Now more than ever, a company’s success — indeed its survival — depends on a firmwide effort to create the best products and bring them to market quicker than competitors. Going beyond the traditional focus on design and production exclusively, product development expert Philip H. Francis provides senior managers with the methods and tools to orchestrate the entire enterprise for creating a legacy of product excellence. For the first time, Francis presents a holistic view of product creation–not just the core elements of engineering and industrial design, but also design’s interface with manufacturing, the customer’s voice and quality commitments, and the essential functions of technology management and leadership.
From his unique vantage point as a former professor and researcher as well as a chief technology officer and director of advanced manufacturing technology, Francis presents the nine key business functions of new product development (NPD): manufacturing strategy, IT systems, issues of leadership and culture, customer satisfaction, quality, operations and measurement, intellectual property, the management of research and development, and technology. In immensely readable prose, Francis devotes a chapter to each function, explaining how managers can implement and manage each of these nine NPD functions. Francis enriches his arguments with real-world examples of triumphs and failures in a variety of industries, from consumer products such as furniture to business products such as networking software. He offers hands-on suggestions and strategies for every stage in the product development process, including “Ideas for Action” sections containing killer questions that can eliminate a product at any stage. Special sections of the book elaborate on the steps to take during key NPD processes.
Written for those trained in technology as well as business-oriented industrial managers, Product Creation will be timely and necessary reading for CEOs, engineers, designers, marketing managers, IT officers, as well as anyone concerned with product development from conception to market.