IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/inm/ormnsc/v15y1969i10pb486-b505.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Parallel Strategies in Development Projects

Author

Listed:
  • William J. Abernathy

    (Graduate School of Business, Stanford University)

  • Richard S. Rosenbloom

    (Graduate School of Business Administration, Harvard University)

Abstract

It is common in R & D to identify and explore several approaches to a particular objective so that the best approach may be chosen. The outcome of any approach is uncertain; hence, it is difficult to choose the best one at an early date. To deal with this uncertainty, two or more approaches to the objective may be continued in parallel until a clear choice can be made, i.e., a parallel strategy. Such a strategy can provide better information for a decision, maintain options, or hedge against the occurrence of an unsatisfactory outcome. This report addresses the project manager's problem of deciding when to use or continue a parallel strategy. It reports the results of studies of actual projects and of a digital simulation analysis of a model appropriate to the structure of the decision as it is faced in practice. It identifies the information requirements for a sound choice between parallel and sequential strategies and the consequence of choosing a strategy on the basis of incomplete information. The report demonstrates the feasibility of collecting the requisite economic data in actual projects and suggests that it is costly for project managers to ignore such data.

Suggested Citation

  • William J. Abernathy & Richard S. Rosenbloom, 1969. "Parallel Strategies in Development Projects," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 15(10), pages 486-505, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:15:y:1969:i:10:p:b486-b505
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.15.10.B486
    Download Restriction: no

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Sylvain Lenfle, 2011. "The strategy of parallel approaches in projects with unforeseeable uncertainty: the Manhattan case in retrospect," Post-Print hal-00658346, HAL.
    2. Ming Ding & Jehoshua Eliashberg, 2002. "Structuring the New Product Development Pipeline," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(3), pages 343-363, March.
    3. Scott A. Shane & Karl T. Ulrich, 2004. "50th Anniversary Article: Technological Innovation, Product Development, and Entrepreneurship in Management Science," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(2), pages 133-144, February.
    4. Sylvain Lenfle, 2017. "Projects, Agency and the Multi-Level Perspective," Post-Print hal-01574741, HAL.
    5. Scherer, Frederic Michael, 2011. "Parallel R&D Paths Revisited," Scholarly Articles 5027951, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
    6. Kevin J. Boudreau & Nicola Lacetera & Karim R. Lakhani, 2011. "Incentives and Problem Uncertainty in Innovation Contests: An Empirical Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(5), pages 843-863, May.
    7. Comanor, William S. & Scherer, F.M., 2013. "Mergers and innovation in the pharmaceutical industry," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 106-113.
    8. Lee, Hsing-fen & Miozzo, Marcela & Laredo, Philippe, 2010. "Career patterns and competences of PhDs in science and engineering in the knowledge economy: The case of graduates from a UK research-based university," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 869-881, September.
    9. Creemers, Stefan & De Reyck, Bert & Leus, Roel, 2015. "Project planning with alternative technologies in uncertain environments," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 242(2), pages 465-476.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:15:y:1969:i:10:p:b486-b505. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/inforea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.