Article

Back-Loading: A Potential Side Effect of Employing Digital Design Tools in New Product Development

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

Over the past 20 years, the use of digital design tools such as Computer-Aided-Design (CAD) has increased dramatically. Today, almost no product development project is conducted without the use of CAD models. Major advantages typically ascribed to using CAD include better solutions through broader exploration of the solution space as well as faster and less expensive projects through faster and earlier iterations. This latter effect, the shifting of simulation and testing traditionally accomplished with the help of physical prototypes late in the process—a slow and expensive activity—to doing similar activities with virtual prototypes faster and earlier in the process, has been identified as a key aspect of front-loading, an activity shift promising to enable superior product development (PD) performance.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... Specifically, it investigates how prototypes evolve over the NPD phases, for example, problem exploration, concept generation and evaluation and detailed development (Ulrich & Eppinger, 2003;Yu, Pasinelli, & Brem, 2018). Accordingly, different types of prototypes can support different thinking processes, but, if wrongly selected, prototypes can inhibit the necessary cognitive capabilities required by a specific phase (BenMahmoud-Jouini & Midler, 2020;Fixson & Marion, 2012;Täuscher & Abdelkafi, 2017). Fixson and Marion (2012) identify two processual drawbacks of prototypes. ...
... Accordingly, different types of prototypes can support different thinking processes, but, if wrongly selected, prototypes can inhibit the necessary cognitive capabilities required by a specific phase (BenMahmoud-Jouini & Midler, 2020;Fixson & Marion, 2012;Täuscher & Abdelkafi, 2017). Fixson and Marion (2012) identify two processual drawbacks of prototypes. The first drawback relates to prototype creation and the 'thinking mode' that the prototype activates. ...
... Last-minute changes will then be made when the project requires more detailed decisions (e.g., more iterations during tooling and production ramp up), introducing suboptimal decision-making behaviours. The two drawbacks described by Fixson and Marion (2012) happen unconsciously and often go unrecognized by the team. ...
... Specifically, it investigates how prototypes evolve over the NPD phases, for example, problem exploration, concept generation and evaluation and detailed development (Ulrich & Eppinger, 2003;Yu, Pasinelli, & Brem, 2018). Accordingly, different types of prototypes can support different thinking processes, but, if wrongly selected, prototypes can inhibit the necessary cognitive capabilities required by a specific phase (BenMahmoud-Jouini & Midler, 2020;Fixson & Marion, 2012;Täuscher & Abdelkafi, 2017). Fixson and Marion (2012) identify two processual drawbacks of prototypes. ...
... Accordingly, different types of prototypes can support different thinking processes, but, if wrongly selected, prototypes can inhibit the necessary cognitive capabilities required by a specific phase (BenMahmoud-Jouini & Midler, 2020;Fixson & Marion, 2012;Täuscher & Abdelkafi, 2017). Fixson and Marion (2012) identify two processual drawbacks of prototypes. The first drawback relates to prototype creation and the 'thinking mode' that the prototype activates. ...
... Last-minute changes will then be made when the project requires more detailed decisions (e.g., more iterations during tooling and production ramp up), introducing suboptimal decision-making behaviours. The two drawbacks described by Fixson and Marion (2012) happen unconsciously and often go unrecognized by the team. ...
Article
Prototypes play a powerful role in facilitating the work of multidisciplinary innovation teams, but if not properly managed, they may inhibit innovation processes. This paper inquires into the tensions that exist around the use of prototypes in multidisciplinary teams. We studied the relationship between work identities (related to teams and subgroups within teams) and prototypes with a field study of a multidisciplinary team in an emergency department, in charge of redesigning the layout of the unit. Results show that different values of subgroup identities are reflected in the solutions devised by the team. These values become salient through the prototype; that is, the prototype is an identity marker, especially when it is characterized by higher tangibility, fidelity and validity. When the prototype is an identity marker, it sparks conflict within the team. We also find that a superordinate team identity can help in solving conflictual interactions. Our analysis contributes to revealing how prototypes as identity markers can both inhibit and facilitate the innovation process of multidisciplinary teams. We offer theoretical and practical implications for managers, team members and designers working in multidisciplinary teams.
... Recognizing that virtual intermittent resource deployment occurs at the project level, it can only be made visible by unpacking product development projects by studying them at the level of the engineer and designer. Other studies following the same logic have unearthed formerly unseen relationships between advanced CAD tool use and unanticipated inter-phase workload shifts [52]. In order to encompass the entire product creation process, we include all activities from concept development to product launch. ...
... As Thomke and Fujimoto [8] noted around the importance of front-loading, each of these projects was noticeably light in up-front research involvement. When not monitored, this has the potential to lead to back-loading [52]. For the new venture, managers and project coordinators should consider bolstering intermittent resources up-front in the discovery phase, rather than waiting for input only when it is critical. ...
Article
Full-text available
Information technology, globalization, and digital design have all contributed to the changing composition of new product development (NPD). These developments have led to a paradigm shift where continuous resources can be replaced by outsourced resources that are used intermittently throughout the entire innovation process. These resources can be plugged into the project at opportune times thereby lowering fixed costs and speeding commercialization. However, this intermittent use of resources requires appropriate management actions. This study reports on longitudinal, ethnographic case research performed over the span of the product development cycle of two projects. We look at multiple factors that can influence the effective coordination of outside, intermittent resources on the project. We explore critical characteristics of intermittent resources employed by new ventures, focusing on project management, the product development process, and the role of technology enablers such as IT collaboration. We find that technology's role in coordination of resources is less important than the robustness of interaction. Our qualitative study suggests that only when skilled project coordination is combined with precise communication can intermittent resources be effective. We conclude the article with the limitations and directions for further research.
... The tasks that IT tools touch upon during NPD include aspects of planning, engineering and design, implementation, and program management (Song, Berends, Van der Bij, and Weggemen, 2007). This space is dynamic and has seen IT migrate from basic communication (e-mail), desktop applications (word processing), and computer-aided design packages (CAD) to include tools and services that impact nearly all aspects of the design and commercialization process (Marion, Fixson, and Meyer, 2012; Ozer, 2003; Pavlou and El Sawy, 2006). ...
... This shift in team workflow— enabled by digital design tools—occurred at the same time as the rise of e - mail , corporate intranets , and the Internet . These electronic files could now be e - mailed and stored on corporate data vaults—allowing distributed teams the ability to easily modify and change designs during the course of the project ( Fixson and Marion , 2012 ) . Over the last 10 years , a new generation of tools has emerged to further improve the information flow and access to team members and management . ...
Article
Over the past two decades, firms have increasingly adopted information technology (IT) tools and services to improve the new product development (NPD) process. Recently, social media tools and/or tools that include social networking features are being utilized to allow users both inside and outside the organization to easily communicate and collaboratively design, manage, and launch new products and services. Unfortunately, there is little empirical evidence to suggest what influence these new IT tools have on NPD performance. Through a project-level, exploratory, empirical study, the impact of these new IT tools on the development phase of the NPD process is investigated. We find that the use of these new tools is significantly lower than the adoption of traditional IT tools such as e-mail and computer-aided-design. Traditional tools have a significant, positive impact on NPD outcomes, including team collaboration, the concepts/prototypes generated, and management evaluation. Interestingly, new media tools such as project wikis and shared collaboration spaces also have a significant, positive impact on concepts/prototypes generated, and management evaluation. Surprisingly, social networking tools like weblogs and Twitter negatively impact management evaluation while having no impact on NPD team collaboration and concepts/prototypes generated. These results suggest that social networking tools in their current guise are not helpful to the NPD team and may in fact be distracting to innovation management during the development phase.
... Since team members cannot get much valuable information from their teammates, they have to spend a lot more time looking for and integrating information from other places. As a result of the knowledge transfer issues created by knowledge-hiding behavior, the project's completion time is extended and the time to market is slowed (Fixson and Marion, 2012). Since knowledge hiding has been found to have a large impact on organizational performance in the past, we formulated the following hypothesis in this regard. ...
Article
Full-text available
Research on knowledge management has rapidly increased in the last decade, leaving a huge gap on how, why, and what triggers knowledge hiding in inter-organizational setups. Furthermore, the fostering factors for knowledge sharing have also remained unexplored because the employees in an organization are unwilling to share their knowledge with others for several reasons. The current study has attempted to explore the reasons that make employees hide their knowledge from other employees in order to excel. The individual factors considered in this study that make employees hide their knowledge are the lack of rewards for knowledge sharing, internal competition, and psychological entitlement. Furthermore, the interesting consequent factor of knowledge hiding in this study was found to be significant. The moderating role of employees’ social status has a significant moderating effect on the relationship between knowledge-hiding behavior and organizational performance. The population of the study was the managerial employees of financial institutions of China and the sample size taken in his study was 446 via convenient sampling technique. The independent factors in this study found significant results of knowledge-hiding behavior, thus approving the mediating role of knowledge hiding in the organizational performance of the financial institutions of China. The software used in this study for the data analysis was smart PLS and the technique used was partial least square SEM for the measurement of the hypothesis of the study. The study’s findings also have certain implications for policymaking in financial institutions that may hinder knowledge hiding practices and support the uninterrupted flow of knowledge among employees.
