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Fast and Flexible Product Development

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Case Studies

Motorola / Z Corp. | Hewlett-Packard | Lockheed Martin
Palm Computing
| Steelcase | Ford | Produxys | BIODE
Boeing | MDS SCIEX | Blackbaud

Motorola / Z Corporation
Better, Faster, Cheaper Decision-Making with Fast Prototypes

New, very fast prototyping machines called concept modelers or 3D printers make it possible to speed, improve and reduce cost in the decision-making processes that surround new product development, production and launch.

Traditional prototyping techniques have made impressive gains in shortening the development process by accelerating the path to form and fit testing and limited testing of part performance, reducing lead times from months to weeks. A large remaining area to target for time and cost reduction is the front end of the design process where success is based on clear communication, understanding of the customer need and well-informed decision making.

This presentation will review the adoption of very fast prototyping into Motorola's personal communications group, including cell phones and pagers, and identify how physical prototypes were used to improve the communication and sharpen the feedback that are part of any product development effort. This presentation will focus on the adoption process, current use and measured results.


Mike Jahnke
Consumer Experience Design/Prototyping

Michael Jahnke joined the Personal Communications Sector of Motorola, Inc. as the Global Manager of Prototyping in 1999. Prior to joining Motorola, Michael was the senior model maker at one of the United States largest model shops, and has also worked as a prototyping and model making consultant for some of the best known toy and game companies in the world. Michael manages prototyping and model making for the Consumer Experience Design Group of Motorola, with design studios in Chicago, Milan, Boston, San Francisco, Seoul, Beijing, Singapore, as well as Marketing, Sales, Human Factors, and Engineering groups at the PCS headquarters in Libertyville IL. Michael also works closely with Motorola’s Entertainment Marketing Group in Los Angeles, creating custom products for movies, television, and award shows.


Tom Clay
Z Corporation

Tom Clay joined Z Corporation as a Vice President in January of 1998 and was appointed President in May of that year. Prior to joining Z Corp., Tom had experience as a management consultant and a case study researcher and writer for the Harvard Business School. Tom has also served as a Captain in the United States Army, where he was an Airborne Ranger and commanded a Long Range Reconnaissance Platoon for the XVIII Airborne Corps, based in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Tom Clay received a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Princeton University and Master’s degree with highest honors from the Harvard Business School.

Palm Computing
Innovative and Meaningful to the Market: Techniques to Sense Market Opportunities and Develop Faster and Higher Quality New Product Definitions

A significant barrier to fast and flexible product development is the lack of techniques for sensing new market opportunities and turning that
sense into well defined new product attributes.

For Palm, in a market defined by mobility, productivity, and connectivity knowing what to create next is not an easy task. Of all the features that are possible to create on a mobile computing and communications platform, what should be developed?  Beyond a touch screen and a few buttons, what are meaningful hardware features
customers will value?  How can we provide differentiated benefits on a standards-based platform?

Market and strategic research often provides excellent information on market growth, competitive positions, and technological trends.  What this information completely lacks is insight into the specific criteria
and attributes for innovative new products that will deliver on the
projected growth.

This presentation will introduce the research techniques Palm uses to focus on understanding the product's context of use. It will show how this approach leads to a deeper understanding of market needs and specific product attributes that customers value. You will see examples from Palm's field research and some of the latest products that benefited from this approach to research and development.


Rich GiosciaRich Gioscia
Director of Design
Palm Computing


Rich and his team are responsible for driving Industrial and Human Interface Design at Palm Inc’s Solutions Group, which designs and markets the world’s favorite handheld computers. Rich's group was responsible for development of the new line of high-performance, high-style Palm™ handhelds, the Tungsten™ T, Tungsten|W and the new mass-market Zire™handhelds. Prior to joining Palm, Rich was the Director of Sony's U.S. design office in New Jersey.  He established the "My First Sony" line, led Sony to the No. 1 sales position in color TVs with the introduction of the Trinitron WEGA/XBR series and Projection TV line, and developed many key designs that built a $1 billion Portable Audio business.


