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Articles of Interest…

The following links will take you to articles and white papers on a variety of market research and new product development topics.
Please select a topic of interest: 

Business Assessment

Winning Business In Product Development: The Critical Success Factors
Dr. Robert G. Cooper and Dr. Elko J. Kleinschmidt
"A formal new product process isn’t enough – you need a high-quality process, a clear and visible strategy, enough people and money, and a respectable R&D budget. How does your program rate on these 10 metrics?"

Competitive Intelligence

An Analogy to a Competitive Intelligence Program: Role of Measurement in Organizational Research
Yogesh Malhotra, Ph.D.,
"A conceptual model of a Competitive Intelligence Program is developed based on extant practitioner literature. Key aspects of this model are then used for defining the 'critical ingredients' of measurement in organizational research: constructs, validity, and reliability, as well as their interrelationships."


Creative Tension: A Crucial Component of Creativity in the Workplace
Lori Reisenbichler
"Creativity is very positively valued in our society. It has meaningful application for everyone, from the pre-schooler to the corporate executive. Increasingly, the corporate world has focused on creativity as a way to respond to the rapid changes in the global marketplace. In order to better understand how people can increase their personal mastery of creativity, this paper will discuss many of the myths about creativity in our society. The distinction between creating and problem solving will be made. Much research supports the idea that one of the crucial components of creativity is intrinsic motivation, so this paper will discuss how motivation comes from the tension between a clear vision and a realistic perception of our current situation. The social factors that contribute to creativity in the workplace will be examined and support for the concept of creative tension is presented."
Creativity Tools
Mind Tools
"Tools to help you develop creative solutions to the problems you face."
Wally Bock's Three Star Leadership Blog
Wally Bock
"If you are a boss at any level, this blog will give you insight, information, and pointers to resources to do a better job and live a better life."

Customer Understanding

Conducting Web-based International Research
Karla Kuzawinski
Using the Internet to conduct market research has taken-off like wildfire in the United States due to its promise of quick results and lower costs. However, conducting web-based studies overseas is a bit more complicated than translating questionnaires and reissuing surveys. In addition to translations, one must take into consideration such things as adequate sample, biases due to access to the Internet, cross-cultural interpretation and norms, and Internet laws that may affect how research is conducted in each country...
Developing New Product Concepts Via the Lead User Method: A Case Study in a ‘Low Tech’ Field
Cornelius Herstatt and Eric von Hippel
"The Lead User market research method is built around the idea that the richest understanding of new product and service needs is held by just a few ‘Lead Users.’ They can be identified and drawn into a process of joint development of new product or service concepts with manufacturer personnel."
Lead Users: An Important Source of Novel Product Concepts
Eric von Hippel
"Accurate marketing research depends on accurate user judgments regarding their needs. However, for very novel products or in product categories characterized by rapid change such as ‘high technology’ products most potential users will not have the real-world experience needed to problem solve and provide accurate data to inquiring market researchers. This paper focuses on the ‘lead users’ of a product or process."
Taking a Long Road Trip:International Customer Visits Lead to Global Success
David T. Zawadzki
"Companies such as Ford, Lexus, and Xerox know that successul global products start with understanding the unique customer needs beyond their domestic market borders. This artcile, written by an experienced practioner, provides tops for conducting international customer vist market research, as well as some examples of insights discovered..."
Taking a Road Trip: Customer Visits Help Companies Recharge Relationships and Pass Competitors
Edward F. McQuarrie
"Customers visits can seem like such a simple, obvious activity that it's easy to forget how powerful they can be. The biggest payoff comes when engineers and others from outside marketing participate in visits. Technology firms like Hewlett-Packard have pioneered the use of cross-functional customer visits as a market research tool. This article discusses many "best practices" gleaned from the study of leading firms. "