... Studies of collaboration between functions (cross-functional collaboration ) appear to be limited to areas within the same organisation (Moenaert et al., 1995; Brettel et al., 2011). Wagner (2012), Brettel et al. (2011), Brentani and Reid (2012), Fixson et al. (2012), Verworn et al. (2008), and Rice et al. (2001) show that there is a lack of FFE studies that take into account more variables and external stakeholders to the organisation (environmental factors) to understand this initial stage of the innovation process. Analysing the SI literature, several authors (Adner and Kapoor, 2010; Afuah, 2000; Jacobides et al., 2006; Prieto, 2013) indicate the need to coordinate the actors of the value chain or business ecosystem that are external to the organisation frontiers for SI, considering the type of connection (e.g., vertical integration, contract, partnerships, and alliances ), the choice of the governance structure, the degree of trust/uncertainty among the actors and the mechanisms of knowledge transfer Technological Forecasting & Social Change xxx (2016) xxx–xxx among firms. ...
Article
This study aims to analyze the fuzzy front end stage (FFE) of systemic innovations, which are characterised by interdependence with other innovations and actors of the business ecosystem. The methodological approach selected is a systematic literature review based on bibliometric, social network analysis and content analysis. The analysis of the literature reveals that systemic innovations are addressed in a limited manner in specialised articles on FFE. The main frameworks on FFE were analysed in-depth and a conceptual framework for the fuzzy front-end stage of systemic innovations was proposed, encompassing the following elements: (i) ecosystem mapping and identification of the organisation positioning within the ecosystem during the analysis of the influence factors; (ii) use of mechanisms of coordination, collaboration, self-regulation and adaptation as innovation drivers; (iii) conception of new business models, value networks or strategic positioning as a result of the definition of concepts; and (iv) strategic planning or corporate venture capital as stages subsequent to the FFE, instead of the formal process of new product development.
... Commonly, NPD projects comprise three sub-projects -conception projects, industrialisation projects, and production projects (Fixson and Marion, 2012;Tyagi et al., 2015;Ulrich and Eppinger, 2016). This paper focuses on the specific context of industrialisation projects. ...
Article
This paper presents an integrated methodology for managing industrialisation projects combining know-how, abilities, instruments, and project management tools and techniques to fulfil more efficiently and effectively industrialisation requirements. Different research methods were used during an in-depth case study involving seven researchers over three years at an automotive industry company. Firstly, internal documents related to the organisation's specific set of rules for project management were analysed. Secondly, the organisation project managers' activities were observed. Thirdly, unstructured interviews were conducted to assess the organisation's project management awareness and the actual usage of tools and techniques. Finally, workflows were designed to represent the AS-IS model and the proposed TO-BE model. The methodology integrates a social project management approach, with social media tools, to improve communication between the industrialisation project management teams. Social project management is used to smoothly increase the projects' awareness and management within the global social ecosystem of the organisation.
... In situ observation of CAD in the industrial design workplace showed ways in which designers deviate from standard CAD use in order to complement the use of sketches [17]. Fixson and Marion [18] found that adoption of CAD tools too early in the process seemed to lead to a focus on detailed design at the expense of concept development. In a comparison of novice and expert designers, Veisz et al. [19] noted a wide range of beliefs about when both sketching and CAD should be adopted in the design process. ...
Article
Gathering user feedback on provisional design concepts early in the design process has the potential to reduce time-to-market and create more satisfying products. Among the parameters that shape user response to a product, this paper investigates how design experts use sketches, physical prototypes, and computer-aided design (CAD) to generate and represent ideas, as well as how these tools are linked to design attributes and multiple measures of design quality. Eighteen expert designers individually addressed a 2 hr design task using only sketches, foam prototypes, or CAD. It was found that prototyped designs were generated more quickly than those created using sketches or CAD. Analysis of 406 crowdsourced responses to the resulting designs showed that those created as prototypes were perceived as more novel, more aesthetically pleasing, and more comfortable to use. It was also found that designs perceived as more novel tended to fare poorly on all other measured qualities.
... tions. An empirical study how CAD applications affect the problem solving process is Fixson and Marion [9] 2012 investigation of CAD use in product development. The study evaluated the whether the advantages attributed to the use of parametric CAD software are grounded in fact. ...
Conference Paper
Computer-supported problem solving has become ubiquitous in work and home environments. Within an educational context, specifically design engineering, this paper investigates a framework that integrates two aspects of these interactions that influence the outcome of computer based problem solving: software and mind-set involved in the interaction. The review indicates a number of research opportunities for interaction science to enhance problems-solving and is focused primarily on software tools and solutions that enhance cognitive performance for specialized user populations.
... management (Navío-Marco, Ruiz-Gómez, and Sevilla-Sevilla 2018), applying in food industry (Schneider et al. 2019), applying in medicine (Asan et al. 2018). The rapid development of digital technology has also brought about some problems (Fixson and Marion 2012), such as the dependence of young people on digital products (Wang, Sigerson, and Cheng 2019). However, it is undeniable that enterprises rely more and more on digital to improve the core competitiveness. ...
Article
The information industry leads the digital revolution and innovation. With regards to what economic impact the development of the industry will bring about, there has been minimal focus from literature. This paper fills the knowledge gap by using a dynamic computable general equilibrium model. The results show the development will rapidly promote economic development and social welfare, promote the reduction of commodity prices and the rise of output by providing higher social productivity. Finance, public service, and some traditional industry (such as electricity) will benefit more when the information industry develops rapidly. At present, the industry development of the information industry is more directed at the service industry and final consumption. This paper implies the information industry can strengthen R&D investment towards supporting finance, public services and traditional industries, such as industrial control embedded software products, cloud computing technology, and emergency communication for traditional industries to increase the income.
Article
The architecture of a product is the design and specification of inherent subsystems, components, and interfaces between subsystems. Well-defined interfaces allow the development of standardized subsystems that may be shared across product lines, e.g., technology platforms. Past research shows the benefits of modular product architecture in terms of improving cost of goods through common components and materials as well as improving development time cycles for derivative products. Product architecture does not occur by accident; it must be engineered and implemented. This study explores the impact of digital design and information technology (IT) on the development of modular product architectures. Through an empirical study of 122 firms and follow-up interviews with several respondents, we study the impact of digital design tools and IT infrastructure on the development of modular product architecture and overall project outcomes. The results indicate that a firm's IT infrastructure has a strong, significant relationship with the development of modular product architecture. The findings also show a strong, positive relationship between the development of modular product architecture and project outcomes. However, in contrast to the common perception that digital design tools enhance R&D productivity and effectiveness, we do not find a significant relationship between digital design tool usage and modular product architecture or overall project outcomes. The findings suggest that digital design tools and their organizational implementation need improvement in up-front new product development phases.
Article
Research on the organization of innovation projects suggests that increased project flexibility is a common reaction to high levels of technological turbulence. However, existing definitions of project flexibility are inconsistent and sometimes unclear, and empirical evidence is limited. This article makes an important distinction between flexible project planning and flexible project specifications. A negative relationship is found between flexible project planning and innovation project performance, whereas flexible product specifications are found to contribute positively.This article also examines how technological turbulence contributes to the choice of flexible or inflexible strategies. Technological turbulence can be present in the external environment or can be internal to the firm, when radically new products are developed. The findings suggest that when businesses perceive technological turbulence in the environment they are more likely to adopt flexible approaches to innovation in an attempt to adapt to external pressures. In technologically innovative projects, product specifications are likely to remain fixed while project organization is likely to be adapted to the needs of the project.Taken together, the findings suggest that innovation projects should maintain stable organization, schedules and budgets, but stay flexible about product specifications. Vigilance with regards to external and internal conditions of technological turbulence, which may lead organizations to be more flexible in terms of project planning, is needed.
Article
This article joins the research and development (R&D) and knowledge management literature to provide new insight into how to better manage the development of innovative new products and services. This process is still widely acknowledged to be problematic and inefficient. Fundamental to the new product and service development process is that new knowledge must be developed, maintained, and applied across the entire R&D commercialization spectrum. While a great deal of knowledge is often created, much is also lost as projects traverse through the numerous distinct phases of this process. The prevailing notion is that information technology systems help lessen knowledge loss, but current solutions fall short, leaving gaps or chasms in which knowledge is lost or translated in a manner that diffuses or redirects the original purpose. Through a study of 146 firms, we identify five primary areas of knowledge loss and highlight management opportunities to remedy this issue. Finally, we propose and explain a content management model for R&D as a new solution framework.
Article
'Front-loading', proficiency in new product development (NPD) early planning, is commonly acknowledged to improve performance. However, there is little empirical evidence on the micro-processes that improve NPDspecific efficiency outcomes. This paper analyses the specific front-loading capabilities needed to reduce waste in NPD. We investigate 53 NPD projects pursued between 2007 to 2012 by a company in the factory automation and control industry. Archival project documents are used to identify front-loading activities and efficiency outcomes; interviews were conducted with project managers and engineers. The results show that projects with systematic knowledge integration at the front-end show significantly better schedule attainment than projects with no systematic knowledge integration at the front-end. Front-loading capabilities are best described as knowledge transfer from past projects. There is also evidence that knowledge integration from downstream functions and testing has a joint impact on time efficiency.
