Case Study On New Product Development Process
Question1. Note three things you learned about the way IDEO approaches design (bullet points or short sentences suffice)
Traditionally every project should go through three spaces (stages): “inspiration” that motivates to look for the solutions and new ideas; “ideation” which comes to generating creative ideas, designing and testing them in prototypes; and “implementations” which brings the idea to the market place (Brown). As one of the most innovative companies in the world, IDEO follows the general product development process pattern, but execute unique approach to design. This approach can be broken down into several elements (IDEO Shopping Cart Project):
multidisciplinary team built on equality of every member;
field research method;
deep dive brainstorming technique and fun at the workplace.
Company decided to stay aside of the tradition model of business where employees are judged based on their age, experience within the organization, formal title. Such extraordinary policy made people more opened and not so afraid of expressing unaccustomed ideas. In a company where everyone is equal the best opportunity to stand out is to offer the most crazy and unexpected solutions, which makes it a great environment for innovations. Since IDEO gathered people from different backgrounds they are able to look into different aspects of a product and get more complex insight on how to create a suitable solution.
IDEO’s designers are not sitting in the office all the thinking of the possibilities to improve the goods. In order to learn customer needs and get to know about all the inconveniences that people encounters while using existing products they decided to use a field research method. IDEO team has a chance to quickly interview many people who know a lot about a particular product or use it frequently, to observe how people really use a product and eventually come up with the best suggestions on what problems to eliminate to make an item more attractive.
While generating new ideas all team members are encouraged to make the freakiest offers, but they are not allowed to criticize anyone’s suggestions. It is made for not only giving people feel the full freedom of expression, but because this approach helps the team to build up really innovative practical solution on these crazy ideas that would be never found if everyone thought standardly. Moreover, “routinely come up with new ideas” is the center point of IDEO’s corporate culture. Everyone is allowed to make the most unusual alterations at the workplace in order to create fun working environment and boost creative thinking.
Question 2: Outline two advantages and two disadvantages of the stage-gate process. How does it compare to IDEO's process?
Stage-gate process is one of successful patterns for managing the new product development which includes series of stages from creating project idea and to the post-launch review of a product (Cooper).
The main advantages of this type of process are (Cooper):
all the stages are cross-functional which makes it possible to receive fast results;
it increases the chances for success of new products, since all the ideas go through very serious check and only best options are to be designed into prototypes.
Some major disadvantages are:
bureaucratic process that requires team to follow standard procedures, support their ideas and decisions with facts and numbers, while intuitive insight is totally eliminated;
simultaneous execution of several stages adds risks to the project
Even though both IDEO’s and Stage-Gate process towards designing new products imply following several stages to reach the goal, IDEO’s approach is absolutely free of any restrictions and is based on out-off-the-box ideas, whereas stage-gate method relies on measurements, calculations and adherence to formal procedures.
Brown, Tim. 'Design Thinking'. Harvard Business Review (2008): 84-92. Print.
Cooper, Robert G. 'Perspective: The Stage Gate Idea-To-Launch Process – Update, What’S New, And Nexgen Systems'. Journal of Product Innovation Management 25.3 (2008): 213-232. Print.
“IDEO Shopping Cart Project”. Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 4 Feb. 2013. Web. 13 Jan. 2015.