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Strategic Management of Technology and Product Lifecycles

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Sloan Management Review BONUS! Every confererence attendee will receive a complimentary one-year subscription to MIT's Sloan Management Review!

Conference Presentations

Feature Presentation

Managing Innovation Trajectories for Sustainable Success


Susan Walsh Sanderson [BIO]
Associate Professor
Lally School of Management
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Numerous studies examining company longevity have found that most organizations do not survive the upheavals of change and competition over the long haul. Indeed, the average life expectancy of a multinational company—in the Fortune 500—is between 40 and 50 years. However, some organizations do withstand significant changes in markets and technologies and are able to transform themselves. To achieve long term success, companies must reallocate resources in a timely fashion to take advantage of technology and market changes. Industries undergoing rapid technological change require companies to balance the exploitation of their existing technologies and products with the exploration and investment in new technologies and markets.

Outstanding companies, such as Sony, are able to produce a steady stream of commercially memorable products, "business classics", that help define innovation trajectories and anchor the development of product families. In addition, they develop new technologies and capabilities that allow them to create new to the world products. In this session, you will learn approaches to creating and managing new product families in the context of rapid technological change and digital convergence.

Industry Case Studies

Developing Technology and Innovation Roadmaps

Integrating Technology into Product Architecture

Sun Microsystems

Jonathan Propp [BIO]
Manager, Strategic Decisions

Sun Microsystems

Sun Microsystems combines a decentralized business structure with a high degree of technology sharing across the product line. The company also must contend with rapid change in its core technologies. Making the wrong technology choice can be fatal to a product line. This presentation focuses on how Sun manages technology strategy across its hardware businesses and makes decisions on integrating technology into product architecture.

Product Generation at "the Edge of Chaos"


Joni Ohta [BIO]
Senior Consultant

Product Generation in highly innovative, fast-paced businesses benefit from less structure to enhance innovation and ability to respond to shifting business environments. The Edge of Chaos, for complex adaptive systems, is the point that maximizes innovation and ability to evolve, yet holds the system together and prevents it from flying out of control. This has been a difficult balance to achieve. Many systems are over constrained and others are not scalable, transferable, nor very long-lived - too chaotic. We present learnings from successful, innovative product generation organizations within HP that have, over time, demonstrated their ability to successfully live at the Edge of Chaos.

Forecasting Customer Demand /
Optimizing Lifecycle Profits

Creating New Products - Keeping with Customer Requirements and Rapid Innovation Demands

IKOS Systems, Inc.

Juergen Jaeger [BIO]
Director of Worldwide Channel Marketing
IKOS Systems, Inc.

Creating a new product does not simply mean to design "something." Rather, it involves developing the right product for a well-defined market segment at the right time! But how do you decide what that market segment is? What product features are needed? How do you differentiate from your competition? Juergen will explore possible solutions to the above questions by examining how to:

  • Uncover market needs and discover product opportunities
  • Take advantage of discontinuities (technical and/or business)
  • Improve ROI through early integration of market requirements: Product features, Product positioning
  • Extend profitable product lifecycles through scalability by design
  • Leverage global resources

Product Cost Management at Harley-Davidson


Dan O'Callaghan [BIO]
Product Cost Manager
Dantar Oosterwal [BIO]

Product Cost Manager

Over the past 15 years, Harley-Davidson has seen the demand for its products grow over 5 fold. Identifying New Product Cost Management as a key contributor to maintaining future growth, Harley-Davidson modified its process for new product development cost management to better focus on managing product cost through all phases of development. This process links the cost of new products to corporate financial objectives and provides an iterative process of cost understanding with development objectives. Product Cost Management at Harley-Davidson encompasses the elements of Business Planning and Target Based Performance. This presentation will describe the journey to Product Cost Management at Harley-Davidson and the inclusion of Knowledge Based Tools to make it successful. Through a case example, you will learn how Harley-Davidson strikes a balance between Quality, Cost and Timing by applying this process in the understanding of product cost during early development.

Ensuring Product Ramp-up
and Successful Product Transistions

Genesis of a New Product: A Small Tech Company's Innovative Approach


David C. Roach [BIO]
Director of Development
Navitrak International

Successfully launching a new product in a small technology company requires an even more strategic, agile and innovative approach to the product development process. Hear Navitrak’s account of the steps and trade-offs involved in the current launch of their Digital Navigation System (DNA), the company’s first product in the hand held GPS market.

Dave Roach, Director Development, will walk you through the development process, product ramp-up and launch of their newest product. You will learn their approach to effectively determining (and integrating) customer requirements, mapping the competition, selecting the right partners, strategizing the best methods for deployment, testing the product and ultimately launching.

Reducing Transition to Production Risks


Robert Hawiszczak [BIO]
Technical & Strategy Starpoint

Concerned about their ability to move efficiently from product development to full rate production, Raytheon Operations and Engineering sponsored a project to create an improved process for Product Readiness capability. Closer alignment of product development with internal manufacturing and key suppliers was critical. The process focused on improving the existing "Gating process, " specifically, Gate 10. It is the culmination of a series of "gates" that are used at key transition points in the life cycle of a development program. Gate 10 looks at the maturity of a product design and its readiness to move into production. Key deliverables of the effort included: a Business Unit Operating instruction for Gating application, an improved Gate 10 and a detailed Gate 10 checklist. The process is deployed as a self-assessment with input from internal program and external production readiness experts leading to consensus on risks and corrective actions.

IBM's Reengineering for Profitable Product Development


Paul C. Aspinwall [BIO]
Process Architect

In August of 1993, IBM CEO Louis V. Gerstner commissioned seven reengineering efforts with an objective to improve effectiveness and efficiency in IBM’s efforts. Several of these efforts centered around selecting which business areas and products to invest in, and how to better manage the resulting projects and business areas. This talk will focus on the Market Planning and Product Development business process and their interactions as embodied in IBM’s Integrated Product Development process model. Executive, project, and support teams will be highlighted along with the experience in measuring transformation progress.

Supporting Organizations:
Sopheon   Sloan Management Review American Electronics Association


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