Article
Product Architecture and scalable product platforms are primary assets in leveraging R&D resources for continued firm growth. This study explores the impact of information technology (IT) on the development of robust, scalable architecture and their shared product platforms. Over the past twenty years, the implementation of information technology infrastructure and associated tools has transformed how firms approach new product development (NPD). IT solutions have migrated from a focus on detailed engineering design and associated production and launch (i.e. 3D computer-aided -design (CAD) and product lifecycle management systems), to up-front activities like architecture planning and development. Given the expanding role of IT and digital design tools further up-front in the NPD process, we investigate their impact on developing robust product architecture. Through an empirical study of 122 firms and follow-up interviews, we study the impact of IT (ie. digital design tools, IT infrastructure, IT embeddedness) and team collaboration on the efficiency and effectiveness of product architecture and overall project outcomes. The results indicate that a firm's IT infrastructure and team collaboration have strong, significant relationships with the development of an efficient and effective product architecture. The findings also show a strong, positive relationship between product architecture and project outcomes. Specifically, efficient and effective product architecture results in meeting project performance goals.
Article
Plusieurs entreprises mettent en place des entites dediees a favoriser l’innovation de rupture. En nous appuyant sur l’analyse de huit entites [1] , nous identifions quatre types d’activites qui y sont menees et montrons comment certains outils numeriques favorisent leur execution. Il y a trois types d’outils : ceux qui font le lien avec l’environnement de l’entreprise pour s’approvisionner en idees et connaissances, ceux qui permettent d’identifier et developper les comportements intrapreneurs et ceux favorisant l’experimentation. Tous concilient la divergence creative de l’exploration avec la maitrise des couts et des delais et favorisent la coexistence de differentes formes d’ambidextrie organisationnelles.
Article
OVERVIEW: Information technology (IT) is the cornerstone of the modern new product development (NPD) process. A new generation of communication and collaboration tools has propagated into nearly all aspects of NPD. To better understand how these collaborative tools, such as wikis, cloud-based file sharing, social networking, blogs, and microblogging platforms like Twitter, are being used in NPD and what influence they have on NPD outcomes, we undertook a global study of collaborative IT tool use in 443 firms. We found that the usage frequency of these collaborative tools is currently low, but it is positively correlated with project performance. Our results also show that the best-performing projects use all of these tools more intensively than poorer-performing projects. In addition, the usage frequency of these tools differentiated the best from the rest in smaller and medium-sized firms but not in larger firms. Our findings suggest that NPD managers should encourage the use of new forms of communication and collaboration and should embolden and empower the migration toward these collaborative tools. Author Tucker J. Marion will host an IRI-sponsored webinar on this subject on April 1, 2016 at 12 pm EDT. Register to attend at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6567583436205158658.
Article
Scholarly and practitioner literature have both described the potential benefits of using methods associated with a “design thinking” approach to develop new innovations. Most studies of the main design thinking methods—needfinding, brainstorming, and prototyping—are based either on analyses of experienced designers or examine each method in isolation. If design thinking is to be widely adopted, less-experienced users will employ these methods together, but we know little about their effect when newly adopted. Drawing on perspectives that consider concept development as broadly consisting of a divergent concept generation phase followed by a convergent concept selection phase, we collected data on fourteen cases of novice multidisciplinary product development teams using design methods across both phases. Our hybrid qualitative and quantitative analysis indicate both benefits and limits of formal design methods: First, formal design methods were helpful not only during concept generation but also during concept selection. Second, while brainstorming was valuable when combined with other methods, increased numbers of brainstorming sessions actually corresponded to lower performance, except in the setting where new members may join a team. And third, increased team reflexivity—such as from debating ideas, processes, or changes to concepts—was associated with more successful outcomes during concept generation but less successful outcomes during concept selection. We develop propositions related to the contingent use of brainstorming and team reflexivity depending on team composition and phase of development. Implication from this study include that novice multidisciplinary teams are more likely to be successful in applying design thinking when they can be guided to combine methods, are aware of the limits of brainstorming, and can transition from more- to less-reflexive practices.
Article
Full-text available
We consider a manager who invests in knowledge development of a product and a process design team as well as knowledge transfer between teams throughout a new product development (NPD) project. Knowledge development at a particular time (e.g., prototyping and experimentation) increases a team's level of knowledge at that time. In contrast, the recipient's benefits from knowledge transfer may be lagged because of the difficulties in articulating and documenting knowledge as well as the challenges regarding its interpretation and application. Over time, as each team embeds knowledge in the NPD project, the levels of product and process performance increase, thereby increasing the net revenue earned at the product launch time. In a key contribution to the literature, analytic conditions are given that characterize the dynamic rates at which knowledge development and knowledge transfer occur throughout the project. We show that the investment in knowledge development for each team and knowledge transfer between teams may be constant, front-loaded, back-loaded, U-shaped, or the peak rate may be delayed over time. As such, we show how concurrent engineering is optimally pursued throughout the NPD project.
Article
Many managers expect a substantial impact of digitization on new product development (NPD) as it is an information-intensive business process. Therefore, a better understanding of how information technology (IT) might improve the NPD process is important for both theory and practice. Drawing on the IT business value literature, this study develops a comprehensive conceptual model to investigate empirically how IT and non-IT organizational antecedents translate into NPD IT capabilities and competences and how these are related with NPD performance. Based on survey data from German NPD managers, this study offers several insights. First, it shows that the development of superior NPD IT capabilities and competences depends on the ability to acquire and deploy suitable IT (i.e., firm-level IT capabilities) and on appropriate strategic, structural, and cultural conditions ensured by a strong top management focus on NPD IT (i.e., executive champion for NPD IT). This study hence contributes empirical evidence to the NPD and the IT business value literature by expanding research on complementary resources. Second, this study addresses limitations regarding the conceptualization of NPD IT capabilities and their relationship with further sources of competitive advantage arising from NPD IT tool usage by considering both the effectiveness and the frequency of usage as well as the relationship between both. Third, this research updates the measurement of NPD IT tool usage effectiveness (i.e., IT leveraging competence) to account for technological developments. Moreover, this study reveals that the effectiveness of NPD IT tool usage is positively associated with NPD performance. It also highlights that the dissemination of IT tools does not directly increase NPD performance, but that NPD IT tool use frequency is an important antecedent of IT leveraging competence. For managers, this paper offers empirical evidence that firm-wide IT capabilities and a focus on NPD IT are important predictors of NPD performance.
Article
This paper explores a fundamental principle of digitizing traditional cultural designs to introduce a model to develop a digital design tool with three strategies (and five possible scenarios) for expanding traditional designs. The study structures pattern designs by analysing certain rules of traditional Korean bojagi textile designs and converting them into explicit rules in computational design. A bojagi design tool (implementing eight different schemes and allowing choice of colours and textures) was developed by the authors to show the advantages of using a computational design that combines traditional principles with today’s modern digital technology. The tool was then examined by four groups (designers, merchandisers, traditional bojagi craft practitioners, and random customers) in Korea. The findings resulting from the interviews suggested that the tool can generate most of original bojagi designs that will be suitable for current fashion and interior markets and even extend it as a marketing and educational tool.
Article
Full-text available
Most of commercial civil aircraft are derivatives of each other. They start with an aero-structural design based on the mission profile, and what remains is the integration of existing subsystems. This only leaves room for in-cremental innovation. When a totally new concept has to be worked out, an innovative brainstorming procedure has to be facilitated, leading to a new product definition. This collaborative creative thinking is not an easy task, and analytical design management tools are required. Therefore, an iterative AHP-QFD-AHP approach for brainstorming is implemented into a concurrent engineering environment in the early phases of layout conception. In the case study, the pro-posed model delivered the product definition of the cryoplane concept successfully, which promises clean operation.
Article
This article studies how organizational practices aimed at fostering intra and interorganizational knowledge transfer, absorption, combination, and conversion interact. Specifically, the article examines the effect of formalized problem solving (FPS) practices on the benefits from collaboration with suppliers for product innovation. It argues that FPS practices act as moderators of the relationship between collaborations with suppliers and the benefits from innovation. Also, it argues that the moderating effect varies depending on whether a new product development occurs in the presence or absence of industry-level knowledge. These expectations are tested on a sample of 1596 French manufacturing firms. Findings suggest that collaboration with suppliers generally improves the firm's innovation performance and that the benefits are higher in the absence of industry-level knowledge. Additional findings also highlight that FPS practices have an uneven effect on the relationship between collaboration with suppliers and a firm's innovation performance; they do not increase the benefits from collaboration in the presence of industry-level knowledge and they reduce the benefits in the absence of industry-level knowledge.
Article
Knowledge hiding, a unique concept distinct from knowledge sharing, occurs frequently in NPD project teams. Although knowledge hiding has been proven to cause distrust and reduce individual creative performance, little is known about the negative influences of knowledge hiding on team performance in new product development (NPD) projects. Drawing on organizational learning theory and job characteristic theory, this study investigates how knowledge hiding influences project team performance through team learning and the contingent roles of project-based work attributes (i.e. cross-functionality and team stability). Data were collected from a sample of 92 NPD project teams in China. The results revealed that knowledge hiding was negatively associated with project team performance. This linkage was partially mediated by team learning. Team stability played a moderating role in the relationship between knowledge hiding and team learning. Moreover, as team stability increased, the negative indirect impact of knowledge hiding on project team performance was weakened. Finally, theoretical implications, practical guidelines and limitations were discussed.
Article
Full-text available
Information Technology (IT) and the process of new product development (NPD) have become completely intertwined. From computer-aided-design (CAD) to video conferencing to traditional tools like email, the act of design, iterating and communicating with team members is touched at every point in the process by IT. Over the last ten years, new, collaborative information technology (CIT) has entered into the NPD process to make the activity of communication and team information sharing easier, more frequent, and distributed. What is not known is how these tools are influencing the design process itself. This research uses a longitudinal multi-method, ethnographic approach to deep dive into actual use cases. Our results indicate that CIT can have a substantial impact on NPD, but does not automatically alleviate traditional problems during NPD. We also find that the propagation of tools via new firms startups has developed a single tool per task paradigm, which is counter to the development of complex platforms offered by established firms. These single use tools are easily adopted but also easily discarded by development teams.
