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Efficient front-loading through knowledge integration
by Simge Tuna; Georg Windisch
International Journal of Product Development (IJPD), Vol. 19, No. 5/6, 2014


Abstract: 'Front-loading', proficiency in new product development (NPD) early planning, is commonly acknowledged to improve performance. However, there is little empirical evidence on the micro-processes that improve NPD-specific efficiency outcomes. This paper analyses the specific front-loading capabilities needed to reduce waste in NPD. We investigate 53 NPD projects pursued between 2007 to 2012 by a company in the factory automation and control industry. Archival project documents are used to identify front-loading activities and efficiency outcomes; interviews were conducted with project managers and engineers. The results show that projects with systematic knowledge integration at the front-end show significantly better schedule attainment than projects with no systematic knowledge integration at the front-end. Front-loading capabilities are best described as knowledge transfer from past projects. There is also evidence that knowledge integration from downstream functions and testing has a joint impact on time efficiency.

Online publication date: Fri, 19-Sep-2014


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