Innovation in the Knowledge Economy issue:13 pages:289-320
In recent years, a host of scholars has advanced new ways to organise the product development process. Central concerns in this endeavour relate to speeding up the development process or, stated otherwise, to work with extended 'windows of opportunity' during new product development efforts. Important contributions in this respect are to be found, amongst others, in the writings of Iansiti (1995, 1997, 1998), MacCormack and Iansiti (1998), Verganti, MacCormack and Iansiti (1998), Brown and Eisenhardt (1997) and Eisenhardt and Tabrizi (1995). Major ingredients of the models developed in these writings include 'learn-adapt cycles' or 'iterative' approaches (Verganti, MacCormack and Iansiti, MacCormack 1998) and 'experiential' ways of working (Eisenhardt and Tabrizi). These imply high levels of customer involvement, frequent cycles of concept (re)design and development consisting of multiple iterations and extensive testing. The relevance of these models increases as the levels of uncertainty being faced increase. The traditional, rational planning or stage-gate models are no longer sufficient in turbulent, fast-evolving environments In other words, the planning approaches that have long been predominant both in theory and practice on managing new product development (cfr. Wheelwright and Clark (1992) for an excellent example of this planning 'school'), have been complemented by more adaptive, experiential approaches toward new product development efforts.