Article
Full-text available
Although the performance of new product development (PD) is dependent on the structure and formation of design teams, effective configuration of the PD teams remains largely unexplored. According to social network research, teams are often organized in either closely connected or sparse structure. We conceptualize PD projects as collective problem-solving endeavors and develop a computational model of these projects where a number of designers conduct search over an NK(C) performance landscape. We group the designers in teams with closely connected or sparse structure. We also consider various organizational integration capabilities (i.e., coordinated operations, and common principles) as well as interaction networks among the teams (i.e., acyclical, cyclical, and modular). We use simulation and compare the design performance of teams with different configurations. Our results indicate that the extent by which organizations can effectively integrate design solutions determines the team structure and is likely to result in higher development performance. In addition, the design performance of strategies that employ both closely connected and sparse teams is contrasted with the strategies that use either of these structures. Regardless of the integration capabilities of the PD projects, strategies that simultaneously utilize both closely connected and sparse teams are likely to achieve higher development performance than strategies that only use teams with one particular structure.
Article
The literature on new product development examines a variety of roles that prototypes can play based on the phase of the design process when they are used, but the characteristics of these prototypes that correspond to the expected outcomes, especially in the early phase of the design process, are understudied. We address this gap by studying the characteristics of the prototypes used in the design process (especially during the early phase) that correspond to their roles. Based on an analysis of six cases of prototypes that are used early on in the design process, we characterize three different archetypes of artefacts: stimulators, demonstrators, and validators, and we emphasize the coherence between the role they play in the design process and the characteristics that enable these roles. Specifying the roles of these artefacts should contribute to addressing the two flaws that are generally encountered during prototyping: overdesigning and overtrusting the prototypes.
Article
We developed a new method employing automated facial emotion detection software and cursor tracking to link designer emotions and corresponding designer activities while using synchronous collaborative Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software. We applied this method via an experiment with nine participants, each working with the same CAD platform, and assigned a CAD task in one of two distinct working styles: single participants working by themselves and paired participants working together. We analyzed and compared trends in emotion for these two working styles. Pairs experienced, on average per person, higher levels of emotion (measured as joy, sadness, anger, contempt, fear and surprise) than individuals. We linked occurrences of each emotional response to their antecedent activities in the CAD environment (navigating the model tree, sketching, making selections in the feature menu, and communicating). Using a logistic regression analysis, we revealed statistically significant trends linking emotions and antecedent CAD events, and we found that some emotions are more likely to occur with certain designer actions in the CAD software. The method and conclusions presented in this paper allow us to better understand designer emotions in traditional and collaborative CAD, which links to insight related to designer satisfaction, creativity, performance and other outcomes increasingly valued by engineering designers and managers in virtually collaborative environments.
Article
Full-text available
This paper facilitates the integration of TRIZ and CFD techniques to resolve design challenges and drive innovation in flow handling equipment new product development processes. A new methodology is proposed based on an integrated product lifecycle suited for flow handling equipment product development processes. The methodology accomplishes novel design solutions by designing geometrical flow paths using recommendations from TRIZ and testing same using CFD until the desired design outcome is achieved. The efficacy of this new methodology is tested through a pilot study. Flow problem areas in a valve were visualised and tested using CFD, while TRIZ was used in detecting useful recommended solutions to the identified problems. The result of the pilot process was a novel hybrid control valve design. The new method presented in this paper can be used to manage the entire NPD process, thereby proffering innovative solutions to flow handling equipment new product development.
Article
Search and recombination are important mechanisms in the creativity phase of innovation. Digital transformation and the resulting pervasive digitalization of the innovation function have often been associated with increasing possibilities for search and recombination. In this article, by systematically integrating the search and recombination literature with the literature on digitalization, we demonstrate that digitalization may engender new idiosyncratic tensions in the organizational antecedents of search and recombination and, by implication, in their likely outcomes. We propose that, depending on the interactions among the idiosyncratic tensions identified herein, knowledge recombination might spur very different outcomes, including knowledge layering, knowledge integration, knowledge grafting, or even no recombination at all (which we label “search for the sake of search”). These outcomes may not always be the initially planned desired outcomes. Finally, we provide implications of our integrative framework pertaining to product development and to organizing for innovation.
Article
Over the past several decades, digitization has invaded all areas of human activity, including innovation. The result of digitization of existing tools for design and collaboration, and the introduction of entirely new digital tools, is a far more substantive change of innovation than previous generations of tools enabled. It affects not only the quality of the output and speed of its generation, but it affects the innovation work itself, changes work content, collaboration patterns, decision authority, organizational set‐ups, governance structures, firm boundaries, and ultimately entire ecosystems. In this article, the digitization of New Product Development (NPD), a subset of innovation, is studied to pursue two research questions: (1) How has the digital tool landscape in NPD changed over the past 15 years, and (2) how have these changes affected how firms innovate? This research uses a longitudinal multi‐method, qualitative approach to deep dive into actual use cases of digital design tools such as computer‐aided design CAD and new tools such as collaborative information technology (CIT). The changes in these tools and observations into how these tools are transforming the very nature of how things are designed is the research focus of this study. These tools have become increasingly more sophisticated while being easier to use and are integrated earlier in the design process. As a result, digital tools have a far broader reaching impact than previous generation of tools. Not only do they affect output and process efficiency, but they also increase depth and breadth of the work of individual innovators, they lead to rearrangement of the entire innovation processes, enable new configurations of people, teams, and firms, and rewrite the rules on how knowledge management acts as a critical competitive capability. The progression of digitization is laying the groundwork for changes to what firms are and do and points to different ways of organizing, specializing, and training for NPD professionals.
Article
Engineers design for an inherently uncertain world. In the early stages of design processes, they commonly account for such uncertainty either by manually choosing a specific worst-case and multiplying uncertain parameters with safety factors or by using Monte Carlo simulations to estimate the probabilistic boundaries in which their design is feasible. The safety factors of this first practice are determined by industry and organizational standards, providing a limited account of uncertainty; the second practice is time intensive, requiring the development of separate testing infrastructure. In theory, robust optimization provides an alternative, allowing set-based conceptualizations of uncertainty to be represented during model development as optimizable design parameters. How these theoretical benefits translate to design practice has not previously been studied. In this work, we analyzed the present use of geometric programs as design models in the aerospace industry to determine the current state-of-the-art, then conducted a human-subjects experiment to investigate how various mathematical representations of uncertainty affect design space exploration. We found that robust optimization led to far more efficient explorations of possible designs with only small differences in an experimental participant’s understanding of their model. Specifically, the Pareto frontier of a typical participant using robust optimization left less performance “on the table” across various levels of risk than the very best frontiers of participants using industry-standard practices.
Article
Start-ups are an important source of novel knowledge and product ideas for incumbents. We investigate which search strategies are positively related to the successful search for start-ups. We identify search instruments and their various uses: intensive or broad; stand-alone or combinatory. Finding 11 search practices in the literature, we evaluate how these practices were used by 97 respondents from a cross-industry and cross-national sample. Our results show that searching broadly and intensively is positively related to a successful search for start-ups and to firms’ radical innovation capability. Specific tools that are positively related to search success are online contacts, desk research, external scouting partners, and start-up pitch events. Decision tree analysis provides effective combinations of search practices that innovation managers and purchasing managers can use. Employing these search practice combinations, we make incumbents aware of the routines used in distant knowledge search. These practices are dynamic capabilities that help them to remain successful in high-velocity markets. In identifying these search practices, we contribute to the literature on innovation routines and dynamic capability research.
Article
New products developed in emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil are not only sold locally but also ‘exported’ globally, suggesting a changing landscape for global innovation. Existing literature in technology learning and capability accumulation has long held the claim that, for a certain period of time in their development, firms in latecomer countries rely on their counterparts in developed countries to get new product ideas. However, existing research in this area is generally based on case studies and historical analyses; there are few empirical studies exploring the performance consequence of learning from competitors abroad. Using large‐scale, nationwide survey data from China, we explore specifically whether learning about new product ideas from leading firms in foreign countries will lead to higher performance outcomes than other sources (i.e. domestic competitors, customers, universities or internal departments) in an emerging market. Our findings suggest that Chinese firms that source new product ideas from leading firms in foreign countries achieve overwhelmingly superior performance along financial, customer and technological dimensions. Implications to the managers and policy makers are also discussed.
