Concept decisions in product development process
2009 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Successful concept decisions are crucial for product development organisations. Failure in theconcept decision-making process means costly rework, requiring resources that could havebeen spent on innovative work with new products instead. This licentiate thesis tackles theconcept decision-making process and how to improve it. The research presented here is thefirst part of a research project, with an action research approach, that will develop newsupporting working procedures for concept decision making and thereby contribute to moresuccessful products.Empirical studies were conducted in Swedish industrial practice, particularly focusing oneorganisation, and it was found that concept decisions are not made at a certain point in time.Instead, many decisions and activities, on several organisational levels, were adding up to theconcept decisions in the investigated organisations. The concept decision-making process wasfound to be a web of interconnected activities, with many decisions integrated and embedded in the process. Itwas also found that both formal and informal factors influence the concept decision-makingprocess and main factors were identified as: Project and product request, Supporting structures androutines, Individual competence and driving forces, Teamwork and company culture and Contextualcircumstances. These factors represent different perspectives, meaning on what level theyinfluence concept decision making: individual, team, project, organisation, and context, and in orderto create improvements in the concept decision-making process all levels have to beconsidered. The knowledge of the different perspectives has implications for howimprovements should be designed.Larger product developing companies do often have internally defined formal workingprocedures that prescribe how to develop products within the company. The thesis discusseshow the internal working procedures relate to academic theory and to practice. It wasconcluded that internal formal working procedures has not been discussed in a sufficient wayin earlier engineering design research. Furthermore, means for improving the concept decisionmakingprocess are discussed, and it was concluded, based on interviews with practitioners,that the strongest pragmatic means for improvement were developing mindset and applyingmethods. Mindset addresses the awareness, attitude and approach needed for management (andco-workers) working in early product development phases. Methods mainly addresses the needfor having relevant supporting working procedures in general and templates for evaluationalternative solutions in particular. Finally, recommendations for future design of a template forevaluation alternative solutions are presented.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology , 2009. , x, 45 p.
Trita-MMK, ISSN 1400-1179 ; 2009:13
concept evaluation, decision making, product development
Engineering and Technology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-10685ISBN: 978-91-7415-375-0OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-10685DiVA: diva2:225023
2009-06-24, Sal A425, Brinellvägen 83, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Kaulio, Matti, Doc
Norell Bergendahl, Margareta, ProfessorRitzén, Sofia, DocentJanhager, Jenny, Doktor
QC 201111222009-06-242009-06-242011-11-22Bibliographically approved
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