Chris V. Conley
Director, Product Design
Illinois Institute of Technology
and Principal, Gravity Tank

Chris Conley is an Assistant Professor and head of the Product Design track at the Institute of Design. He holds a Master of Science in design and degree in mechanical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and has over 12 years of experience in product design, user experience research, and their implications for new product development. In addition to Palm, his clients include Brunswick New Technologies, Fortune Brands, Motorola, and Zebra Technologies. He holds numerous utility and design patents. Chris has taught product development, new product definition, and product research methods to masters students over the past 12 years. He is routinely rated as an outstanding instructor for his ability to relate advanced theories to professional practice.

Killer Apps: Making High Tech Adoption Strategies Useful for the Rest of Us

What do you do when the market just isn’t ready for your next breakthrough product or technology? What principles from technology companies apply to traditional companies launching new products?

This talk will focus on the concept of a Killer App – a particular use of a product or technology that dramatizes its benefits and drives adoption. Included will be a case study of a new product development approach used by Steelcase Corporation, the world’s largest creator of office environments. Seeking to launch a new concept, Steelcase faced the challenge that its mainstream customers just weren’t ready to adopt such a radical innovation. Jump Associates, a design strategy firm based in San Mateo, California, helped Steelcase formulate an alternate plan for the product – based on techniques they had first framed for high tech marketers.


Dev Patnaik
Jump Associates, LLC

Dev Patnaik is a principal of Jump Associates, a design strategy and product planning firm based in San Mateo, California. Together with his teammates, Dev helps visionary companies create lasting product directions to improve people's lives. Jump uses social research methods to get big insights into what people really need, and then uses design to create great ideas for solving those needs.

Dev is a designer and strategic planner with experience in engineering, art design, and business theory. He has worked with Fortune 500 firms and fledgling startups in the U.S., Asia, and Australia, helping them to translate long-term strategic imperatives and customer insights into actionable mandates for design. Dev has expertise in shaping user-centered strategy from the view of corporate capability. He draws upon a hands-on understanding of how innovation happens within ongoing development programs. Dev is also an assistant faculty member at Stanford University, where he teaches design-research methods to undergraduate and graduate students. He is a frequent speaker at forums for product development, marketing and innovation.

Lockheed Martin
Project Cost, Schedule, and Risk Management Using the Design Structure Matrix (DSM)

The design structure matrix (DSM) is a relatively new tool for representing and analyzing project processes. It has many applications in project management, including visualization and coordination of activity interfaces, project planning, process improvement, and risk management. The DSM has been applied and has yielded important managerial insights in a number of industries and projects.

After providing a quick introduction to the DSM and its application to processes, this presentation will cover several aspects of project management using the DSM, including:

  • Building a process model based on information and deliverable flow,
  • Identifying and minimizing rework loops caused by poor project planning,
  • Using the DSM for process integration and improvement
  • The importance of process synchronization
  • Using the DSM for process failure modes and effects analysis
  • Using the DSM for notional project risk management, and
  • How process architecture affects project cost and schedule risks.

Dr. Tyson BrowningDr. Tyson Browning
Sr. Project Manager
Integrated Company Operations
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics

Dr. Tyson R. Browning holds the position of Senior Project Manager in Integrated Company Operations at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company in Fort Worth, Texas. He is the technical lead and chief integrator for a number of teams in developing the enterprise process architecture for the Aeronautics Company. He is also the lead author of company policies and processes driving the transition to a process-based company. Browning previously worked with the Product Development Focus Team of the Lean Aerospace Initiative at MIT, conducting research at Lockheed Martin, General Electric, Boeing, Raytheon, Sundstrand, and Daimler Chrysler. Browning earned a Ph.D. in Technology Management and Policy (systems engineering and management) and two Master’s degrees from MIT and a B.S. in Engineering Physics from Abilene Christian University. He has published papers on organizational integration, risk management, the design structure matrix, and process modeling. He is a member of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

Ford Motor Company
Coordinating Iteration in a Highly Integrated Product Development Process

Ever increasing global competition and rapidly changing consumer needs are resulting in shorter sustainable product life cycles that require faster, more reliable, and more nimble product development processes. A shorter time-to-market enables OEMs to increase market share, and when they lead the competition, receive premiums for their newer products. Thus, it is no surprise that product manufacturers are continually reengineering their development processes to reduce development cycle time and increase process reliability. Automobile OEMs in particular have identified vehicle development as a critical enabler for increasing earnings through cost and cycle time reductions.

