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Research & Publications

Research & Publications is a growing collection of case studies, presentations, research reports and other resources focusing on product development, R&D, and innovation management.  These concise reports provide practitioner insights, company examples, benchmarks and thought-leading viewpoints. 

MRT's FastTrack is the leading network of industry practitioners responsible for new product development, technology development, and business development from all industries. Access to the full content of the following articles is for members of Management Roundtable FastTrack. Memberships are offered to individuals on an annual basis for just $495.  For more information on joining FastTrack click here.

To see all the material available in this knowledge repository, use the search engine, click on focus topic, or see our most recent updates below.

The Portfolio Sweet Spot: How Do You Use Customer Value to Set Product Priorities? Audio Session Transcript Locked

Research | Posted: 2006-12-13

Transcript for the audio session The Portfolio Sweet Spot – How Do You Use Customer Value to Set Product Priorities? (21 pages)

The Portfolio Sweet Spot: How Do You Use Customer Value to Set Product Priorities? Audio Session Summary Locked

Research | Posted: 2006-12-13

Related Links: Audio | Transcript (21 pages) | Slides(42 slides) In this presentation, Richard Tait of Product Development Consulting, Inc. presents the three key value dimensions that determine the portfolio sweet spot and should be used for portfolio decision-making: customer value, strategic value and investment intensity. To deliver customer value, says Tait, understand what drives customers, what motivates them: what are the obstacles that get in their way? What’s made their jobs and their lives frustrating, difficult, challenging, impossible? What gets in the way of them being successful, both as an individual and for their company? Creating customer value involves eliminating these pain points. Strategic value is the measure of how effectively an element of the portfolio supports and drives the success of the strategy of the business unit or enterprise, and enables a business unit to meet its strategic objectives. Investment intensity is the combined level and profile of the complete complement of resources (people, dollars, materials, intellectual property, etc.) to develop a product and support its commercialization in a way that meets the targeted strategic objectives of the business. In addition to the three key value dimensions, Time-to-Market and Core Competencies are critical measures for achieving strategic balance. In this audio session, Tait presents tools to qualify and quantify many aspects of each of the three key value dimensions and to display them in a consistent fashion. (11 pages)

Applying Product Development Principles to Naval Ship Design: An Interview with Robert Keane Locked

Research | Posted: 2006-11-17

At the time of his retirement in 2002, Robert Keane was the Executive Director of the Surface Ship Design and Systems Engineering Group for the United States Navy. Throughout his long tenure with the Navy, Keane's career proceeded through virtually every major design function essential to naval ship design and development. Since his retirement, he serves as president of Ship Design USA, Inc., a consulting firm. In this interview, Keane discusses how development processes changed over the course of his career; the challenges of applying best-in-class practices from the private sector to naval ship design; documenting processes and capturing learnings during the course of a very long development cycle; the role of metrics in ship design and the composition of the development teams. (7 pages)

WARNING: Annual Planning May Be Hazardous to Your Product Development Health Locked

Research | Posted: 2006-11-09

In this feature article, Bob Becker argues that an over-emphasis on detailed annual planning often leads to dysfunction. In addition to changes in strategy, the product development portfolio should be driven by customer needs, market opportunities, resource availability, and new technological capabilities all of which do not necessarily operate on a fiscal year schedule. According to Becker, the best product development situation is where there is a continuous flow of products moving through the pipeline with a mix appropriate to meet both sales targets and longer-term strategy. Often, fiscal year ‘big bangs’ and continuous flow do not mix well. Becker diagnoses seven symptoms associated with the dysfunctions inherent in annual planning proceeses and then offers seven alternatives aimed toward generating and vetting ideas in a continuous (rather than episodic) manner. (6 pages)

Open Innovation in China - Is it Possible? Audio Session Transcript Locked

Research | Posted: 2006-11-01

A discussion with Roger Nagel (Lehigh University) and John Tao & Bobby Chen (Air Products and Chemicals). Click here todownload the presentation slides for this session.

