BUSS 540: STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT OF INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY

M2A1: Essay: “Management Criteria for Effective Innovation” & “Assessing Your Organization’s Capabilities”

Article 1, R-I-4: “Management Criteria for Effective Innovation”, describes how an innovation can be analyzed from a technological as well as business standpoint for indications of success. Aspects analyzed include technical constraints, global enhancement of the product,. new infrastructure required, and product acceptance.

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Article 2, R-I-6: “Assessing Your Organization’s Capabilities: Resources, Processes, and Priorities” discusses how success of an innovation is determined by its management in terms of resources, processes, and priorities. You will have the opportunity to apply the methodologies outlined in these articles in this activity, to be continued in the class discussions.

Outcomes

Completing this activity will enable you to:

  1. Evaluate technical constraints imposed by technology
  2. Put an innovation technology in context, by studying how the end product is enhanced and made more salient
  3. Consider how existing business sectors may be hampered by an innovation, and be cognizant of the need for new business sectors
  4. Determine the appropriate resources, processes, and priorities for a technology

Instructions

  • Read Article R-I-4: “Management Criteria for Effective Innovation” (pages 97-104)
  • Read Article R-I-6: “Assessing Your Organization’s Capabilities: Resources, Processes, and Priorities” (pages 153-164)
  • Answer the following Comprehensive Questions below

Questions:  R-I-4:  “Management Criteria for Effective Innovation”

  1. List, describe, and compare at least 10 constraints lifted and at least 10 constraints imposed on the vehicle when changing from a gasoline engine to an electric‐gasoline engine (30 pts)
  2. List 3 business units hampered when changing from a gasoline engine to an electric‐gasoline engine. Explain how they are hampered. (10 pts)
  3. List 3 business units developed in support of changing from a gasoline engine to an electric‐gasoline engine. Describe considerations associated with their creation (10 pts)

Questions:  R-I-6:  “Assessing Your Organization’s Capabilities: Resources, Processes, and Priorities”

  1. List and describe resources of an architectural engineering design firm. (10 pts)
  2. Describe the architectural‐engineering design process. What types of meetings are held? What business units are represented? How do these business units interface and communicate? (25 pts)
  3. What are the priorities for the design of a traditional facility, such as a manufacturing plant, church, school, or hospital?(15 pts)

 

 

 

M2D1: Technical impacts and business effects of the electric-gasoline engine

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By the conclusion of this activity you will be able to:

  1. Evaluate new technical constraints imposed by the innovation and compare them to those of the existing design
  2. Put an innovation technology in context by studying how an end product is perceived by the buyer
  3. Determine when the existence of supporting infrastructure is integral to the success of the innovation

Though the electric-gasoline engine allows better miles per gallon relative to a traditional gasoline engine, it is not without technological tradeoffs. Regarding the first electric-gasoline cars to market, much of the mpg achieved was due to styling not the ability to run on electricity, which from market surveys not as appealing as the styling of a sleeker vehicle body design. New and limited infrastructure for servicing these vehicles was created, which may have deterred buyer acceptance.What fundamental technical constraints are lifted when incorporating an electric-gas engine into a vehicle design?

Read R-I-4: ” Management Criteria for Effective Innovation” (pages 97 – 104)

Summarize the technologically innovative success of the first few electric-gasoline cars to market, addressing the questions posed under “Questions to Consider”. As part of your response, compare the technical constraints of the electric-gasoline engine to the conventional gasoline engine.

Questions to Consider for the Discussion:

  1. What fundamental technical constraints are added when incorporating an electric-gas engine into a vehicle design?
  2. Is the inventive concept itself diluted or enhanced by the embodiment required, especially in regards to vehicle styling?
  3. What new business operations are needed to support the new engine design?
  4. What will drive both acceptance and sales of this new type of vehicle?

