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O V Logic of Product Development
2 V nalysis in Product Development
V ©trategic Design
V Defining Target Customers
V Product Concept
3 V ©ynthesis in Product Development
V Professional Design
V Collective Design
4 V valuation in Product Development
V Presenting the Draft and Prototype
V rrangement of valuation
V Points of View in valuation
V xarket testing
V ¦eedback and Critique

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Product development in a mature, continually operating business is
an interminable, cyclic activity ach finished new product provides
in turn a basis for the next sequence of
product development, see the figure on the
left
In spite of its unending nature, product
development is usually organized as a series
of linear projects as we see in the figure on
the right The reason is that it is easier to
steer the activity in this way

In any case, the starting points of product development are the company idea and strategy, or the
product policy These usually exist in some form (cf Three xodes of Knowing) even if they are
not always documented in small companies Other important issues are the state of the market
and the pressure from the competitors

The costs of product development tend to


escalate sharply as the project unfolds ( red
line in the figure on the right) The same is
true for the costs caused by any change in
the design In other words, the possibilities
( green line in the figure) to affect the
qualities of the product decrease at the
same time as the process advances
Therefore, the company should carry out all the necessary studies as early as possible in the
product development phase

Product development must be well organized


because there is usually no time to lose "The
fast will eat the slow " The company which
launches a product before its competitors do
will profit from a longer selling time before
the commercial ageing of the product takes
place (see diagram on the left, red curve)
xoreover, the initially higher price of the new
product will yield more profit than the belated
products of the more sluggish competitors
(violet and blue curves) can yield

 product development project includes several aspects of research, operations planning, and
product design, and it is intimately controlled by the management of the enterprise It usually
includes the following operations:

     
nalysis of the market
Research and strategic design nalyses of competitors' manoeuvres
¦acts on possible importable new product ideas and
patents
Product drivers
Product concept
©pecifications, perhaps diversified for various
Developing the product concept
markets
Product calculus
Concept of production (Where? Which parts are
bought?)
Product design
Developing the product and the
Prototypes
production process
©pecifications for components
Preliminary plan of production
Patenting of the innovations when appropriate
¦irst products are made on the production line and
their quality is tested
¦inal preparation of the design and the
Workers are trained
production process
Production team is ready for the final speed of the
production (it is tested)
xarketing organization is ready
fter sales organization is ready
©tart of regular production (there are specific goals for regular production, not
given here)

Note, however, that the process described in the table above does not always continue until the
happy end Reasons for this can be:

O V In any stage of the project it is possible that the management of the company concludes
that the project is not promising enough or too risky, and the project will be terminated
before too much money is spent on it
2 V xany large companies have lately found it advantageous to generate a surplus of
preliminary ideas for new products, i e more product concepts than will be used for the
final products ¦rom this "idea bank" they can then later pick out the best ones, and the
designers need then only a minimum of time to make them ready for production
xoreover, these innovative product concepts can be useful in strategic planning, for
internal education of personal and for publicity In other words, there are product concept
projects that include only the two first phases of the table above

The product development process normally entails, like any other project in a large organization,
the usual activities of project administration fter each completed stage, the project reports to
the management and receives the targets for the next stage If the management wants to control
the job very tightly, the normal way is to start the next phase only after the preceding one is
approved of This kind of scheduling is shown in the diagram below The red arrows indicate
steering actions taken by the management

©uccessive scheduling of a development project takes a great deal of precious time


That is why an alternative is sometimes used where
the phases overlap (÷ ÷ or  


engineering, fig on the right)

The exact procedure of product development


depends on the nature of the product, on the extent
of the production and on many local circumstances
specially the phase of production planning is usually so adversely affected by practical
conditions that this phase will be omitted from the following explanation of the typical process
of product development

Despite individual variation, a basic logical structure can be


found in most projects of product development The  
activity in the initial phases of the project is analysis, while at
the midpoint the focal point shifts into synthesis and finally into
evaluation These three procedures are therefore selected as the
structure of the following presentation
Of course, the process of product development is seldom so simple that it could simply consist of
a succession of just three routines Instead, it often happens that when a sub-routine in the
process has produced a report that seems finished, it nevertheless turns out to be unacceptable
and you have to redo it, perhaps again as a similar succession of analysis, synthesis and
evaluation, in a smaller scale The whole process can thus often more resemble a spiral than a
straight path

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OV Logic of Product Development (this page)


2V nalysis in Product Development
3V ©ynthesis in Product Development
4V valuation in Product Development

ugust 3, 2007
Comments to the author:

Original location: http://www2 uiah fi/projects/metodi