Body system development is central to the overall vehicle development process as it directly affects nearly every other subsystem in the vehicle. It requires the integration and coordination of hundreds of interdependent sub-processes and multidirectional information flows across organizations, resulting in a highly complex and iterative process. Successful coordination of this system of elements involves coordinating of task sequence, specific deliverables, and process checkpoints with respect to information flow, time, and resource requirements.

Body development processes, as many complex processes today, are mapped through various kinds of project flowcharts and diagrams (i.e. Gantt, PERT, etc.) that attempt to capture and manage complexity and iteration. While many of these methods effectively illustrate timing and linear information flows, which are useful for project management, they fall short of enabling process reengineering teams to effectively model, gain deeper understanding, and ultimately improve overall (system) performance of complex and iterative processes. However, the design structure matrix provides a means to model and manipulate iterative tasks and multidirectional information flows.

The DSM allows complex processes to be illustrated and modified through graphical and numerical analyses in a single and manageable format.   This case study illustrates how typical project management tools and the DSM can be used in concert to develop a solution for both complex process modeling and implementation in a production setting. It discusses the challenges and lessons learned associated with modeling and identifying opportunities within such a process and addresses the challenges and additional elements associated with implementing change to a long-standing process. Ultimately, this case study illustrates how these elements can be integrated to achieve overall process coordination and a useful "product" for product development teams.


Tony ZambitoTony Zambito
Special Projects Manager - PD Process
Ford Motor Company

Tony Zambito is leading a company-wide product creation process reengineering effort at Ford Motor Company using the Design Structure Matrix. Since joining Ford Motor Company as a Body CAD Design Intern in 1990, Mr. Zambito has held positions within various product development organizations including CAD Methods, Product Design Engineering, Design Supervision, Resource Management, and Process Reengineering. He is a 6-Sigma Champion and certified training coach in Robustness and the Ford Engineering Process from the Ford Design Institute.

Mr. Zambito has a Automotive Body Design degree from Macomb Community College, a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Detroit Mercy, and a Systems Design and Management Masters Degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Sloan School of Management. He has authored multiple publications related to the Design Structure Matrix and is a Ford Principle Investigator within the MIT/Ford Collaboration.

Produxys Solutions
Flexibility by Design

Small to medium sized enterprises (SME’s) have always needed to remain more flexible than their larger corporate counterparts. Historically this flexibility has been at the expense of due process. Important stages in the development process have been short circuited to "get the product to market". Simultaneous changes in market and technology have exacerbated this process, sometimes leading to critical mistakes. How do smaller companies maintain product leadership positions in this environment? How do they insure that they are channeling their scarce resources to the right products and features?

This session will cover practical applications of flexible product development systems by looking at both high-tech and low-tech examples at work in smaller enterprises. The use of prototypes to concurrently test market and technology issues will be discussed, as well as how these examples can be translated to most organizations large or small. Participants will learn that failing often (and early) can reduce cycle time, costs and human resources and ultimately lead to the timely launch of best-of-class products.

Participants will take away:

  • Multiple techniques to simultaneously test market response & technical validity

  • The skills to prototype their way to shorter development time and quicker launches

  • The know-how to enhance agility while increasing market acceptance

  • Practical examples from high-tech to low-tech NPD efforts


David Roach
Produxys Solutions

David is the president of Produxys Solutions Inc. a company specializing in market & technology integration. Mr. Roach brings 19 years of experience in the area of management & entrepreneurship, specializing in the field of product innovation. Career highlights include automotive engineering (General Motors of Canada Ltd.), Director of Technology Commercialization (InNOVAcorp) and most recently Director - Handheld Systems (Navitrak International Corporation). Over the years he has been involved in numerous areas of product innovation including venture financing, technology commercialization, product design & development, marketing and business development.