 

 

 

M2D2: Utilizing a fuel cell as a primary power source for a hospital

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By the end of this activity you will be able to:

  1. Determine the appropriate resources, processes, and priorities for an innovative design process
  2. Develop a successful business unit for an innovative facilities design

Fuel cell systems have been installed all over the world in hospitals, nursing homes, hotels, offices, buildings, schools, and utility power plants. Stationary fuel cells have been used for power sources at hospitals. They are either connected to the electric grid to provide supplemental power and backup assurance for critical areas, or installed as grid-independent generators in areas that are inaccessible by power lines. Assume you are an architectural engineering firm that has a niche in hospital design; and have been awarded a contract for a hospital that uses a fuel cell as a grid-independent generator. The company does not have experience in hospital design that is not connected to an electrical grid What talent should the team consist of, and how does it differ from teams with a traditional supplemental/backup power supply?

Read R-I-6: “Assessing Your Organization’s Capabilities: Resources, Processes, and Priorities” (pages 153 – 163)

Determine the business unit needed for successful design of the hospital with the independent fuel cell power source, addressing the questions posed under “Questions to Consider”.

Questions to Consider for the Discussion:

  1. What types of engineering, architectural, and management resources are used in the mechanical, electrical and structural/civil aspects of hospital design?
  2. What types of additional talent or specialized engineering knowledge is needed when utilizing a fuel cell as the primary source of power for a hospital?
  3. What is different about the engineering design process?
  4. How do the priorities differ from a project with a traditional electric power supply?
  5. What kind of functional team should be formed?

 

 

 

M3A1: Essay: “Design and Implementation of Technology Strategy”

The article for this assignment describes how to grow an organization’s technological strategy. It characterizes an organization’s learning framework in terms of three building blocks, technological capabilities, technology strategy, and experience. Technology strategy consists of a competitive strategy stance, a value chain stance, a resource commitment stance, and a management stance. There are forces that shape the evolution of technology strategy, which include the industry structure, internal organizational learning, and organizational structure. Capabilities drive strategy and strategy drives experience. In turn experience drives capabilities and strategy.

Outcomes

Completing this activity will enable you to :

  1. Identify and direct a firm’s core competencies in order to generate innovations
  2. Help manage firms to meet organizational requirements flowing from their competitive, value chain, and resource commitment stances
  3. Apply technology strategy through technology sourcing, deploying technology in product and process development, and using technology in technical support activities
  4. Determine when external sourcing of technology is required
  5. Map the components of substance and enactment in technology strategy making

Instructions

  • Read: Part II Introduction:  “Design and Implementation of Technology Strategy: An Evolutionary Perspective” (pages 237 – 251)
  • Answer the following Comprehensive Questions below

Questions:  Part II Introduction: “Design and Implementation of Technology Strategy: An Evolutionary Perspective”

  1. What is the difference between a firm’s core competence and the firm’s strategic capabilities? (15 pts)
  2. How do capabilities encompass the entire value chain? (15 pts)
  3. What are the four dimensions of technology strategy? State the characteristics of each dimension. (20 pts)
  4. Regarding competitive strategy, how can technology be used defensively versus offensively? (10 pts)
  5. Why is innovative technology insulation and an inward looking orientation a poor competitive strategy stance? Define the characteristics of a proactive competitive strategy stance. (10 pts)
  6. What determines the size of a firm’s R&D Department? (15 pts)
  7. Explain how experience determines capabilities and technological strategy. (15 pts)

M3D1: Exploring the Limits of the Technology S-Curve, Part I: Component Technologies

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By the end of this activity you will be able to:

  1. Assess the maturity level of a technology in the capital expenditure decision process
  2. Apply the S-curve theory when planning component architecture development programs
  3. Distinguish differences between applying S-curve theory to components versus to product architecture, including the greater need for market innovation when developing product architecture

A component technology S-curve is a graph of component development status as a function of engineering effort. Engineering effort is time, and time is capital expenditure. S-curves reveal that there are two plateaus with a steep rise in between that characterize component development status with time. The upper plateau indicates that the component has matured significantly and that further research does not return significant gains. Once the upper plateau is reached, a dilemma for management exists as to what technological path to follow.

Read R-II-2: “Exploring the Limits of the Technology S-Curve, Part I: Component Technologies” (pages 259 – 277)

In regards to the technology maturity in magnetic rigid disk drives case study, address the questions posed under “Questions to Consider”.

