Managing New Product and Process Development: Text Cases

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Argues that a company's capability to conceive and design quality prototypes and bring a variety of products to market more quickly than its competitors is increasingly the focal point of competition. The authors present principles for developing speed and efficiency.
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Chapter 1
Competing Through Development Capability

This chapter introduces product development as a central focus of competition in the 1990s. While firms have developed new products since the Industrial Revolution, in industry after industry, the importance of doing product development well has increased dramatically in recent years. This chapter identifies the forces driving the importance of product development -- changes in competition, customer demands, and technology. An important theme in the chapter is that these forces have created a competitive imperative for speed, efficiency, and high quality in the development process.
In reading the chapter it is important to establish a basic idea of what product development involves -- both what makes it difficult to achieve, and the competitive power it creates when done well. To provide perspective on what we mean by product development, the chapter briefly summarizes the major sequence of activities involved in taking an idea from initial concept through prototype building and testing, and into commercial production. A key theme is that product development is a process involving all the major functions in a business. With the development process as background, we then use the example of the Northern Electronics Company and its problems with the A14 stereo project to illustrate the difficulties in development.
The problems on the A14 project -- missed schedules, cost overruns, and a poorly designed product -- reflect a mismatch between the way the project is organized and managed and the requirements of the development process created by the product''s complexity and the rigorous and uncertain competitive environment in which Northern Electronics competed. Exhibit 1-5 summarizes the characteristics of problematic projects as well as their consequences. The exhibit also identifies key themes that characterize outstanding projects -- clarity of focus, integration across functions, a strong focus on time to market, doing things right the first time, and effective substantive leadership -- thus summarizing many of the important themes developed in the book.
Our intent in this first chapter is not only to highlight the challenge and characterize what an outstanding project might look like, but also to illustrate the competitive power created in the organizations that do development extraordinarily well. To underscore that power we close the chapter with a review of the competitive interaction between Northern and Southern Electronics in the compact stereo market. Historically these two companies mirrored one another in terms of their market approach. But in the 1980s, Southern built a new strategy around superior capability and product development. In effect, Southern embarked on a strategy to become a fast-cycle competitor. In reading through this history, it is useful to note the way in which Southern linked its product development capability with its strategies in marketing and manufacturing. In fact, the way Southern exploited its advantage in speed and efficiency over its slower Northern rival was precisely by integrating its development capabilities with its actions in marketing and manufacturing. The history also sheds light on the A14 stereo project referred to above. Here, we see what happens when a senior management team attempts to achieve substantial improvements in performance without making basic changes in processes or in capabilities. The chapter closes with a summary of the advantages that effective product development capability conferred upon Southern.
In a competitive environment that is global, intense, and dynamic, the development of new products and processes increasingly is a focal point of competition. Firms that get to market faster and more efficiently with products that are well matched to the needs and expectations of target customers create significant competitive leverage. Firms that are slow to market with products that match neither customer expectations nor the products of their rivals are destined to see their market position erode and financial performance falter. In a turbulent environment, doing product and process development well has become a requirement for being a player in the competitive game; doing development extraordinarily well has become a competitive advantage.
The New Industrial Competition: Driving Forces and Development Realities
The importance of product and process development is not limited to industries or businesses built around new scientific findings, with significant levels of R&D spending, or where new products have traditionally accounted for a major fraction of annual sales. The forces driving development are far more general. Three are particularly critical:
* Intense international competition. In business after business, the number of competitors capable of competing at a world-class level has grown at the same time that those competitors have become more aggressive. As world trade has expanded and international markets have become more accessible, the list of one''s toughest competitors now includes firms that may have grown up in very different environments in North America, Europe, and Asia. The effect has been to make competition more intense, demanding, and rigorous, creating a less forgiving environment.