Article
Full-text available
Success is not just elusive; it is also multifaceted and difficult to measure. A firm can assess the success or failure of a development project in any (or all) of many terms, including customer satisfaction, financial return, and technical advantage. To complicate matters, success may be measured not only at the level of the individual project, but also at the program level. With so many variables to consider and so many stakeholders involved, managers face a difficult challenge just deciding which measures are useful for measuring product development success. Recognizing that no single measure suffices for gauging the success of every product development project, Abbie Griffin and Albert L. Page hypothesize that the most appropriate set of measures for assessing project-level success depends on the project strategy. For example, the objectives (and thus, the success criteria) for a new product that creates an entirely new market will differ from those of a project that extends an existing product line. Similarly, they hypothesize that the appropriate measures of a product development program's overall success depend on the firm's innovation strategy. For example, a firm that values being first to market will measure success in different terms from those used by a firm that focuses on maintaining a secure market niche. To test these hypotheses, product development professionals were presented with six project strategy scenarios and four business strategy scenarios. For each project strategy scenario, participants were asked to select the four most useful measures of project success. For each business strategy scenario, participants were asked to choose the set of four measures that would provide the most useful overall assessment of product development success. The responses strongly support the idea that the most appropriate measures of project-level and program-level success depend on the firm's project strategy and business strategy, respectively. For example, customer satisfaction and customer acceptance were among the most useful customer-based measures of success for several project strategies, but market share was cited as the most useful customer-based measure for projects involving new-to-the-company products or line extensions. At the program level, firms with a business strategy that places little emphasis on innovation need to focus on measuring the efficiency of their product development program, while innovative firms need to assess the program's contribution to company growth.
Article
Full-text available
Winning at New Products is a 2001 book. It is now in its 5th edition, "Winning at New Products: Creating Value Through Innovation" 5th ed.. Available as paperback on Amazon.
Article
Full-text available
As global competitive pressure increases and product life cycles compress, companies are trying to shorten product development cycle times. The author investigates the relationship between the actual length of product development cycle times (in months) and several basic product development project strategy and process characteristics. The research quantifies how product development cycle times increase with increased product complexity and with product newness, how using a cross-functional team interacts with product newness in the way it acts to reduce cycle time, and how using a formal product development process interacts with product complexity in the way it acts to decrease cycle time. The findings suggest that using cross-functional teams is more important in projects in which less of the design is a carryover from a previous generation. Teams then had a large impact in reducing product development cycle times. In contrast, implementing a well thought-out process is more important in firms (or divisions of firms) developing complex products or services. The more complex a product, the more time a formal process eliminates from the development cycle.
Article
Full-text available
Technology and market changes introduce uncertainty and equivocality in the product development arena, and firms are considering various structural relationships to help them cope with these changes. Concurrent engineering (CE) is a mechanism that can reduce uncertainty and equivocality and improve an organization’s competitive capabilities. CE is typically manifested through concurrent work-flows, product development teams, and early involvement of constituents. It enables information to flow through the organization quickly and effectively thereby, reducing uncertainty. At the same time, it enables debate, clarification, and enactment which are essential elements in combating equivocality. CE practices are also purported to have significant effects on product innovation, quality, and premium price capabilities.This research carefully defines CE and creates a valid and reliable instrument to assess it. It reports on the development and testing of a model that relates CE to some of its most salient consequences. Half of the sample of 244 firms is used for exploratory purposes and half for confirmatory work and hypotheses testing. Results indicate that firms that experience a high technological and product change in their environment are using more CE practices. In addition, results suggest that CE practices have significant direct effects on product innovation. However, only the indirect effects of CE on quality and premium pricing are statistically significant. Firms with higher levels of product innovation have higher levels of quality. Firms with higher levels of product innovation do exhibit premium pricing capabilities but only if they affect quality capabilities. Firms that display elevated quality levels excel in their premium pricing capabilities.
Article
Full-text available
Digital manufacturing has been considered, over the last decade, as a highly promis-ing set of technologies for reducing product development times and cost as well as for addres-sing the need for customization, increased product quality, and faster response to the market. This paper describes the evolution of information technology systems in manufacturing, outlin-ing their characteristics and the challenges to be addressed in the future. Together with the digi-tal manufacturing and factory concepts, the technologies considered in this paper include computer-aided design, engineering, process planning and manufacturing, product data and life-cycle management, simulation and virtual reality, automation, process control, shopfloor scheduling, decision support, decision making, manufacturing resource planning, enterprise resource planning, logistics, supply chain management, and e-commerce systems. These tech-nologies are discussed in the context of the digital factory and manufacturing concepts.
Article
Full-text available
Innovation is one of the most important issues in business research today. It has been studied in many independent research traditions. Our understanding and study of innovation can benefit from an integrative review of these research traditions. In so doing, we identify 16 topics relevant to marketing science, which we classify under five research fields: - Consumer response to innovation, including attempts to measure consumer innovative-ness, models of new product growth, and recent ideas on network externalities - Organizations and innovation, which are increasingly important as product development becomes more complex and tools more effective but demanding - Market entry strategies, which includes recent research on technology revolution, exten-sive marketing science research on strategies for entry, and issues of portfolio manage-ment - Prescriptive techniques for product development processes, which have been transformed through global pressures, increasingly accurate customer input, web-based communica-tion for dispersed and global product design, and new tools for dealing with complexity over time and across product lines - Defending against market entry and capturing the rewards of innovating, which includes extensive marketing science research on strategies of defense, managing through metrics and rewards to entrants For each topic, we summarize key concepts and highlight research challenges. For pre-scriptive research topics, we also review current thinking and applications. For descriptive top-ics, we review key findings.
Article
Full-text available
Recognizing that no single measure suffices for gauging the success of every product development project, Abbie Griffin and Albert L. Page hypothesize that the most appropriate set of measures for assessing project-level success depends on the project strategy. For example, the objectives (and thus, the success criteria) for a new product that creates an entirely new market will differ from those of a project that extends an existing product line. Similarly, they hypothesize that the appropriate measures of a product development program's overall success depend on the firm's innovation strategy. For example, a firm that values being first to market will measure success in different terms from those used by a firm that focuses on maintaining a secure market niche.
Article
Full-text available
Stage-Gate has become a popular system for driving new products to market, and the benefits of using such a robust idea-to-launch system have been well documented. However, there are many misconceptions and challenges in using Stage-Gate. First, Stage-Gate is briefly outlined, noting how the system should work and the structure of both stages and gates. Next, some of the misconceptions about Stage-Gate—it is not a linear process, nor is it a rigid system—are debunked, and explanations of what Stage-Gate is and is not are provided. The challenges faced in employing Stage-Gate are identified, including governance issues, overbureaucratizing the process, and misapplying cost-cutting systems such as Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing to product innovation. Solutions are offered, including better governance methods such as “gates with teeth,” clearly defined gatekeepers, and gatekeeper rules of engagement, as well as ways to deal with bureaucracy, including leaner gates. Next-generation versions of Stage-Gate are introduced, notably a scalable system (to handle many different types and sizes of projects), as well as even more flexible and adaptable versions of Stage-Gate achieved via spiral development and simultaneous execution. Additionally, Stage-Gate now incorporates better decision-making practices including scorecards, success criteria, self-managed gates, electronic and virtual gates, and integration with portfolio management. Improved accountability and continuous improvement are now built into Stage-Gate via a rigorous postlaunch review. Finally, progressive companies are reinventing Stage-Gate for use with “open innovation,” whereas others are applying the principles of value stream analysis to yield a leaner version of Stage-Gate.
Article
Full-text available
Reduction of new product development cycle time and improvements in product performance have become strategic objectives for many technology-driven firms. These goals may conflict, however, and firms must explicitly consider the tradeoff between them. In this paper we introduce a multistage model of new product development process which captures this tradeoff explicitly. We show that if product improvements are additive (over stages), it is optimal to allocate maximal time to the most productive development stage. We then indicate how optimal time-to-market and its implied product performance targets vary with exogenous factors such as the size of the potential market, the presence of existing and new products, profit margins, the length of the window of opportunity, the firm's speed of product improvement, and competitor product performance. We show that some new product development metrics employed in practice, such as minimizing break-even time, can be sub-optimal if firms are striving to maximize profits. We also determine the minimal speed of product improvement required for profitably undertaking new product development, and discuss the implications of product replacement which can occur whenever firms introduce successive generations of new products. Finally, we show that an improvement in the speed of product development does not necessarily lead to an earlier time-to-market, but always leads to enhanced products.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper describes the New Product Development (NPD) Simulation we developed and use in our Marketing and Entrepreneurship courses. The simulation teaches NPD best practice, focusing on determining potential customers needs, then matching those needs with product attribute selection. Participants simulate the building & launching of a product, then receive feedback on their NPD process.
Article
Technology and market changes introduce uncertainty and equivocality in the product development arena, and firms are considering various structural relationships to help them cope with these changes. Concurrent engineering (CE) is a mechanism that can reduce uncertainty and equivocality and improve an organization’s competitive capabilities. CE is typically manifested through concurrent work‐flows, product development teams, and early involvement of constituents. It enables information to flow through the organization quickly and effectively thereby, reducing uncertainty. At the same time, it enables debate, clarification, and enactment which are essential elements in combating equivocality. CE practices are also purported to have significant effects on product innovation, quality, and premium price capabilities. This research carefully defines CE and creates a valid and reliable instrument to assess it. It reports on the development and testing of a model that relates CE to some of its most salient consequences. Half of the sample of 244 firms is used for exploratory purposes and half for confirmatory work and hypotheses testing. Results indicate that firms that experience a high technological and product change in their environment are using more CE practices. In addition, results suggest that CE practices have significant direct effects on product innovation. However, only the indirect effects of CE on quality and premium pricing are statistically significant. Firms with higher levels of product innovation have higher levels of quality. Firms with higher levels of product innovation do exhibit premium pricing capabilities but only if they affect quality capabilities. Firms that display elevated quality levels excel in their premium pricing capabilities.