Questions to Consider for the Discussion:

  1. How can S-curves provide explanations of why alternative technologies have made substantial inroads against currently dominant technology?
  2. How can S-curve theory be used for decision making regarding investment in specific alternative technologies?
  3. What does S-curve theory indicate regarding decisions for future research programs when the upper plateau has been reached?

 

 

 

M3D2: Exploring the Limits of the Technology S-Curve, Part II: Architectural Technologies

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By the end of this activity you will be able to:

  1. Apply the S-curve theory when planning product architecture development programs
  2. Distinguish differences between applying S-curve theory to components versus to product architecture, including the greater need for market innovation when developing product architecture

As for component technology, the S-curve theory applies to product architecture development. In an earlier discussion, proof of the validity of component S-curve theory was investigated for the case of magnetic rigid disk drives. We also previously discussed using the magnetic disk drive application to indicate marketing strategies if product architecture technology versus component technology is the R&D focus.

Read R-II-2: “Exploring the Limits of the Technology S-Curve, Part II: Architectural Technologies” (pages 278 – 284)

In regards to the magnetic rigid disk drives case study, respond to the questions posed under “Questions to Consider”.

Questions to Consider for the Discussion:

  1. What is the resulting effect of leading firms failing to spot the affects of new successor technologies?
  2. Why does architectural technology change involve an intense degree of market innovation?

 

 

 

 

 

 

M4D1: Competing Technologies: An Overview

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By the end of this activity you will be able to:

  1. Compare the increasing returns to adoption
  2. Predict whether a technology will be adopted

The electric power concept for vehicles has been in existence since 1890, and was a competitor to steam and gasoline power technologies. It did not emerge as the power source in the dominant powertrain design for passenger vehicles, mainly because of the necessary capacity of the batteries and the associated weight. Infrastructure and supporting industries were developed around the gasoline powered vehicle. Because of concerns regarding emissions, non-sustainable energy resources, and foreign dependence on oil, the electric car has been revisited.

Read R-II-8: “Competing Technologies: An Overview” (pages 435 – 444)

In regards to the Nissan Leaf, apply the projection methods of R-II-8 to predict the extent of the Nissan Leaf’s adoption, addressing the questions posed under “Questions to Consider”. 

Questions to Consider for the Discussion:

  1. What experiences from electric train technology can be utilized in the R&D of electric vehicle technology?
  2. What experiences from gasoline-electric vehicle technology can be utilized in the R&D of electric vehicle technology?
  3. Regarding the electric vehicle powertrain, what scale economies of components already exist?
  4. Will electric vehicles be readily accepted by the public?
  5. Regarding the electric vehicle powertrain, what unique infrastructure already exists, and what needs to be developed?

 

 

 

 

 

M4D2: Architectural Innovation: The Reconfiguration of Existing Product Technologies and the Failure of Established Firms

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By the end of this activity you will be able to:

  1. Identify the type of innovation: incremental, modular, architectural, or radical
  2. Organize resources inside a firm such that new architectural knowledge are built and applied effectively
  3. Organize resources inside a firm for successful completion of architectural technology projects

R-II-12: “Architectural Innovation: The Reconfiguration of Existing Product Technologies and the Failure of Established Firms” defines four types of innovations: incremental, modular, architectural, and radical. Established and stable firms are inherently organized such that incremental and modular innovations are successfully handled. Radical innovations are easily recognized and are managed accordingly by forming specialty design groups to develop them. Architectural innovations use existing core design concepts in a new architecture that have a significant impact on the relationships between components than on the technologies of the components themselves. Architectural innovations are often mistaken for incremental innovations. Management needs to be able to identify architectural innovations such that proper resources are allotted and design groups are restructured.

Read R-II-12: “Architectural Innovation: The Reconfiguration of Existing Product Technologies and the Failure of Established Firms” (pages 496 – 508)

In regards to the proximity aligner, describe the management strategy that should have been executed to identify the proximity aligner as an architectural technology, as well reallocation of resources, such that Kasper would have been the successful firm versus Canon. Make sure you address the questions posed under “Questions to Consider”.

