Management of New Product Development

The emphasis in this course is on managing the process of new product development. The term “product” will
be understood in its most general sense in which service may be an important component. Most products have an
important element of service associated with them; and indeed, some “products” are entirely “services”. For example,
we often talk of a software product which has no other function than to provide a service. In this course the
perspective is that of the senior-level general manager with primary responsibility for managing this process. In
some instances, we will examine the general management tasks of executives at middle functional levels and then tie
those tasks to the overall general management of new product development.

A major theme throughout the course is the primary importance of the new product development function in
the formulation and implementation of business and corporate strategy. We will examine strategic decisions within
this function to see how they affect the ability of the firm to achieve its goals and to carry out its business and
corporate strategies. Finally, we will determine the contributions to competitive advantage that new product
development can make when it coordinates its role with those of the other functions.

To emphasize the role of the senior manager in setting new product development strategy, the course will use
case studies. Most of the cases have a decision orientation with a specific manager or group of managers having
responsibility for developing action plans. One objective of this course is to help you understand how new product
development works within a company, the primary tasks that accompany different environments, and the ways in
which it is possible to organize this process to accomplish those tasks.


Case Studies:

Understanding the User and the Market
SweetWater
Understanding user needs; Structured method for stratifying user needs
Innovation at 3M Corporation
Lead User research; Lightweight vs heavyweight teams; Contact with customer; Brainstorming workshop; Changing the business strategy

Aggregate Project Planning
Linking Strategy and Innovation: Materials Technology Corporation
Linking project selection to strategy; Capacity of product development organization; Process technology platforms; Financing of research and prototyping; High uncertainty in estimating
Medtronic
Train schedule; Leading vs managing product development; Platform strategy; Role of discipline; Interaction among building blocks in a new product development system; Metrics for product development; Lightweight vs heavyweight teams

The Interface Between Product Development and Manufacturing
Plus Development Corp
Product Development for a demanding manufacturing partner; Learning by both partners; sustainability of global partnerships

Disruptive Technology
Hewlett-Packard: The Flight of the Kittyhawk
Disruptive technology; Difficulty in assessing potential markets; Product pricing; Skunkworks; Failure in the market; Dependence on other technologies
Ecton
Disruptive technology; Positioning a company for acquisition; Determining the value of a company; Market deployment of a technology; Attacking entrenched companies with a sustaining technology

Dealing with Technological Uncertainty
Product Development at Dell Computer Corporation
Risk in incorporating new technology from another company in your new product; How to deal with uncertainty; Cost and value of flexibility in product design process
Second Generation Product Development at Zylex Corporation
Product obsolescence; Next generation and legacy product in the market simultaneously; Dependence on a business partner; When should improvement of an old product end


Works:
Market Selection Process for a Start-up Company, (link)

Resource:
Course website