Systematic. Processes. Methods.
The early phase of development: Here the course for success or failure is set.
Up to 70% of product costs are defined or set in development.
The basis for innovation is built.
Systematic and multiple methodical approaches, strong customer focus and customer integration in all process stages, application of integrated development, build interdisciplinary teams, simultaneous engineering, frontloading, agile processing and reviewing, "opportunity fits strategy" check etc.
The lecture “Management of Engineering Design and Development” concentrates on demonstrating typical actions in the different phases or stages of the design and development process or innovation project. Studies show that 70% of ideas originally have their source outside the company itself: competitors and customers “hold” the majority of ideas and are idea transmitters.
Consequently methods and systematics have to be setup within the company to ensure usage of these important sources, such as benchmarking, market analysis, customer focus through requirement management and by constantly integrating customers and users in all phases of the development process. This results in customer integration at the early stage of development by observing customers applying or using the product(s), interviewing users and setting up workshops where the customer is actively integrated in processes, e.g. defining requirements, ideation, the solving and evaluation process. In later stages of the development process customers again are integrated by letting them take part in evaluating concepts and prototypes, testing first series parts and sharing their thoughts of optimizing the product. Finally the lecture reflects of how the company organization structure and the strategy fit the identified opportunities of change or new development.
While at the beginning of the lecture it is shown how product development has changed through globalization, simultaneous engineering, digitalizing and interdisciplinary team work – all aiming at cutting down “time to market” - it is pointed out that the overall company strategy has to fit the opportunity of changing or innovating new products.
By frontloading and interdisciplinary team work (integrated development) the interfaces between department and processes can be reduced. Internal and external requirements are integrated at an early, changeable or better influencable stage of the overall development process. Frontloading in this case means to spend more time in defining requirements (internal and external), finding the best opportunities that fit the companies´ strategy and context.
Methods such as benchmarking, examples of customer integration over all phases of development, part-, fuctional- and cost-analysis, target costing, portfolio analysis and creative tools are integrated in the lecture, partly as practical group work sessions to point out best practice performance.
Overall this lecture can only point out a general setup of processes and the usage of methods, systematics and tools to help to ensure innovation. All these processes and methods must be adapted to one´s own desires, experience, resources, the specific product, the company strategy and context.
At the end we should all recognize that innovation convinces a majority of customers and users. Thus without integrating them using systematic approaches, methods and interdisciplinary team work the risk of failure is high. Innovative companies use the mentioned systematics and ensure high profits. It is recognized that only one to two percent of projects hit on a “real” innovation, assuring then highest revenues. So imagine how low it is when you miss out on systematic approaches!
Awaiting of hearing about your success stories …
9th April 2017, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Marc Nutzmann