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  1. The Adaptive Organization: Key Characteristics and Practices Locked

    Quick Insight | Posted: 2009-03-20

    A recent KPMG study found that 93% of executives surveyed expected changes in at least one aspect of their business model over the next 3 years; nearly half of those same executives expected those changes to be major. This rate of change will be impossible to manage without the capability to adapt to shifting circumstances. To respond to this challenge, a September 2008 summit held by Toffler Associates, the consulting firm founded by Alvin and Heidi Toffler, authors of "Future Shock" and "Revolutionary Wealth", convened leaders from industry and the public sector to discuss the characteristics and practices of the adaptive organization. The group found that cross-organizational collaboration, and encouraging innovation and experimentation were characteristic of adaptive organizations. They also found that bottom-up rather than top-down change was vital. The group identified three strategies for fostering bottom-up change in the adaptive organization.

  2. A New, Adaptive Model for Product Development: Testing the Flexible Approach Locked

    Quick Insight | Posted: 2009-03-02

    A new model for product development processes, developed by Tyson Browning of the Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University and Viktor Lévárdy of 3D Systems Engineering GmbH in Germany, views the control of product development projects as a decision-making process. Each decision in the process is made with the intention of optimizing the expected value of the project based on the project's state and its overall environment at the time the decision is made Its creators refer to this model as the Adaptive Product Development Process (APDP). According to its creators, this model promises to "improve project planning by understanding the 'design space' of potential paths to success (rather than focusing only on a single one), orient the workforce towards self-organization, and form the capability to cope with many unanticipated situations."

  3. Design In an Uncertain World: A New Rationale for Flexible Product Development Locked

    Quick Insight | Posted: 2009-01-30

    If there’s one word that characterizes today’s climate it is uncertainty. Product development is an activity that tends to rely on long-term planning and resource management. How can it best be managed in a climate where uncertainty rules the day? Fortunately, noted product development expert Preston Smith has been working for several years on the problem of design for uncertainty. Smith suggests that the ability to respond to the hazard of uncertainty entails flexible product development. This article is available to registered users of FastTrack. Please note that becoming a registered user of Fast Track is free, and every month we make exclusive, member-only, Fast Track articles available to our registered users. Join Today!

  4. Insights from Nortel:  Does Part Commonality Decrease Cycle Time? Locked

    Quick Insight | Posted: 2006-01-17

    In this report, Nicholas Svensson, a Leader in Nortel Networks’ CDMA Manufacturing Services, assigned to that company’s New Product Introduction unit, discusses his firm’s experience regarding the effects of part commonality on product development lead-time. Earlier in this decade, Nortel tested a strategy of part commonality as a means for attaining product convergence as well as for accelerating time-to-market. Confining his inquiry to the product development process supporting the hardware for the company’s base transceiver stations, he examined the impact of part commonality, over a three-year period, on four types of product part design, beginning with the most basic and ascending through increased levels of product complexity and integration. He found that product lead-times lengthened as the level of integration increased, suggesting that a thoroughgoing insistence on part commonality could impede product development processes. For Svensson’s discussion of the Nortel case and a summary of lessons learned download this report (6 pages) here.

  5. Shure Uses Design Alliances to Enable Fast Product Development Locked

    Quick Insight | Posted: 2006-01-02

    In this report, Laura lan, Program Director for Personal Audio at Shure, Inc. shares her insights into how and why the audio electronics company uses external design partners to speed new products to market. She describes how the firm selects partners and how these partnerships have influenced Shure’s internal processes. Wayne Mackey, a principal at Product Development Consulting, Inc., also presents an overview of design partnerships as a means of decreasing cycle time. Mackey discusses, in particular, how these alliances impact systems engineering, purchasing functions and program management. Click here to download the complete report (6 pages).

  6. Fast & Flexible Success Indicators Locked

    Quick Insight | Posted: 2005-03-10

    The following metrics have been quoted to MRT as measures of success in creating fast, flexible product development practices to increase productivity. Maximizing each metric is not always ideal – look for the optimal value by business, company, and project.

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