Open Innovation in China - Is it Possible? Audio Session Summary Locked

Research | Posted: 2006-11-01

Related Links: Audio | Transcript (22 pages) | Slides A discussion with Roger Nagel (Lehigh University) and John Tao & Bobby Chen (Air Products and Chemicals). In this session, the participants discuss the important cultural cues required for successful partnering with Chinese co-developers. They also cover the use of intermediaries to establish partnerships, protecting Intellectual Property in China, and the qualities that Chinese partners are seeking in their Western counterparts. The panelists stress the need to perform due diligence in partnering with Chinese firms and the advisability of partnering with firms that have a clear track record of partnering with Western businesses. They also stress the need for a local presence to manage the relationships. Finally, the panel emphasizes taking great care and patience in building relationships of trust with your Chinese partners. (10 pages)

Selection Criteria for Global Projects: Audio Session Summary Locked

Research | Posted: 2006-10-23

Related Links: Audio |Slides (39 slides) | Transcript (19 pages) In this audio session, Lothar Katz, President of Leadership Crossroads, examines the key criteria for decision-making when outsourcing development projects offshore. For Katz, the level of project complexity must be mapped to the characteristics of the target culture. Some cultures, for example, have a greater aversion to uncertainty, making it difficult to perform high-risk projects in such an environment. Katz also advises that the benefits gained from global projects are far beyond cost advantages. Over time, global projects can create speed-to-market advantages as well. Katz also strongly advises companies to develop – and retain – managers with global skills and experience. Even very experienced managers can under-perform in a global context if their management experience does not include cross-border experience. Katz’s presentation lists the key factors to consider when making global project decisions and provides a country-by-country breakdown of how some of the more popular offshore outsourcing destinations perform with respect to these factors. (10 pages)

Selection Criteria for Global Projects: Audio Session Transcript Locked

Research | Posted: 2006-10-23

In this audio session, Lothar Katz, President of Leadership Crossroads, examines the key criteria for decision-making when outsourcing development projects offshore. For Katz, the level of project complexity must be mapped to the characteristics of the target culture. Some cultures, for example, have a greater aversion to uncertainty, making it difficult to perform high-risk projects in such an environment. Katz also advises that the benefits gained from global projects are far beyond cost advantages. Over time, global projects can create speed-to-market advantages as well. Katz also strongly advises companies to develop – and retain – managers with global skills and experience. Even very experienced managers can under-perform in a global context if their management experience does not include cross-border experience. Katz’s presentation lists the key factors to consider when making global project decisions and provides a country-by-country breakdown of how some of the more popular offshore outsourcing destinations perform with respect to these factors. (19 pages)

Turning on Your Innovation Light Bulb: Applying Thomas Edison's Five Competencies of Innovation to Your Business - Audio Session Summary Locked

Research | Posted: 2006-10-14

Related Links: Audio (mp3) | Transcript (21 pages) | Slides (57 pages) In this audio session Sarah Caldicott, President of StarWave Associates and a descendent of Thomas Edison through his second wife, presents research on the methods used by her famous forbear to innovate and invent. Caldicott has identified five competencies used by Edison in his work, which include unstoppable persistence, kaleidoscopic thinking, balancing the creative and the practical, building high-performance collaborative teams, and moving markets. Caldicott presents the reasons why examining Edison’s methods is useful today and provides a number of specific steps that make Edison’s approaches applicable to 21st century corporate environments. (12 pages)

Turning on Your Innovation Light Bulb: Applying Thomas Edison's Five Competencies of Innovation to Your Business - Audio Session Transcript Locked

Research | Posted: 2006-10-14

In this audio session Sarah Caldicott, President of StarWave Associates and a descendent of Thomas Edison through his second wife, presents research on the methods used by her famous forbear to innovate and invent. Caldicott has identified five competencies used by Edison in his work, which include unstoppable persistence, kaleidoscopic thinking, balancing the creative and the practical, building high-performance collaborative teams, and moving markets. Caldicott presents the reasons why examining Edison’s methods is useful today and provides a number of specific steps that make Edison’s approaches applicable to 21st century corporate environments. Click here to download presentation slides, summary or audio for this session.(21 pages)

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