Academically, Mr. Roach holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA (International Business and Marketing) from Dalhousie University. His training also includes executive level courses at Harvard Business School (Leading Product Development), Kellogg Graduate School of Management (e-business) and Babson College (Entrepreneuship). Previous presentations for the Management Roundtable include "Managing the Virtual Product Development Organization" and "Genesis of a New Product". He lectures at the graduate level at Dalhousie University, Halifax Nova Scotia. Current courses include "Starting the Emerging Technology Venture", "Marketing Technology Products", "Product Design & Development" and "New Venture Creation".

Crazy and Chaotic Product Development for the Smart, Small and Sharp

The presentation will focus on product development specifically for companies that are small in size, are involved in commercializing technology from the lab to the real market, and are staffed with high motivated, cross-functional individuals. Product development without design gates, detailed metrics and project stages will be demonstrated. Product development conducted in a non-linear, organic and creative fashion, reflective of the human environment will be shown, analyzed and discussed. Product development that is contrary to the linear, controlled feedback loop oriented methodology but based on broad principles of chaos will be presented.

 Take Away Tools:

  • how to start the process to think creatively regarding product development

  • how to separate product development activities for cost and performance

  • how to conduct product development with stages or gates
  • how to determine the composition of the product development individuals
  • how to implement a product development focus
  • how to direct a product development vision

Kerem Durdag
Chief Operating Officer

He is currently the Chief Operating Officer of a startup, BIODE, responsible for operations, manufacturing and business development activities to commercialize semiconductor sensors for multiple markets.   He was the past Chief Technical Officer for STEAG HamaTech, Inc, a world leader in optical disc and semiconductor equipment design and manufacture.  Under his tenure, STEAG designed and manufactured the world's first production line for DataPlay technology, and entered the MEMS and opto-electronics market with a new front end wet process chemistry process tool. He has also designed high tech and proprietary technology for rapid commercialization for Visteon, Motorola, Hitachi, IBM and Chrysler and was responsible for several manufacturing optimization initiatives.  He is a winner of SMT Vision 2000 for best new product design and manufacturing in SMT industry.

Boeing Rocketdyne
Product Development at Warp Speed & Very Low Cost: The On-Line Virtual Enterprise

Multi-company, virtually collocated teams provide for the potential of revolutionary change in all aspects of business, including product development, but they also create new unforeseen management challenges that demand new thinking and approaches. The flexibility of outsourcing all but your world class processes provides much increased flexibility and dramatic potentials for changing your company’s business model, but it also introduces new challenges of global proportion and complexities associated with, for example, competitors as key suppliers and integrating supplier contributions into the product definition. In this talk, I will discuss radical business practices and leadership concepts that have proven to produce more than an order of magnitude reduction in staffing requirements and first delivered product cost. Best practices associated with the on-line virtual enterprise will be drawn from several, global-scale product development activities. Flexibility, market access, and product tailoring to customer demand are all dramatically impacted by the new methodologies.

The emphasis within this talk will be tailored to compliment those of the other speakers with an attempt toward completeness. For example, in addition to technical activities, all other corporate functions need to be rethought in light of the potentials provided by a virtual company. Each of these elements can impact time to market as well as the flexibility within the total enterprise.


Robert Carman
Program Manager
Boeing Rocketdyne Advanced Programs

He is currently the Chief Operating Officer of a startup, BIODE, responsible for operations, manufacturing and business development activities to commercialize semiconductor sensors for multiple markets.   He was the past Chief Technical Officer for STEAG HamaTech, Inc, a world leader in optical disc and semiconductor equipment design and manufacture.  Under his tenure, STEAG designed and manufactured the world's first production line for DataPlay technology, and entered the MEMS and opto-electronics market with a new front end wet process chemistry process tool. He has also designed high tech and proprietary technology for rapid commercialization for Visteon, Motorola, Hitachi, IBM and Chrysler and was responsible for several manufacturing optimization initiatives.  He is a winner of SMT Vision 2000 for best new product design and manufacturing in SMT industry.

