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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.

Leading in China: Building an Executive Team to Drive Success in the World's Fastest Growing New Economy Locked

Research | Posted: 2007-10-22

MP3 download of Leading in China: Building an Executive Team to Drive Success in the World's Fastest Growing New Economy audio session

Negotiating International Business Locked

Research | Posted: 2007-10-19

Few areas present greater challenges and pitfalls than negotiating across cultures. Differing views of acceptable practices and misguided assumptions about a counterpart’s intentions may not only cause friction, they may result in unfavorable or lost deals. In this presentation, Lothar Katz, author of Negotiating International Business – The Negotiator’s Guide to 50 Countries Around The World, discusses the cultural and economic factors that influence attitudes, styles, and bargaining practices and provides clear negotiation do’s and don’ts. Katz covers how to adjust your negotiation style and timing to an international environment; how to deal with unusual negotiation techniques; how to build relationships with your foreign counterparts and speed up the negotiation process; how to avoid conflict around ethical and cultural disagreements and, how to confirm agreement and close dependable contracts. (42 slides)

A Capacity-Based Governance Method for Improving Engineering Performance MP3 Download Locked

Research | Posted: 2007-10-13

MP3 download of A Capacity-Based Governance Method for Improving Engineering Performance audio session

Open Innovation in China - Is it Possible? Audio Session MP3 Locked

Research | Posted: 2007-10-08

MP3 download of panel discussion on Open Innovation in China

Design for Uncertainty Audio Session MP3 Locked

Research | Posted: 2007-10-07

MP3 down for Design for Uncertainty Audio Session

Talk to Your CFO - How to Justify New Product Investments Locked

Research | Posted: 2007-10-05

Many product developers become more broadly involved in business issues as their careers grow. This means that they need to communicate effectively with business and finance executives. But without understanding the financial principles of investments, this is often an uphill battle. This presentation by finance and R&D expert John Farnbach, presents the principles, formulas, metrics, and tools that a financial executive uses to evaluate business investments. Using examples from product development, Farnbach presents the essential financial models for investment analysis; basic concepts such as Discounted Cash Flow and Cost of Capital; a comparison of common new product metrics; spreadsheet functions to calculate investment metrics; and ways to structure the project portfolio for higher financial return. This presentation provides the background information for CTOs, product development executives, product managers, and project leaders to learn to understand the financial executives’ point of view enabling them to build stronger business cases for new product investments. (37 slides)

Gaining Customer Insight: Practitioners and Experts Share Their Methods for Discovering Customer Needs Locked

Research | Posted: 2007-09-06

This overview of an August 2007 conference summarizes a range of viewpoints about how to gain and incorporate insights from customers. Speakers from such firms as Intel, Boston Scientific, Steelcase, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems and others, discussed their experience with a range of customer data-gathering methods from ethnography, to focus groups, to customer design experimentation and value opportunity charts. Experts and key note speakers offered recommendations on how best to translate customer data into features that help product and service offerings succeed in the marketplace. (6 pages)

Architectural Trade-Offs & Target Costing for Co-Design Locked

Research | Posted: 2007-08-30

Brad Goldense, President, Goldense Group Inc. The evolution of technology has led to increased complexity in design planning. In today's world of design there are typically several design alternatives available for any given feature. Designers must make choices early in the project as to the best way to implement a given feature. How, then, do most designers choose? Many choose the alternative that facilitates rapid design and/or those that fall most naturally into their own design competencies. Many designers interact with projects, and the planning thereof, at a level of detail below the level at which management makes its trade-offs. Yet, many design trade-off decisions left to lower levels of the organization significantly impact management-level Economic Trade-off Analysis. How does one improve the linkage between the impact of trade-offs made at lower levels and the bottom-line, management-level, analysis? In this feature article, Goldense presents a tool which, in conjunction with Economic Trade-off Analysis, may provide a scalable methodology for helping make such trade-offs. This tool, the "Target Costing For Co-Design Matrix" [TCCM] will add some work to the project up-front, during the Definition Phase, but like most other up-front analyses, claims Goldense, it is usually a worthwhile investment. (4 pages)

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Demystifying the Link Between Innovation and Business Value: A Process Framework Locked

Research | Posted: 2007-08-23

Innovation is a crucial component of business strategy, but the process of innovation can be difficult to manage. To plan organizational initiatives or bolster innovation requires a firm grasp of the innovation process. Few organizations have transparently defined such a process. In this presentation, innovation expert and faculty member in the Information School at the University of Washington Kevin Desouza offers a process framework and proposes mechanisms to measure the value of innovation. The innovation process is broken down into the discrete stages of idea generation and mobilization, screening and advocacy, experimentation, commercialization, diffusion and implementation. For each stage, Desouza provides context, outputs and critical ingredients as well as mechanisms to measure performance. The presenter concludes the audio session by linking these performance measures to business value measures. (48 slides)

The Lean Product Development Revolution Locked

Research | Posted: 2007-08-10

Summary of an Audio Session by Don Reinertsen, Reinertsen and Associates Don Reinertsen is principal of Reinertsen and Associates, which offers consulting services and training on the subject of rapid product development. He has authored the book Developing Products in Half the Time (with Preston Smith) and Managing the Design Factory. In this audio session, Reinertsen outlined some of the basic principles of lean product development and how it differs from lean manufacturing. He first defines three schools of lean and points out two major misconceptions about lean product development. He then discusses core lean principles such as queue management; calculating the cost of delay; batch size reduction; and work-in-process constraints. Reinertsen completes the session by drawing a contrast between traditional and lean product development and outlining four steps for moving toward a lean process. (6 pages)

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