Reengineering the new product development process: A framework for innovation and flexibility in high technology firms
In response to an increasingly global and competitive environment, reengineering of fundamental cross functional processes is being actively pursued by corporations. This is particularly true in those industries which evolve rapidly. The flexibility to adapt to changing market needs and develop innovative products in such an environment is quintessential to success. This would make new product development arguably one of the most critical cross functional process. Traditionally, this process has involved inefficient sequential processing of information and plans between functional specialties. We propose a conceptual framework in this paper that facilitates innovation, flexibility, and an understanding of the reengineering of this product planning process. In particular, we consider the case of high technology firms in the semiconductor and telecommunications industry, which demands a high degree of product innovation. We propose that achieving innovation and flexibility would require a considerable degree of planning and coordination through the various phases of development. This coordination is required not only across functional groups, but also across the hierarchical levels in the organization. Top level management support through a product champion, and proper interfacing with the external environment and the target market are essential components of such a planning process. The proposed framework is initially developed based on information elicited from an expert engaged in the product planning and development process at a large progressive telecommunications firm. The framework is then refined and finally presented based on feedback from five experts in the high technology electronics industry, and also evaluated in the context of prescriptive literature in the reengineering and innovation areas. The information and conceptual content of the framework presented in this paper can facilitate better planning, formation, and organization of cross-functional work teams and groups that may be involved in the product development process. Implications of the framework for strategic product planning and its impact on the manufacturing function within a firm are also discussed.
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Volume (Year): 24 (1996)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
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References listed on IDEAS
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- Van de Ven, Andrew R., 1986. "Central Problems in the Management of Innovation," Agricultural Research Policy Seminar 139708, University of Minnesota Extension.
- Sunder Kekre & Kannan Srinivasan, 1990. "Broader Product Line: A Necessity to Achieve Success?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(10), pages 1216-1232, October.
- Andrew H. Van de Ven, 1986. "Central Problems in the Management of Innovation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(5), pages 590-607, May.
- Billie Jo Zirger & Modesto A. Maidique, 1990. "A Model of New Product Development: An Empirical Test," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(7), pages 867-883, July.
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