Title: An inquiry on managers use of decision-making tools in the core front end of the innovation process

Authors: Francesco P. Appio; Sofiane Achiche; Tim C. McAloone; Thomas J. Howard

Addresses: Institute of Management, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Piazza Martiri della Libertà, 33, 56127, Pisa, Italy ' Departement of Mechanical Engineering, École Polytechnique de Montréal, C.P. 6079, succ. Centre-ville, Montréal (Québec), H3C 3A7, Canada ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, B 404, Produktionstorvet, Kgs Lyngby 2800, Denmark ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, B 404, Produktionstorvet, Kgs Lyngby 2800, Denmark

Abstract: This paper focuses on the Core Front End (CFE) activities of the innovation process to say, Opportunity Identification and Opportunity Analysis. In the CFE of innovation, several tools are used to facilitate and optimise decisions. To select them, managers of the product development team have to use several premises to decide which tool is more appropriate to which activity. This paper provides an overview of these mechanisms by looking inside five companies from two different countries. Those mechanisms underline the dimensions influencing the decision process before a specific tool is chosen and how those tools impact specific performance metrics. From the analyses and hypotheses testing performed, it clearly emerges that there is no link between being aware of basic requirements (inputs/outputs) to appropriately use a certain tool and dimensions such as tools' effectiveness, difficulty in usage, frequency of usage and estimate investment for using them. Also, interesting cross-case patterns emerge.

Keywords: fuzzy front end; new product development; NPD tools; decision making; input; output; awareness; innovation process; opportunity identification; opportunity analysis; product innovation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPD.2013.058546

International Journal of Product Development, 2013 Vol.18 No.6, pp.461 - 491

Accepted: 08 Sep 2013
Published online: 05 Jan 2014 *

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