Article
This paper investigates project management methods used during the execution phase of new product development projects. Based on prior field observations, organizational theory and product development literature, we pose hypotheses regarding the effectiveness of the project execution methods of formality, project management autonomy and resource flexibility. A cross‐sectional survey sample of 120 completed new product development projects from a variety of assembled products industries is analyzed via hierarchical moderated regression. We find that the project execution methods are positively associated with project execution success. Further, these methods are effective singly and collectively, suggesting that firms can “balance firmness and flexibility” in product development via appropriate execution methods. Surprisingly, the effectiveness of these methods is not contingent on the product or process technology novelty inherent in a given development project. The findings suggest that firms should adopt high levels of these approaches, and that a variety of projects can be managed using broadly similar project execution methods. The findings also suggest limitations on the application of organizational information processing theory to the context of product development projects. Directions for additional theory development are outlined.
Article
As global competitive pressure increases and product life cycles compress, companies are trying to shorten product development cycle times. The author investigates the relationship between the actual length of product development cycle times (in months) and several basic product development project strategy and process characteristics. The research quantifies how product development cycle times increase with increased product complexity and with product newness, how using a cross-functional team interacts with product newness in the way it acts to reduce cycle time, and how using a formal product development process interacts with product complexity in the way it acts to decrease cycle time. The findings suggest that using cross-functional teams is more important in projects in which less of the design is a carryover from a previous generation. Teams then had a large impact in reducing product development cycle times. In contrast, implementing a well thought-out process is more important in firms (or divisions of firms) developing complex products or services. The more complex a product, the more time a formal process eliminates from the development cycle.
Article
- This paper describes the process of inducting theory using case studies from specifying the research questions to reaching closure. Some features of the process, such as problem definition and construct validation, are similar to hypothesis-testing research. Others, such as within-case analysis and replication logic, are unique to the inductive, case-oriented process. Overall, the process described here is highly iterative and tightly linked to data. This research approach is especially appropriate in new topic areas. The resultant theory is often novel, testable, and empirically valid. Finally, framebreaking insights, the tests of good theory (e.g., parsimony, logical coherence), and convincing grounding in the evidence are the key criteria for evaluating this type of research.
Article
Today's customers are sophisticated. They demand product variety, functionality and performance. To survive in this arena, successful companies in a global economy must rapidly introduce new products (new product lines or improvements to existing lines) by collapsing their product development times. Vincent Mabert, John Muth and Roger Schmenner report results from a comparative case study of six new product introduction projects at six different firms, identifying those elements that are important to product introduction lead time and how they are influenced by customer and organizational and technical factors. They note that the new product innovation process is very complex, sensitive to external forces like customer demands or expectations and to internal issues like how team leadership is defined for the development team. The article describes the participating companies and analyzes the six projects with particular attention to four structural elements: motivation, workings of teams, external vendor's cooperation with the teams and project control. The authors conclude by identifying the top priority factors influencing new product introduction time.
Article
Most businesses carry a huge invisible burden. Unmanaged design-in-process (DIP) inventory is an enormous drain on earnings. Design-in-process inventory consists of product designs that are in process but not yet in production. It is the product-development equivalent of work-in-process (WIP) inventory. The higher a company's R&D spending and the longer its development cycle, the greater its DIP inventory is likely to be. The author explains what causes DIPs, discusses controlling queues in managing design tasks, and emphasizes an importance of viewing the entire design process as a system.
Chapter
In recent years many markets have exhibited increasing demand heterogeneity; they are fragmenting into more and smaller market niches. This development threatens the large-scale assumption of many mass production processes. As a result, firms face the dilemma of how to provide a wide variety of goods for prices that can compete with mass produced products. To respond to these challenges, many firms have begun searching for ways to combine the efficiency of mass production with the variety of customer-oriented product offerings. A major focus of these efforts has been the fundamental structure of the product: the product architecture. Examples for this development are Sony's personal music players (Walkman) that use common drives across different models (Sanderson and Uzumeri, 1995), different power tools that use similar motors (Meyer and Lehnerd, 1997), PDAs (personal digital assistant) that can be turned into an MP3 player, a camera, or a telephone with different attachments (Biersdorfer, 2001), and automobiles with common components across models (Carney, 2004).
Article
The literature on product development continues to grow. This research is varied and vibrant, yet large and fragmented. In this article we first organize the burgeoning product-development literature into three streams of research: product development as rational plan, communication web, and disciplined problem solving. Second, we synthesize research findings into a model of factors affecting the success of product development. This model highlights the distinction between process performance and product effectiveness and the importance of agents, including team members, project leaders, senior management, customers, and suppliers, whose behavior affects these outcomes. Third, we indicate potential paths for future research based on the concepts and links that are missing or not well defined in the model.
Article
The fuzzy front end of the new product development (NPD) process, the time and activity prior to an organization's first screen of a new product idea, is the root of success for firms involved with discontinuous new product innovation. Yet understanding the fuzzy front-end process has been a challenge for academics and organizations alike. While approaches to handling the fuzzy front end have been suggested in the literature, these tend to be relevant largely for incremental new product situations where organizations are aware of and are involved in the NPD process from the project's beginning. For incremental new products, structured problems or opportunities typically are laid out at the organizational level and are directed to individuals for information gathering. In the case of discontinuous innovations, however, we propose that the process works in the opposite direction—that is, that the timing and likelihood of organizational-level involvement is more likely to be at the discretion of individuals. Such individuals perform a boundary-spanning function by identifying and by understanding emerging patterns in the environment, with little or no direction from the organization. Often, these same individuals also act as gatekeepers by deciding on the value to the organization of externally derived information, as well as whether such information will be shared. Consequently for discontinuous innovations, information search and related problems/opportunities are unstructured and are at the individual level during the fuzzy front end. As such, the direction of initial decisions about new environmental information tends to be inward, toward the corporate decision-making level, rather than the other way around.
Article
Companies in either manufacturing or servicing have to be restructured or re-organized in order to overcome with challenges of the 21st century in which customers are not only satisfied but also delighted. In this competitive environment, organizations should use a flexible, adaptive and responsive paradigm that can be entitled by a unique term: agile manufacturing (AM). An AM system is able to develop a variety of product at low cost and in a short time period. For this, it has some of useful enabling technologies and physical tools. Among these, concurrent engineering (CE) is a systematic approach to the integrated, concurrent design of product and their related processes, including manufacture and support. It is then a useful and beneficial approach to reduce the development time and manufacturing cost, while simultaneously improving the quality of a product in order to better respond to the customer expectations. The aim of this study is to underline the synergistic impact of new product development (NPD) and CE, (which can be called CNPD), and to survey their methods and tools in association with the AM.
Article
The book, The Mythical Man-Month, Addison-Wesley, 1975 (excerpted in Datamation, December 1974), gathers some of the published data about software engineering and mixes it with the assertion of a lot of personal opinions. In this presentation, the author will list some of the assertions and invite dispute or support from the audience. This is intended as a public discussion of the published book, not a regular paper.
Article
The design of work has been and will continue to be a central problem challenging organization theory and practice. The system of arrangements and procedures for doing work affects all workers every day throughout the world. Work is changing dramatically. In an increasingly global and knowledge-intensive economy, work design is no longer contained within an organization; it often transcends the boundaries of organizations and countries. These changes call for a renewed research focus on work design. Building on configuration and complexity perspectives, we propose a framework for studying work design. We argue that three issues require attention to advance the knowledge of work design: (1) defining the boundaries of work systems, (2) examining how the system is nested in a hierarchy within and between organizations, and (3) determining interactions between the elements of a work system. We propose a method of frontier analysis for identifying equifinal designs - the set of equally effective work designs for different combinations of inputs (situations or contexts) and outputs (performance criteria). When work designs are examined longitudinally, these methods permit an examination of adaptation processes on changing fitness landscapes, suggesting how work systems may increase, decrease, or sustain their relative performance over time.
Article
With the rise of global competition, innovation through new ventures and products are seen as a vital part of industrialized nations' quest to sustain economic growth. An integral part of fostering continued innovation are improvements in the new product development and project management process - as research has shown that for new ventures these two areas are key factors for success. This rise of social networking, digital design tools, and virtual teams are setting the stage for a transformation in how products are developed. New product development has historically been a 'push system,' with individuals and teams transmitting information and waiting for feedback. We propose methods and tools that will leverage social networking and shift the paradigm of product development from a 'push' to a 'pull' system where communities can actively drive input to the project, rather than respond to active requests. This article proposes a collaborative Web 2.0 environment that will foster improved communication, design solutions, and innovation speed.
Book
[amazon 2006:]newline Treating such contemporary design and development issues as identifying customer needs, design for manufacturing, prototyping, and industrial design, "Product Design and Development, 3/e", by Ulrich and Eppinger presents in a clear and detailed way a set of product development techniques aimed at bringing together the marketing, design, and manufacturing functions of the enterprise. The integrative methods in the book facilitate problem solving and decision making among people with different disciplinary perspectives, reflecting the current industry trend to perform product design and development in cross-functional teams.
