and they are reviewed every six months’. This stage lasts less than one month and after its completion not more that two ideas will make it to the next stages.

It is also interesting to mention at this point that all the above stages have to be completed before proceeding to the next phase of the development procedure. This is surprising considering the short period during which the majority of the bank’s services have been developed in the past and the fact that the intensive competition in the Greek banking sector necessitates the development of innovative services that will reach the market first. Even in this case the managers of the different business units believe that the success of the whole process depends largely on not omitting any of the initial stages. Nevertheless, previous studies have found that particular stages might have limited use or might even be omitted. This is even more obvious in those studies that refer to financial institutions such as those undertaken by Bowers (1989) and Scheuing and Johnson (1989).

On the other hand, all the respondents underlined the importance of having a flexible and fluid procedure. According to the director of the investment banking unit ‘most of our new services have been developed with some kind of overlapping between the individual stages’. Thus, it could be argued that the whole procedure follows the model of the ‘third-generation process’ for developing new products, which was proposed by Cooper (1994).