Improve Your Product Development Efficiency through Process Maturity

You find yourself in charge of a small, medium or even large size product development organization. You may be the leading company in your chosen market, or struggling to survive. One goal that you have regardless of your size or success is the need for a more efficient product development organization.

What would you do with a more efficient product development engine? What would it mean? How would you use it? Would you shorten Time-to-Market, increase the number of products you can do at one time, decrease annualized failure rate, or reduce your employee burn out rate? Process maturity can be used to evaluate your current state and guide your process improvement plans. An organization that has focused on improving their development processes will be more efficient at delivering products to market. The progression from an ad hoc organization to one with mature processes is not an easy change, but the rewards of doing so are great. Examples in the area of processes, tools and infrastructure are used to describe the progression to a more mature product development organization.


Gary Borders
R&D Section Manager

Gary Borders is an R&D Section Manager for Hewlett Packard’s Vancouver Personal Printing Division. Gary has nearly 25 years with Hewlett-Packard in capacities ranging from firmware development, product marketing and project management. For the past thirteen years, Gary has focused on managing and improving the product development process for Hewlett-Packard’s Inkjet Printer operations in Vancouver, Washington.

Gary holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from California State University, Chico, where he is recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus.

Implementing Rolling Wave Program Management

Rolling wave project planning is an iterative planning and management technique that is well suited to fostering fast and flexible product development. The rolling wave project planning technique allows the
project to adapt to changing customer requirements and technologies.  In this session you will learn how to establish the rolling wave work breakdown structure, identify the needed work, and estimating and scheduling work. The session will include a review of the application of this method on the Borg project at MDS Sciex that delivered these kinds of results:

  1. quicker transition through the initial project planning phase into design, while still providing management with ROM estimates for bugetary needs
  2. more frequent involvement of the project team in value-added planning, rather than just something to do at the beginning of the project.
  3. overall, better awareness by functional team members of the strengths and limitations of the planning process

Vlad Rasper
Project Manager

Vlad Rasper is a senior project manager in new product development at MDS Sciex. He has managed projects in aerospace, military and biotech industries for over ten years. He is a PMP, and holds a Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Waterloo, Canada.


Greg GithensGreg Githens
Managing Partner
Catalyst Management Consulting

Greg Githens has over 20 years of experience in program management. He is a managing partner with Catalyst Management Consulting. He works with firms of all sizes and industries to solve specific problems, and to create new capability or improve existing capability. This includes rapid project development (improved time-to-market) performance, tools/practices for both the "fuzzy front end" of development, as well as the deployment back end.

Blackbaud, Inc.
Overcoming the Speed vs. Process Dilemma

The "ready, fire, aim" speed of rapid prototyping versus the maximized return on investment of a well thought out, well balanced product portfolio management process—is a classic dilemma for product developers.

However, there may be a broader set of choices available beyond the simple "either/or" of fast versusl methodical. This presentation shows how a prdouct portfolio management process was used at two different software companies (as well as a leading hardware company!) that incorporated the logical, methodical decision-making associated with good product selection as well as the speed of rapid prototyping that is required in today's world.


Brian MontgomeryBrian Montgomery
Director of Product Marketing and Strategy
Blackbaud, Inc.

Brian Montgomery is the Director of Product Marketing and Strategy at Blackbaud, the world’s largest provider of software for nonprofit organizations. His responsibilities include crafting the company’s strategy as well as designing the process for making strategic choices – and for making them a reality. He also handles product marketing for The Raiser’s Edge, the leading fundraising software solution. Prior to joining Blackbaud, Brian was Director of Worldwide Brand Marketing for the Options By IBM brand of PC peripherals and upgrades. Also at IBM, Brian oversaw the implementation of the PC Company’s product portfolio management process.

Prior to his IBM experiences, Brian held a variety of product development and product management roles at LEXIS-NEXIS, the world’s leader in electronic research and publishing. It was at LEXIS-NEXIS that Brian first became involved with reengineering and product portfolio management processes. Brian is a graduate of Capital University and The Ohio State University, and enjoys speaking and writing about product management and its support processes.

...more case study information coming soon...

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