Article
"Synectics theory applies to the integration of diverse individuals into a problem-stating problem-solving group. It is an operational theory for the conscious use of the preconscious psychological mechanisms present in man's creative activity." Case histories illustrating the use of Synectics' operational mechanisms are provided, together with detailed procedures for organizing and operating Synectics groups in industrial contexts. The author's interest in the nature of creative activity culminates in analyses of metaphor and play and their roles in the creative process. (15-p. bibliogr.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The present paper examines how companies strategically employ design to create visual recognition of their brands' core values. To address this question, an explorative in-depth case study was carried out concerning the strategic design efforts of two companies: Nokia (mobile phones) and Volvo (passenger cars). It was found that these two companies fostered design philosophies that lay out which approach to design and which design features are expressive of the core brand values. The communication of value through design was modeled as a process of semantic transformation. This process specifies how meaning is created by design in a three-way relation among design features, brand values, and the interpretation by a potential customer. By analyzing the design effort of Nokia and Volvo with the help of this model, it is shown that control over the process of semantic transformation enabled managers in both companies to make strategic decisions over the type, strength, and generality of the relation between design features and brand values. Another result is that the embodiment of brand values in a design can be strategically organized around lead products. Such products serve as reference points for what the brand stands for and can be used as such during subsequent new product development (NPD) projects for other products in the brand portfolio. The design philosophy of Nokia was found to depart from that of Volvo. Nokia had a bigger product portfolio and served more market segments. It therefore had to apply its design features more flexibly over its product portfolio, and in many of its designs the relation between design features and brand values was more implicit. Six key drivers for the differences between the two companies were derived from the data. Two external drivers were identified that relate to the product category, and four internal drivers were found to stem from the companies' past and present brand management strategies. These drivers show that the design of visual recognition for the brand depends on the particular circumstances of the company and that it is tightly connected to strategic decision making on branding. These results are relevant for brand, product, and design managers, because they provide two good examples of companies that have organized their design efforts in such a way that they communicate the core values of their brands. Other companies can learn from these examples by considering why these two companies acted as they did and how their communication goals of product design were aligned to those of brand management.
Article
Research suggests that a strong focus on quality improvement can adversely affect exploration and thus the development of innovative new products. The focus on quality improvement including total quality management (TQM) has been termed quality orientation. The literature suggests that one way to reduce the adverse effect of a quality orientation on innovativeness is to adopt ambidextrous or dual organizational forms. However, dual organizational forms are cumbersome and expensive to implement. This paper argues that a less demanding structural arrangement for developing innovative products in quality-oriented organizations involves the creation of cross-functional teams that are explicitly encouraged to take risk and granted autonomy. In this model, the two dimensions of innovativeness—namely, novelty and appropriateness— are treated separately because quality orientation and encouragement to take risk can have differential effects on these two dimensions. A survey of 141 new product development projects reveals that quality orientation does not adversely affect product novelty in cross-functional product development teams. However, encouragement given to cross-functional teams to take risk leads to more novel products. On the other hand, while a quality orientation improves product appropriateness, encouragement to take risk affects it adversely. Quality orientation is able to mitigate the adverse effect of encouragement to take risk on appropriateness. But encouragement to take risk does not influence the relationship between a quality orientation and novelty. Autonomy improves the positive effect of encouragement to take risk on new product novelty but does not influence the effect of a quality orientation on novelty. Both novelty and appropriateness enhance a new product's performance, and both these dimensions of innovativeness partially mediate the effect of quality orientation and fully mediate the effect of encouragement to take risk on new product performance.
Article
For early-stage firms, successful commercialization of each new product is critically important, given the shortage of financial resources, the limited product portfolio, and small staffs typical of such firms. This paper investigates two key contributing factors for new product success in entrepreneurial firms: designing products that are appealing to target users in both form and function and designing products that can be manufactured at an attractive margin so that the new enterprise can generate much needed positive cash flow. These two practices—industrial design and cost engineering—are well studied in the context of larger, established corporations but have not been explored in the context of new ventures. This study focuses on the intensity of individual and combined adoption of design and cost engineering as measured by product development efficiency and effectiveness. The study was conducted on a homogeneous sample of early-stage firms that develop physical, assembled products where design plays a role. The data collection focused only on the first product developed by each firm respectively. The results show that when implemented together, industrial design and cost engineering enhance both the effectiveness and efficiency of new product development in early-stage firms, to greater effect than each does individually. Intensive individual adoption of practices had a negative impact on development efficiency measures such as development cost and duration. Only cost engineering individually had a beneficial impact on development effectiveness as measured by product margins. When combined, these two practices had a beneficial impact on both development duration and cost for the company's first commercial product, thereby reducing time-to-market and precious cash expenditures while maximizing project breakeven timing. The most successful firms in the study achieved a balance between creative innovation and cost discipline in the NPD process with third-party design and manufacturing resources. It was found that integrating third-party design firms into the development process can challenge, simplify, and add additional creative resources to the core entrepreneurial team, maximizing the ability to catalyze beneficial tension between creativity and cost discipline.
Article
The value of teams in new product development (NPD) is undeniable. Both the interdisciplinary nature of the work and industry trends necessitate that professionals from different functions work together on development projects to create the highest-quality product in the shortest time. Understanding the conditions that facilitate teamwork has been a pursuit of researchers for nearly a half century. The present paper reviews existing literature on teams and team learning in organizational behavior and technology and innovation to offer insights for research on NPD teams. Building on prior work, the organizational benefits of NPD teams are summarized, and five attributes of these teams are identified that hinder attainment of their potential: (1) project complexity; (2) cross-functionality; (3) temporary membership; (4) fluid team boundaries; and (5) embeddedness in organizational structures. It is argued here that effective management of these five attributes allows not only organization-level benefits but also team-level benefits in the form of new capabilities and team member resilience. The critical roles of leadership and of communication and conflict management training are then highlighted as strategies for overcoming the challenges to team effectiveness in NPD as well as for realizing five team benefits: (1) project management skills; (2) broad perspective; (3) teaming skills; (4) expanded social network; and (5) boundary-spanning skills. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of these ideas for conducting future team research.
Article
There has been a heavy emphasis in new product development (NPD) research on intrateam issues such as communication, trust, and conflict management. Interpersonal cohesiveness, however, has received scant attention. In addition, there are conflicting findings regarding the effects of close-knit teams, which seem to have a beneficial effect up to a point, after which the tight bond becomes a detriment. This paper addresses these issues by introducing an exploratory model of interpersonal cohesiveness→NPD performance that includes antecedents, consequences, and moderating factors. Antecedents of interpersonal cohesiveness include clan culture, formalization, integration, and political dominance of one department, while consequences are groupthink, superordinate identity, and, ultimately, external/internal new product (NP) performance. The relationships among interpersonal cohesiveness, groupthink, and superordinate identity appear to be influenced by two moderating factors: team norms and goal support. Additionally, product type is identified as a moderator on the effects of both groupthink and superordinate identity on external NP performance. The model is built from two sources: a synthesis of the literature in small group dynamics and NPD, and qualitative research conducted across 12 NPD teams. Individual team leaders were interviewed first, followed by interviews with two additional members on each team, for a total of 36 interviews. In keeping with the goals of qualitative research, the interviews and analysis were used to identify and define aspects of interpersonal cohesiveness rather than to test a preconceived model. Representation of different industries and product types was sought intentionally, and variance in NP innovativeness as well as in NP market success/profitability became key criteria in sample selection. The exploratory model and propositions developed in this study provide a framework for understanding the role of interpersonal cohesiveness in NPD teams and its direct and indirect effects on NP performance. Although a significant amount of research on cohesiveness has been conducted in previous studies of small groups, the narrow laboratory settings of that research have limited the generalizability of the findings. This study therefore serves as a useful starting point for future theory development involving interpersonal cohesiveness in NPD. It also provides a guide for managers in dealing with team cohesiveness.
Article
New product development research on applied tools and practices has typically been associated with large, well-established firms, not start-up companies. In this paper, we describe a simplified new product development process for new ventures and detail its application to a consumer product over a two-year period. The process illustrates how established firm NPD practices such as phase gates and market planning can be successfully adopted by early-stage firms and highlights practices that are critical to project success. The case also illustrates that virtual team communication, CAD efficiency, and physical prototype iteration are key drivers in the race towards successful commercialization.
Article
Improved design innovation through the use of new product development activities, methods, and tools has been an area of fertile research for the past several decades for both academics and practitioners. High-level management process study has given way to the development of detailed, quantitative tools and techniques whose mission is to enhance the process of innovation. This research seeks to understand the link between academic research and industry best practice. In this article, we report on the results of an empirical study of best practice design and innovation firms. State-of-the-art practitioners are balancing development efficiency and effectiveness by eschewing onerous methods and quantitative tools by adopting and adapting flexible processes and activities during product design. Resource draining methods and quantitative tools see limited use and are implemented only when necessary. A framework illustrating the need to keep design innovation on a critical path by balancing the efficient and effective use of activities, methods, and tools is presented. The paper concludes with directions for further academic research.
Article
Increasingly shorter product life cycles impel ÿrms to design, develop, and market more products in less time than ever before. Overlapping of design and development stages is commonly regarded as the most promising strategy to reduce product development times. However, overlapping typically requires additional resources and can be costly. Our research addresses the trade-oo between product development time and costs and introduces an algorithm to determine an appropriate overlapping strategy under diierent scenarios. The methodology developed was successfully employed at Rocketdyne Division of Rockwell International.