Fundamentals of Technology Roadmapping
Sandia National Laboratory
"Roadmaps provide a framework for thinking about the future. They create a structure for strategic planning and development, for exploring potential development paths, and for ensuring that future goals are met. “Roadmapping” is the term used to describe the process of developing a roadmap. Practitioners often assert that the roadmapping “process” is at least as valuable, as the output, the roadmap itself. This tutorial provides the basic concepts used in technology roadmapping, including descriptions of different types of technology roadmaps and approaches, as well as a discussion of the costs and benefits of roadmapping."
Technology Roadmapping: Mapping a Future for Integrated Photonics
Elizabeth J. Bruce and Charles H. Fine
"Roadmaps provide a framework for thinking about the future. They create a structure for strategic planning and development, for exploring potential development paths, and for ensuring that future goals are met. “Roadmapping” is the term used to describe the process of developing a roadmap. Practitioners often assert that the roadmapping “process” is at least as valuable, as the output, the roadmap itself. This tutorial provides the basic concepts used in technology roadmapping, including descriptions of different types of technology roadmaps and approaches, as well as a discussion of the costs and benefits of roadmapping."
World Future Society News
World Future Society
" The world’s largest organization devoted to exploring the future."


Doing it Right – Winning with New Products
Dr. Robert G. Cooper
"This paper examines the two ways to win at product innovation: doing projects right and doing the right projects. Dr. Cooper explores the critical success factors that make the difference between winning and losing at innovation. He outlines key components of the authentic Stage-Gate® system and the four goals of successful portfolio management."
From Experience: The Invisible Success Factors in Product Innovation
Dr. Robert G. Cooper
"Dr. Cooper lowers the microscope on the state of product innovation and examines the common reasons for poor results. The critical success factors are noticeably absent from the typical new product project. The article outlines how companies can recognize one of the seven common innovation problems that Dr. Cooper refers to as the new product development “Blockers” to avoid repeating the same mistakes."
NPD Practices: The dark side of time and time metrics in product innovation
Dr. Robert G. Cooper & Dr. Scott J. Edgett
"Dr. Cooper and Dr. Edgett examine how time and time metrics are having a negative impact on product innovation today. The effects of two manifestations of this problem are examined in detail: too great an emphasis on measures of short-term profitability and too sharp a reduction in time-to-market. This paper examines what can be done to counteract these negative pressures and how to enhance the product innovation process."


Leadership Skills
Mind Tools
"Tools to help you become an Exceptional Leader"
Rule #3: Leadership Is Confusing as Hell
Tom Peters
"List of leadership qualities: 50 ways of being a leader in freaked-out times."
Strengthening Values Centered Leadership: What, Why and How?
Charles D. Kerns, Ph.D
"Business leaders who want to create an ethical work environment should first identify their own core values and commit to practicing them. This article discusses why it is important for business leaders to be concerned about strengthening their value systems and how this can be done. "
The Most Influential People of the Year
Time Magazine
"100 remarkable people. TIME has profiled those individuals who — for better or worse — most influenced the last year. They are considered in five fields of endeavor, culminating with Person of the Year... "

Market Understanding

The ClueTrain Manifesto "The ClueTrain Manifesto"
Rick Levine
"Networked markets are beginning to self-organize faster than the companies that have traditionally served them. Thanks to the web, markets are becoming better informed, smarter, and more demanding of qualities missing from most business organizations."

