Saturday, October 21, 2006

PDMA 2006 Research Forum – 10/21/06 Morning

I’m attending the Product Development Management Association (PDMA) 2006 Research Forum today. I learned a lot here last year and have high expectations for this year. Here’s a log of interesting research results I’ve learned about this morning.

Product review practices (Schmidt, Sarangee, Montoya-Weiss)
These researchers investigated the product review practices for new product development (NPD). They found that the quality of the review practice is what predicts the success of innovation, more than the number of review checkpoints in the process. The quality of the review practice was self-measured though.

Impact of IT usage in NPD performance (Barczak, Sultan, Hultink)
Types of IT tools investigated included desktop software, web-based tools. These tools are supposed to increase collaboration, reduce NPD cycle times, etc.

Interesting conclusions: IT appears to be a way to create empowerment for NPD teams. In other words, if you use IT tools, you can give team members more autonomy. Also, you can’t expect immediate results, it takes time to embed IT tools into a NPD process.

NPD performance was measured as product quality, speed to market, budget, and market performance. The types of IT tools covered included communication & collaboration, product development, project management, information & knowledge management, and market research & analysis.

Using sales force intelligence in B2B NPD (Bonney, Kahn)
This project sought to answer whether listening to your sales force is a wise decision or not. The study suggests that it depends on how the information is used.

They also found that during idea-generation stage, NPD teams will seek information from sales via tacit monitoring. It’s only later that NPD teams tend to seek out information more explicitly. However, NPD teams tended to prefer to talk to a handful of sales people, an inner circle, so to speak.

Effect of application selection (Thongpapanl, O’Connor, Sarin)
They wanted to know how R&D teams choose applications to explore for major innovations. By application they were referring to the deployment of the innovation to a specific purpose, to solve a specific problem.

Initially they observed that it was impossible to explore all application possibilities and that application exploration approaches were suboptimal.

They surveyed 2000 NPD managers and R&D individual contributors from large companies. The survey had a response rate of 11.5%.

The study showed that the amount of time you spend on application exploration positively impacts the eventual business impact.

They define the following term: Application Market Exploration (AME).

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