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Managing Customer Requirements in Volatile Environments:
How Flexible Product Development Can Reduce the Cost of Change

Live audio-session with
Preston G. Smith
Author of Flexible Product Development: Building Agility for Changing Markets and Co-author of Developing Products in Half-the-Time

In fast-paced, competitive markets product requirements seem like a moving target. How can you and your team keep up?

While freezing requirements may seem like a good idea in order to get the product to market quickly, studies demonstrate that product development teams can rarely afford to freeze requirements before any development work begins. Product requirements will change during development. The challenge is accommodating the change without wreaking havoc on the schedule and budget.

In fact, leading product developers are designing processes to generate new and useful information early on in development to mitigate both technical and market risk. In this audio session, Preston Smith will guide you through the techniques of Flexible Development that allow developers to respond to new information, thus delivering fresher products to customers.

In this 90 minute session, you will learn how to:

  • Use the concept of product vision to guide design decisions and feature tradeoffs

  • Use front-loaded prototyping to elicit feedback from customers and other stakeholders while the cost of change is low

  • Engage both engineering and marketing professionals in customer research activities

  • Create leading indicators for requirements change

  • Find and involve lead users that will lead you to untapped opportunities

This session will feature frequent opportunities for questions and answers and will provide participants with guidance on their unique concerns and challenges.

Invite your whole team to join you - the fee is the same as long as you are on one line, just put it on speakerphone!

Can't make the time and date of the call? Join FastTrack and receive the transcript and download the mp3 of this and other audio sessions.

About the Session Leader

Preston G. Smith
Author, Flexible Product Development; and Co-Author, Developing Products in Half-the-Time 

Preston Smith, through his consulting and training activities over the past twenty years, has helped many companies to become more dynamic in how they develop new products. As co-author of the popular book, Developing Products in Half the Time (over 80,000 copies in use), he has been a leader in shortening time to market.

His new book, Flexible Product Development: Building Agility for Changing Markets is a twenty-first century expression of time to market. Smith says, “We used to measure time from when you began a project, but in an environment of change, the starting time that really matters is time from when you can make the last change in the design, and flexibility shortens this cycle time.”

Preston Smith has led more than 100 workshops in 25 countries worldwide on advanced product development topics and has taught product development courses at several universities. Companies that have attended his workshops include: Siemens, Sony, Motorola, Medtronic, Kraft, Philips, Samsung, DaimlerChrysler, and Honeywell. Over a twenty-year period prior to his consulting career, he held engineering and management positions with North American Aviation (now part of Boeing), Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, IBM, Bell Laboratories (now Lucent Technologies), and General Motors Research Laboratories.

He is book review editor for the Journal of Product Innovation Management, holds a Ph.D. in engineering from Stanford University, and is a member of the Product Development and Management Association (PDMA), the Agile Alliance, and the Agile Project Leadership Network.

Session Details

This AudioSession is not currently scheduled. If you would like us to offer a repeat session in the future, please fill out our Topic Request Form

January 30, 2008

1:00pm - 2:30pm ET

Your office


Unlimited attendance per phone connection

N.B. If you are registering on the same day of the call, please call 1-800-338-2223 or 781-891-8080

How To Register:

Online: Online Registration Form
By phone: Call 1-800-338-2223 or 781-891-8080
(9:00am-5:30pm EST)

You will receive:

1. E-mail confirmation of your registration and dial-in instructions
2. Softcopy of presentation slides emailed  to your office prior to session
3. Your questions answered by an expert - both during the session (live) and after (by email)

Preston Smith will also be leading a new two-day workshop, "Flexible Product Development: Building Agility for Changing Markets" —February 26-27, 2008 in Chicago...more info