New Product Development

Optimizing the Stage-Gate Process – Part 1
Dr. Robert G. Cooper, Dr. Scott J. Edgett & Dr. Elko J. Kleinschmidt
"Dr. Cooper, Dr. Edgett and Dr. Kleinschmidt report on their observations and experiences working with a multitude of companies, and on the practices the companies have incorporated into their product innovation processes. The following practices are explored in the paper: the addition of a discovery stage at the front end of the innovation process, harnessing fundamental research more effectively, and building in more effective go/kill decision points to move towards portfolio management."
Optimizing the Stage-Gate Process – Part 2
Dr. Robert G. Cooper, Dr. Scott J. Edgett & Dr. Elko J. Kleinschmidt
"Dr. Cooper, Dr. Edgett and Dr. Kleinschmidt focus on the methods and techniques that help companies achieve better project selection and prioritization. The paper examines how to build more effective go/kill decisions points – tough gates – and to move towards successful portfolio management."
Product Development Process Design: Improving Development Response to Market, Technical and Regulatory Risks
Darian Unger
"...Well designed Product Development Processes (PDPs) reduce development time, create better products, generate profit and increase market share. In contrast, poorly-designed PDPs can severely harm both product lines and the companies that manufacture them. Many companies seek guidance in making important PDP design decisions. This thesis introduces PDPs as a risk management framework and identifies several PDP variations through the analysis of 10 case studies. It then proposes several iterative and review based metrics by which PDPs can be more effectively identified and compared."

NPD Tools

Concept Generation & Selection Lecture
Thomas Chase
"Generating ideas and selecting among competing ideas are two of the most important determinants of successful design. Neither good detail design nor good marketing nor tons of venture capital will rescue a poor concept. This lecture is concerned with how you generate ideas and then how you choose which is the best idea to pursue."
Function Analysis and Decomposition using Function Analysis Systems Technique
Jim Wixson
"This paper shows how the FAST Methodology from Value Engineering can be used to identify key functions. It also discusses the parallel between VE and SE and how VE can be used to enhance SE."

Organizational Effectiveness

Team Management Tools
Mind Tools
"The skills you need to be a great boss"
The Right Balance of Formal and Informal Organizations
Jon Katzenbach & Zia Khan
"Podcast:How to make the formal and informal networks within an organization work together harmoniously."
Using Conflict to Your Advantage - Butting Heads is not Always Bad
Teri C. Tompkins, Ph.D. & Kathryn S. Rogers, Ph.D.
"Embracing conflict in groups is necessary for effective team dynamics and improved performance. While conflict is endemic in organizational life, it need not always be negative. Those working together must understand the basic principles of how to use conflict to facilitate becoming a learning team that increases its capacity to take effective action through diffusion of knowledge and skills."

Portfolio Management

10 Ways to Make Better Portfolio and Project Selection Decisions
Dr. Robert G. Cooper & Dr. Scott J. Edgett
"Good portfolio management (PM) is a key to success in New Product Development (NPD). But good PM still frequently eludes even the biggest brightest corporations. In this article, Bob Cooper and Scott Edgett outline ten ways to make better portfolio and project selection decisions. "
Portfolio Management for New Product Development: Results of an Industry Practices Study
Dr. Robert G. Cooper, Dr. Scott J. Edgett & Dr. Elko J. Kleinschmidt
"This paper reports the results of a survey questionnaire sent to IRI member companies participating in an ongoing best practices study (results as of October 2001). Dr. Cooper, Dr. Edgett and Dr. Kleinschmidt examine the consequences of poor portfolio management practices. They outline the results of the study including the role of portfolio management at the participating companies and why industry considers it to be so important. The article then examines popular tools, methods and models employed by these companies to make go/kill decisions and to help prioritize projects. "
Portfolio Management for New Products: Picking the Winners
Dr. Robert G. Cooper & Dr. Scott J. Edgett
"New product portfolio management is about how you invest your business’s product development resources – project prioritization and resource allocation across development projects. This paper addresses the four goals of portfolio management and the importance of having an established, high quality Stage-Gate® system in place. "
Portfolio Management: Fundamental to New Product Success
Dr. Robert G. Cooper, Dr. Scott J. Edgett & Dr. Elko J. Kleinschmidt
"This article reports result from an on-going, large sample research study into portfolio management best practices. The goals of the research are to study industry current and best practices in portfolio management, and to gain insights to guide in the design and implementation of superior portfolio management methods. The article outlines new managerial problems faced in portfolio management. It details how various portfolio tools and models are employed by managers to make Go/Kill decisions and to help prioritize projects. "
Your NPD Portfolio may be harmful to your business’s health
Dr. Robert G. Cooper
"Recent NPD studies contain a number of surprises: Most shocking is that the impact of new product development (NPD) on the sales and profits of many corporations is down, when looked at in terms of contribution to total sales and profits. How has this happened, and why? In this article, Dr. Robert Cooper takes a hard look at the facts and examines a number of possible reasons for this trend. He also provides recommendations on how companies can rebalance their NPD portfolios to become more profitable. "