* Fragmented, demanding markets. Customers have grown more sophisticated and demanding. Previously unheard of levels of performance and reliability are today the expected standard. Increasing sophistication means that customers are more sensitive to nuances and differences in a product, and are attracted to products that provide solutions to their particular problems and needs. Yet they expect these solutions in easy-to-use forms.
* Diverse and rapidly changing technologies. The growing breadth and depth of technological and scientific knowledge has created new options for meeting the needs of an increasingly diverse and demanding market. The development of novel technologies and a new understanding of existing technologies increases the variety of possible solutions available to engineers and marketers in their search for new products. Furthermore, the new solutions are not only diverse, but also potentially transforming. New technologies in areas such as materials, electronics, and biology have the capacity to change fundamentally the character of a business and the nature of competition.
These forces are at work across a wide range of industries. They are central to competition in young, technically dynamic industries, but also affect mature industries where life cycles historically were relatively long, technologies mature, and demands stable. In the world auto industry, for example, the growing intensity of international competition, exploding product variety, and diversity in technology have created a turbulent environment. The number of world-scale competitors has grown from less than five in the early 1960s to more than twenty today. But perhaps more importantly, those twenty competitors come from very different environments and possess a level of capability far exceeding the standard prevailing twenty-five years ago. Much the same is true of customers. Levels of product quality once considered extraordinary are now a minimum requirement for doing business. As customers have grown more sophisticated and demanding, the variety of products has increased dramatically. In the mid 1960s, for example, the largest selling automobile in the United States was the Chevrolet Impala. The platform on which it was based sold approximately 1.5 million units per year. In 1991, the largest selling automobile in the United States was the Honda Accord, which sold about 400,000 units. Thus, in a market that is today larger than it was in 1965, the volume per model has dropped by a factor of four. Currently over 600 different automobile models are offered for sale on the U.S. market.
Similarly, technological change has had dramatic consequences. In 1970, one basic engine-drive train technology (a V8 engine, longitudinally mounted, water cooled, carbureted, hooked up to a three-speed automatic transmission with rear wheel drive) accounted for close to 80 percent of all automobile production in the United States. Indeed, there were only five engine-drive train technologies in production. By the early 1980s that number had grown to thirty-three. The growing importance of electronics, new materials, and new design concepts in engines, transmissions, suspensions, and body technologies has accelerated the pace and diversity of technological change in the 1980s. Simply keeping up with those technologies is a challenge, but an often straightforward one in comparison with having to integrate them in development efforts.
Similar forces have been at work in other traditional, mature industries. In textiles and apparel, for example, firms such as Benetton and The Limited have used information technology to create a production and distribution network which links retail outlets directly to distribution centers and back into factories and suppliers in the chain of production from fiber to finished product. The thrust of these networks is the ability to respond quickly to changing customer demands at relatively low cost. Fueled in part by availability and in part by growing demands for differentiated products, product variety has expanded significantly. In plant after plant, one finds vast increases in the number of styles produced and a sharp decline in the length of production runs. These are not changes of 10 or 20 percent; in the 1980s, it was common for apparel plants to experience a four- to fivefold increase in the number of styles produced. These increases in garment variety have pushed back into the textile plants as well. For example, the average lot size f
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Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Jul 6, 2010
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Business & Economics / General
Business & Economics / Industrial Management
Business & Economics / Marketing / General
Business & Economics / Production & Operations Management
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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In their groundbreaking book Revolutionizing Product Development, Steven C. Wheelwright and Kim B. Clark demonstrated how project leaders for product development could apply new innovations to bring products to market at breakneck speed. Now, in their new work, they address the general manager's role in leading product development efforts -- at the functional, unit, group, and corporate levels.

