Title: Managing uncertainty, complexity and dispersion in product development projects

Authors: Glenn Johansson; Kristina Säfsten

Addresses: School of Engineering, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden ' School of Engineering, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden

Abstract: This paper reports findings from the application of a new method, denoted the Interface Management Method (IMM), for managing uncertainty, complexity and dispersion in product development projects. The method was applied in three commercial projects and evaluated against desired features of product development methods reported in the literature. The findings indicate the potential of the method to support product development teams when facing challenges related to uncertainty, complexity and dispersion as it helps create focus and a dialogue on how to deal with the challenges. The paper also adds to the discourse regarding product development methods by discussing and defining four interrelated concepts: method, tool, procedure and system. Through more precise definitions, the dialogue between academics and practitioners can be refined and lead to better methods, which will ultimately result in improved product development efficiency and effectiveness.

Keywords: product development; uncertainty management; complexity management; dispersion management; case study; interface management method.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPD.2015.067275

International Journal of Product Development, 2015 Vol.20 No.1, pp.25 - 48

Available online: 28 Jan 2015

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