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A Model-Based Framework to Overlap Product Development Activities

Author

Listed:
  • Viswanathan Krishnan

    (Management Department, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712)

  • Steven D. Eppinger

    (Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139)

  • Daniel E. Whitney

    (Center for Technology, Policy and Industrial Development, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139)

Abstract

Intense competition in many industries forces manufacturing firms to develop new, higher quality products at an increasingly rapid pace. Overlapping product development activities is an important component of concurrent product development that can help firms develop products faster. However, since product development activities may be coupled in complex ways, overlapping interrelated activities can present many difficulties. Without careful management of the overlapped product development process, the development effort and cost may increase, and product quality may worsen. This paper goes beyond the common recommendation to simply overlap activities as much as possible. We present a model-based framework to manage the overlapping of coupled product development activities. The model and framework identify conditions under which various types of overlapping are appropriate for a pair of coupled activities. We illustrate the model and framework with industrial applications involving the development of electronic pagers and automobile doors.

Suggested Citation

  • Viswanathan Krishnan & Steven D. Eppinger & Daniel E. Whitney, 1997. "A Model-Based Framework to Overlap Product Development Activities," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(4), pages 437-451, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:43:y:1997:i:4:p:437-451
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.43.4.437
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