Up to now, senior managers have merely approved or rejected proposals at the beginning of a project and rushed in at the end to resolve problems. This traditional approach to product development no longer works, the authors contend. A fundamental shift in the role of senior management is taking place: the entire spectrum of new product development is now the responsibility of the general manager -- from pre-project planning to completion. Wheelwright and Clark draw on their combined consulting experience and numerous examples -- such as Kodak, Honda, Hewlett-Packard, and Gillette -- to explain how this new role can be successfully executed in today's competitive arena.

The authors show how the margin for error in new product development has become razor thin. Pre-project planning, they show, takes the guesswork out of development so that projects run smoothly from start to finish. Second, they describe how to choose a set of projects that match a company's specific strategic objectives, resources, and "organizational horsepower" -- enabling the development of consistently successful products and capabilities over time. Finally, they reveal how to create a plan for action: how to determine project sequence, what measurements and incentives are crucial, and, most important, how to capture project learning and integrate it back into the ongoing stream of product development.

Wheelwright and Clark conclude that the opportunity for rapid, significant development lies in managerial leadership of pre-project planning and commitment to improvement at every step of the product's life cycle. They provide managers with the tools needed to master these processes, making this book necessary reading for every manager who wants the upper hand in bringing timely, efficient, high-quality new products to market.
The global phenomenon that has sold 3.6 million copies, is published in a record-breaking 44 languages and is a bestseller across five continents—now updated and expanded with new content

In this perennial bestseller, embraced by organizations and industries worldwide, globally preeminent management thinkers W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne challenge everything you thought you knew about the requirements for strategic success. Recognized as one of the most iconic and impactful strategy books ever written, Blue Ocean Strategy, now updated with fresh content from the authors, argues that cutthroat competition results in nothing but a bloody red ocean of rivals fighting over a shrinking profit pool. Based on a study of 150 strategic moves (spanning more than 100 years across 30 industries), the authors argue that lasting success comes not from battling competitors but from creating “blue oceans”—untapped new market spaces ripe for growth.

Blue Ocean Strategy presents a systematic approach to making the competition irrelevant and outlines principles and tools any organization can use to create and capture their own blue oceans. This expanded edition includes:A new preface by the authors: Help! My Ocean Is Turning RedUpdates on all cases and examples in the book, bringing their stories up to the present timeTwo new chapters and an expanded third one — Alignment, Renewal, and Red Ocean Traps — that address the most pressing questions readers have asked over the past 10 years

A landmark work that upends traditional thinking about strategy, this bestselling book charts a bold new path to winning the future. Consider this your guide to creating uncontested market space—and making the competition irrelevant.

To learn more about the power of blue ocean strategy, visit There you’ll find all the resources you need—from ideas in practice and cases from government and private industry, to teaching materials, mobile apps, real-time updates, and tips and tools to help you make your blue ocean journey a success.

U.S. manufacturing is today in a critical period. As a consequence of new global competitors, changes in technologies, and significant shifts in national priorities, our manufacturing base has shrunk alarmingly and thousands of manufacturing jobs have been lost. To address this problem, a unique team was formed called the Manufacturing Vision Group, which included members from five major companies (Chaparral Steel, DEC, Ford Motor Company, Hewlett-Packard, and Eastman Kodak) and four major universities (Harvard, MIT, Purdue, and Stanford). In The Perpetual Enterprise Machine, this group argues that the manufacturer that can initiate successful projects--leading to new products and processes--will be the one that prospers in the years ahead. They reveal how to launch a successful project and how projects can be mechanisms for growth and learning for the firm. The Perpetual Enterprise Machine outlines seven critical elements that outstanding development projects have in common, principles that can be powerful engines of success for the manufacturer facing the challenges of today's fiercely competitive environment. Successful firms are able to use their Core Capabilities across functions, to bring together disciplines and personnel crucial to the success of the program. They have a Guiding Vision, shared by all members of the project team, that helps coordinate the actions of workers with different skills and priorities. They Push the Performance Envelope, striving to make the improvements needed to cope with a rapidly changing competitive environment. They have Leadership, someone who can navigate uncertain terrain, who sees the project's essential elements and how they fit together. They instill the team with a sense of Ownership and Commitment, linking their personal success, status, and esteem to accomplishing project goals. They use Prototyping to learn rapidly and reduce mistakes. And they Integrate within Projects, approaching individual tasks in terms of a system-wide solution. Throughout the book, the authors illustrate these seven principles with real life case histories. We see the story behind Kodak's development of the FunSaver camera (done on a unique CAD/CAM system that greatly helped integration and shortened the lead time from design to production); Ford's 1991 Crown Victoria, the first project launched under their Concept-to-Customer system; Chaparral Steel's development of the world's first horizontal steel caster; and Hewlett-Packard's wildly successful DeskJet printer. The Perpetual Enterprise Machine delivers the insights of some of the top minds from industry and academia on one of the primary concerns of American business--how to revitalize our manufacturing industries. Visionary--yet engaging and immediately accessible--it gives managers the opportunity to profit from the trials and triumphs of five major corporations, and helps them shape the kinds of projects that will thrive and prosper in the years ahead.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey | Summary & Analysis



The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a self-help book that outlines seven skills to develop in order to increase efficiency and have more rewarding interpersonal relationships.

Living according to the seven habits requires paradigm shifts that allow an individual to become flexible enough to change. One is the shift in associations when considering independence and interdependence. Independence, which is more valued by contemporary personality-driven trends, can cause problematic isolation and stifle cooperation. Interdependence describes a healthier approach that enables teamwork. The seven habits also require an understanding of the difference between production, or results, and production capacity, the processes that generate the results, neither of which can be prioritized at the cost of the other.

The first three habits relate to private victories. First, people should restrict their efforts to the things that they can actually influence, and not waste energy on things that cause worry but cannot be directly controlled...



PLEASE NOTE: This is key takeaways and analysis of the book and NOT the original book.


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