Product Platforms

Lessons to be Learned from an Old Simple Product
Marc H. Meyer, Alvin Lehnerd
"If you build a better mousetrap in your home in the woods, the world will beat a path to your door..."


A Lexicon of Decision Making
Tom Spradlin
"This short narrative is intended to provide, in non-technical terms and in a readable way, definitions of the words most commonly used in a decision making context."
How New Product Strategies Impact on Performance
Dr. Robert G. Cooper
" What is involved in a successful new product program? Is it high spending on risky R&D? Is it close contact with customers? Is it the overall competitive strength of the firm? Well, it might be any of these things, and more according to Robert G. Cooper, depending on your definition of success. In an exhaustive examination of the new product strategies and performances of 122 industrial products firms, Cooper found that the strategy that a firm elects for its new product program is closely linked to the performance results that firm achieves. But what’s performance?"
Strategy Tools
Mind Tools
"Tools to help map out a clear and correct direction."

Systems Engineering

10 Steps to Better Requirements
Larry A. Fellows
"Why do so many organizations struggle with requirements? There seem to be two paths that organizations follow for requirement definition and management. Some organizations rush through the requirement phase to get to design and implementation while others have invested in the panacea of requirement tools and processes. Yet many of these organizations appear to be doomed to the schedule slips and budget overruns caused by the iterative rework cycles of poor and incomplete requirement sets. But all organizations do not have these requirement problems. Some projects go smoothly and provide the customer what they want, when they want it, with the desired quality. We call that delivering a winning product. What is it that differentiates organizations that produce winning products from those that struggle with requirements?"
A Collection of Articles on Requirements including "What Is A Requirement?"
by Richard Harwell, Erik Aslaksen, et al.
"Anyone involved in the transition of vision into product, has his or her own definition of a requirement. With the rare exception, all are applicable and meaningful - but most are forgotten or ignored in the crunch to produce an effective requirements document under constrained schedule and funding environments. Yet, the need for effective requirements generation is probably the number one priority today in product development needs. Rather than approaching this problem from the theoretical or a priori standpoint, this paper examines the nature of a requirement through a process of identifying key characteristics and relationships from the viewpoint of the requirements manager/analyst and the requirements user (design team). It also discusses the importance of determining that requirements convey a need (as opposed to a directed solution), and ascertaining quality in terms of contextual adequacy."
Twelve Systems Engineering Roles
Sarah A. Sheard
"Twelve roles are described which are occasionally or frequently assumed to constitute the practice of systems engineering. Some roles fit naturally as life-cycle roles, others fit the Program Management set of roles, while still others are not normally thought of in either group. Interactions between the roles are discussed, and the systems engineering roles are compared."
What is Requirements Management?
Richard Stevens, James Martin
"Requirements management models the system, in order to improve the end product. A project that meets requirements is by definition a success. Requirements management starts with the definition of requirements and continues through the project, culminating in the acceptance of the product against requirements. By examining all the tasks to be performed with requirements, we can see the role of requirements management."
Writing Good Requirements
Ivy Hooks
"The primary reason that people write poor requirements is that they have had no training or experience in writing good requirements. This paper will address what makes a good requirement. It will cover some of the most common problems that are encountered in writing requirements and then describe how to avoid them. It also includes examples of problem requirements and how to correct them."
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