Today's customers are sophisticated. They demand product variety, functionality and performance. To survive in this arena, successful companies in a global economy must rapidly introduce new products (new product lines or improvements to existing lines) by collapsing their product development times. Vincent Mabert, John Muth and Roger Schmenner report results from a comparative case study of six new product introduction projects at six different firms, identifying those elements that are important to product introduction lead time and how they are influenced by customer and organizational and technical factors. They note that the new product innovation process is very complex, sensitive to external forces like customer demands or expectations and to internal issues like how team leadership is defined for the development team. The article describes the participating companies and analyzes the six projects with particular attention to four structural elements: motivation, workings of teams, external vendor's cooperation with the teams and project control. The authors conclude by identifying the top priority factors influencing new product introduction time.
The Journal of Product Innovation Management – Wiley
Published: Sep 1, 1992
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