Title: Comparing product development processes and managing risk

Authors: Darian W. Unger, Steven D. Eppinger

Addresses: School of Business, Howard University, 2600 6th St. NW, Office 453, Washington, DC 20059, USA. ' Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 50 Memorial Drive, Room E52-474, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA

Abstract: Product Development Processes (PDPs) require careful design to reduce development time, create better products and manage the risks of bringing new products to market. This paper investigates the relationship between product development risk and PDP management. We begin by identifying risks and proposing several iteration- and review-based metrics by which PDPs can be effectively identified and compared. Data from ten company case studies demonstrate the utility of the proposed metrics and exemplify how different PDPs manage different risks. The cases also show that software companies face different risks and employ more flexible PDPs than manufacturing companies. We conclude that PDPs vary more than previously documented, that the proposed metrics are useful in distinguishing PDPs and that companies can tailor their PDP designs to suit their unique risk profiles.

Keywords: product development process; PDP management; risk management; innovation; technology management; development risk; risk profiles; software industry; manufacturing industry.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPD.2009.025253

International Journal of Product Development, 2009 Vol.8 No.4, pp.382 - 402

Published online: 18 May 2009 *

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