Product Development Process - Assignment Example

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As firms undertake the process of creating or manufacturing a new merchandise or item for consumption, every design project is considered distinct since the objective is to craft and produce a product (or a product variant) that does not yet exist. Moreover, the prospective work is shaped and affected by the differences in the context where it takes place, such as company organisation, strategies, procedures, market, legislation, society, technologies and knowledge, and the knowledge and experience of the team members (Blessing 2002).
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Download file to see previous pages The new vision of product development is that of an extremely disaggregated process with people and organisations spread throughout the world (Holmes 1999). At the same time, products are becoming increasingly intricate and multifaceted with typical electro-mechanical products requiring close to a million engineering decisions to bring them to market (Eppinger 1998). Even software products like Microsoft Word or Netscape require disaggregated, but coordinated processes involving hundreds of developers (Cusumano and Yoffie 1998). Competitive pressures mean that time to market has been projected as essential to new product success as has marketing's direction towards customer needs and customer satisfaction (Smith and Reinertsen 1998). Because products are marketed throughout the world, firms face the tradeoff between standardisation for cost reduction and variety for satisfying an extensive set of customers. This has stretched the need for marketing to look beyond the single product to focus on the product platform (Moore, Louviere and Verma 1999).
The Product Products are often referred to as anything -- object or service -- that can be offered to a market in order to satisfy a customer's want or need (Kotler et al. 1996; ENDREA 2001) and product development is made up of a wide-ranging and distinctive continuum of activities, which need to be cohesive and interrelated so as to achieve an adequate and an acceptable process. Ulrich & Eppinger (2003) stated it as the set of activities beginning with the perception of a market opportunity and ending in the production, sale, and delivery of a product.
Aside from the activities, there are several components, such as design engineers or other practitioners, management and goal system, working means, tools and equipment, information system and environment, identified by Hubka & Eder (1992), which influence the product development process. However, product development work is even more complex, since there also are external aspects, facets that are not intrinsic in the organisation, to consider, like the market), legislation and society that affect the product development process (Blessing 2002).
To support coordination and planning of all these activities and components, guarantee quality, identify possible problem areas or improvements, a suitable, well-defined product development process is needed (Ulrich & Eppinger 2003). Andreasen & Hein (1986) have inferred an ideal model for product development activities (Illustration 1). The Integrated Product Development model is based on the three elements -- market, design and production, and the results of their activities need to be unified. The market should be investigated and defined, and a product, which is intended to satisfy the market, should be designed and eventually manufactured by the second and third elements.

Illustration 1 -- Model of Integrated Product Development (Andreasen & Hein, 1987)

Ulrich & Eppinger (2003) likewise offered a model of integrated product development - a generic development process, which depicted the progression of activities or steps that marketing, design and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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