Article
This paper investigates project management methods used during the execution phase of new product development projects. Based on prior field observations, organizational theory and product development literature, we pose hypotheses regarding the effectiveness of the project execution methods of formality, project management autonomy and resource flexibility. A cross-sectional survey sample of 120 completed new product development projects from a variety of assembled products industries is analyzed via hierarchical moderated regression. We find that the project execution methods are positively associated with project execution success. Further, these methods are effective singly and collectively, suggesting that firms can ''balance firmness and flexibility'' in product development via appropriate execution methods. Surprisingly, the effectiveness of these methods is not contingent on the product or process technology novelty inherent in a given development project. The findings suggest that firms should adopt high levels of these approaches, and that a variety of projects can be managed using broadly similar project execution methods. The findings also suggest limitations on the application of organizational information processing theory to the context of product development projects. Directions for additional theory development are outlined. q 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Article
Effectively managing the "upfront or fuzzy front-end" (FFE) of the product development process is one of the most important, difficult challenges facing innovation managers. In this paper, we define the FFE as the period between when an opportunity is first considered and when an idea is judged ready for development. We classify the outcomes of the FFE into product definition, time, and people dimensions. We suggest several strategies to manage the FFE by assigning a FFE manager or team; by providing organizational support for FFE activities; by understanding the sources of FFE ambiguity; by building an information system; and by developing relationships with supporters, partners, and alliances.
Article
Since 1990, the Product Development & Management Association (PDMA) has sponsored best practice research projects to identify trends in new product development (NPD) management practices and to discern which practices are associated with higher degrees of success. The objective of this ongoing research is to assist managers in determining how to improve their own product development methods and practices. This paper presents results, recommendations, and implications for NPD practice stemming from PDMA's third best practices study, which was conducted in 2003. In the eight years since the previous best practices study was conducted, firms have become slightly more conservative in the portfolio of projects, with lower percentages of the total number of projects in the new-to-the-world and new-to-the-firm categories. Although success rates and development efficiencies have remained stable, this more conservative approach to NPD seems to have negatively impacted the sales and profits impact of the new products that have been commercialized. As formal processes for NPD are now the norm, attention is moving to managing the multiple projects across the portfolio in a more orchestrated manner. Finally, firms are implementing a wide variety of software support tools for various aspects of NPD. NPD areas still seriously in need of improved management include idea management, project leadership and training, cross-functional training and team communication support, and innovation support and leadership by management. In terms of aspects of NPD management that differentiate the “best from the rest,” the findings indicate that the best firms emphasize and integrate their innovation strategy across all the levels of the firm, better support their people and team communications, conduct extensive experimentation, and use numerous kinds of new methods and techniques to support NPD. All companies appear to continue to struggle with the recording of ideas and making them readily available to others in the organization, even the best. What remains unclear is whether there is a preferable approach for organizing the NPD endeavor, as no one organizational approach distinguished top NPD performers.
Article
This paper is a review of research in product development, which we define as the transformation of a market opportunity into a product available for sale. Our review is broad, encompassing work in the academic fields of marketing, operations management, and engineering design. The value of this breadth is in conveying the shape of the entire research landscape. We focus on product development projects within a single firm. We also devote our attention to the development of physical goods, although much of the work we describe applies to products of all kinds. We look inside the "black box" of product development at the fundamental decisions that are made by intention or default. In doing so, we adopt the perspective of product development as a deliberate business process involving hundreds of decisions, many of which can be usefully supported by knowledge and tools. We contrast this approach to prior reviews of the literature, which tend to examine the importance of environmental and contextual variables, such as market growth rate, the competitive environment, or the level of top-management support.
Chapter
Providing a complete portal to the world of case study research, the Fourth Edition of Robert K. Yin's bestselling text Case Study Research offers comprehensive coverage of the design and use of the case study method as a valid research tool. This thoroughly revised text now covers more than 50 case studies (approximately 25% new), gives fresh attention to quantitative analyses, discusses more fully the use of mixed methods research designs, and includes new methodological insights. The book's coverage of case study research and how it is applied in practice gives readers access to exemplary case studies drawn from a wide variety of academic and applied fields.Key Features of the Fourth Edition Highlights each specific research feature through 44 boxed vignettes that feature previously published case studies Provides methodological insights to show the similarities between case studies and other social science methods Suggests a three-stage approach to help readers define the initial questions they will consider in their own case study research Covers new material on human subjects protection, the role of Institutional Review Boards, and the interplay between obtaining IRB approval and the final development of the case study protocol and conduct of a pilot case Includes an overall graphic of the entire case study research process at the beginning of the book, then highlights the steps in the process through graphics that appear at the outset of all the chapters that follow Offers in-text learning aids including 'tips' that pose key questions and answers at the beginning of each chapter, practical exercises, endnotes, and a new cross-referencing tableCase Study Research, Fourth Edition is ideal for courses in departments of Education, Business and Management, Nursing and Public Health, Public Administration, Anthropology, Sociology, and Political Science.
Article
This paper describes the process of inducting theory using case studies-from specifying the research questions to reaching closure. Some features of the process, such as problem definition and construct validation, are similar to hypothesis-testing research. Others, such as within-case analysis and replication logic, are unique to the inductive, case-oriented process. Overall, the process described here is highly iterative and tightly linked to data. This research approach is especially appropriate in new topic areas. The resultant theory is often novel, testable, and empirically valid. Finally, framebreaking insights, the tests of good theory (e.g., parsimony, logical coherence), and convincing grounding in the evidence are the key criteria for evaluating this type of research.
Article
This paper argues that new 3-D CAD systems can play a central role in the creation of knowledge-based product development systems. Based on a model of product development and knowledge creation which incorporates 3-D CAD technology, the paper argues that information technologies can contribute not only to efficiency improvements but also to improved hypothesis creation capabilities in engineers and organizations through technical features such as full visualization, digital pre-assembly and simulation. This paper also discusses the factors that hinder the effective introduction of 3-D CAD technology as well as the potential management and organizational requirements for successful adaptation. Firms need to have both long-term and system-level perspectives and they need engineers who have a broader set of integrated skills that were previously scattered over multiple functions.
Article
New product development nowadays makes heavy use of IT instruments such as virtual simulation tools. The main motivation for introducing virtual simulation tools in new product development is to speed up development and lower its cost. Virtual simulation tools, however, do much more. They introduce profound changes in the organization, including the nature of problem-solving, bearing the potential to increase new product development performance beyond cost and lead time reduction. Understanding these profound changes, we argue, holds the key to unlocking the potential of virtual simulation tools for improving new product development performance, including more innovative products. We support our argument with a case study from the European auto industry.
Article
In this paper, we develop a theory of efficiency and performance tradeoffs for new product development (NPD) projects. Data from 137 completed NPD projects are analyzed for evidence pointing to tradeoffs in performance patterns manifested in the data. In addition, we investigate hypothesized relationships between certain NPD practices and a holistic, efficiency based measure of NPD performance. We demonstrate a new approach to the operationalization of holistic new product development (NPD) project performance, employing a sequential data envelopment analysis (DEA) methodology that simultaneously incorporates multiple factors including new product development cost, product cost, product quality, and project lead time.The results of the data analysis support our hypothesis that tradeoffs among NPD performance outcomes are manifested more strongly in highly efficient projects when compared to inefficient projects. The presence of three distinct subgroups in highly efficient projects is suggestive of several modes of efficiency which appear to achieve equally effective market success. The absence of such patterns in less efficient projects supports a theory of performance frontiers that may impose the need for tradeoffs more strongly as NPD projects achieve higher levels of efficiency. The findings also point to the importance of project management experience, balanced management commitment, and cross-functional integration in achieving high levels of NPD project efficiency. We discuss the implications of the findings for practice and for future research.
Article
A front-loading method on solving product development performance is developed which can be achieved using a number of different approaches, two of which are discussed. First, is the project-to-project knowledge transfer which leverages previous projects by transferring problem and solution-specific information to new projects. Secondly, the rapid problem-solving, which leverages advanced technologies and methods to increase the overall rate at which development problems are identified and solved. Other approaches to front-load problem-solving in product development are discussed and how a problem-solving perspective can help managers build capabilities for higher development performance is presented.
Article
Increasingly heterogeneous markets, together with shorter product life cycles, are forcing many companies to simultaneously compete in the three domains of product, process, and supply chain. Dependencies among decisions across these domains make this competitive situation very complex. To address this complexity, three-dimensional concurrent engineering (3D-CE) has been suggested ([Fine, C.H., 1998. Clockspeed—Winning Industry Control in the Age of Temporary Advantage. Perseus Books, Reading, MA.]). Applying 3D-CE requires an operationalization of one of its core elements: the product architecture. In this paper, I develop a multi-dimensional framework that enables comprehensive product architecture assessments. The framework builds on existing product characteristic concepts such as component commonality, product platforms, and product modularity. The framework's utility is illustrated with two example products, showing how individual product architecture dimensions link decisions across different domains. This framework can be used to focus advice for product design on product architecture dimensions that are critical for a given operational strategy, to assess advantages and limitations of operational strategies in conjunction with given product architectures, or to develop dynamic capabilities such as planning effective product–operation strategy combinations.
Article
Today's customers are sophisticated. They demand product variety, functionality and performance. To survive in this arena, successful companies in a global economy must rapidly introduce new products (new product lines or improvements to existing lines) by collapsing their product development times. Vincent Mabert, John Muth and Roger Schmenner report results from a comparative case study of six new product introduction projects at six different firms, identifying those elements that are important to product introduction lead time and how they are influenced by customer and organizational and technical factors. They note that the new product innovation process is very complex, sensitive to external forces like customer demands or expectations and to internal issues like how team leadership is defined for the development team. The article describes the participating companies and analyzes the six projects with particular attention to four structural elements: motivation, workings of teams, external vendor's cooperation with the teams and project control. The authors conclude by identifying the top priority factors influencing new product introduction time.