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Improving the management of concurrent new product development using process modelling and analysis

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This paper focuses on how process modelling and analysis using ‘light weight’ technology1 supported by focused group discussions and workshops can improve the ‘concurrence’ and integration within the New Product Development process. This enables managers to improve the management of product design and development through a better understanding of the issues. The paper argues that the traditional changes in human resource management via introduction of multifunctional/collocated teams required by Concurrent New Product Development (CNPD) can be complemented by the introduction of process management, focused on the modelling and analysis of the ‘softer’ organisational issues. A case study of a domestic appliance manufacturer, developing a new product using a collocated product development team, is described to verify the research. The paper concludes by discussing the issues that emerge from this type of approach to performance improvement in NPD management, such as involvement of all team functions, senior management commitment, standardisation of processes, and training in the process management concept including modelling and analysis techniques. The approach proposed allows one to make both tangible benefits, in terms of cost, delivery (lead times) and quality, and intangible benefits, in terms of communication, people empowerment, motivation, and collaboration.
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Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: School of Mechanical, Materials, Manufacturing Engineering and Management, University of Nottingham, UK

Publication date: 2001-01-01

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