Questions to Consider for the Discussion:

  1. How are component versus architectural knowledge managed inside an organization?
  2. How do you identify an architectural innovation?
  3. How do you allocate existing resources to develop an architectural innovation successfully?

M5A1: Essay: “Let Chaos Rein, then Rein in Chaos – Repeatedly”

R-II-16: “Let Chaos Rein, then Rein in Chaos – Repeatedly: Managing Strategic Dynamics for Corporate Longevity” describes types of dynamics that confront a corporation and how they may destroy their corporate longevity. Linear dynamics are characterized by rule abiding strategic actions from industry competitors that are easy to respond to and have foreseen consequences. Nonlinear dynamics are characterized by rule changing strategic actions from industry competitors that are difficult to respond to and have unforeseen consequences. A case study of Intel from 1968 to 2005 is presented that describes their response to both P-independent and P-controlled dynamics in terms of leadership style and leadership strategy.

Outcomes

  1. Identify nonlinear versus linear strategic dynamics
  2. Invoke induced strategy processes where appropriate in the promotion of corporate longevity
  3. Invoke autonomous strategy processes where appropriate in the promotion of corporate longevity
  4. Differentiate between strategic style and strategic leadership
  5. Apply strategic style appropriately in the promotion of corporate longevity

Instructions

  • Read: R-II-16: “Let Chaos Rein, then Rein in Chaos – Repeatedly: Managing Strategic Dynamics for Corporate Longevity” (pages 623-635)
  • Answer the following Comprehensive Questions below

Questions:  R-II-16: “Let Chaos Rein, then Rein in Chaos – Repeatedly: Managing Strategic Dynamics for Corporate Longevity”

  1. What is strategic style? (10 pts)
  2. How is strategic style different than strategic leadership? (10 pts)
  3. How does strategic style guide strategic leadership? (10 pts)
  4. What is the end result of linear strategic dynamics? How is the output related to the input? (10 pts)
  5. What is the end result of nonlinear strategic dynamics? How is the output related to the input? (10 pts)
  6. How does organizational inertia affect a corporation’s response to nonlinear strategic dynamics? (10 pts)
  7. How did Intel manage DRAM, a P‐independent industry change? Also define P‐(20 pts)
  8. How did Intel manage sole sourcing to the OEMs, a P‐controlled industry change? Also define P‐ (20 pts)

 

M5D1: Strategic Intent, Strategic Plans, and Corporate Challenges

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By the end of this activity you will be able to:

  1. Define the strategic intent of your company
  2. Correlate the strategic plans of your company to the strategic intent
  3. Determine corporate challenges for your company
  4. Manage your company’s strategic intent such that it is stable over time

R-II-15 describes strategic intent as unfettered ambition guided and monitored by an active management process. Strategic intent captures the essence of winning, is stable over time, and sets a target that encourages personal effort and commitment. In contrast to strategic plans, strategic intent reveals more about tomorrow’s opportunities than about today’s problems. Only with a carefully articulated and adhered to strategic intent will succession of year-on-year plans sum up to global leadership.

Read R-II-15: “Strategic Intent” (pages 577 – 587)

Discuss the strategic intent of your company and the method by which it is currently implemented and conveyed to all employees. Also discuss this year’s strategic plan and how it guides and monitors the strategic intent. State two corporate challenges that could be added to next year’s strategic plan such that the strategic intent is realized. Address the questions posed under “Questions to Consider”.

Questions to Consider for the Discussion:

  1. How is the strategic intent stated such that it captures the essence of winning?
  2. Where is strategic intent documented and how is it conveyed to all employees?
  3. How can strategic intent be managed such that it is stable over time?
  4. What kinds of corporate challenges can be set such that strategic intent is encouraged throughout the company?
  5. Can strategic planning hamper strategic intent?

 

 

 

 

 

M5D2: Four Approaches to Competitive Advantage

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By the end of this activity you will be able to:

  1. Identify layers of advantage in your company
  2. Identify loose bricks in the walls of your competitor’s
  3. Determine when and how to change the terms of competitive engagement
  4. Determine when collaboration is prudent

R-II-15 discusses four approaches to competitive innovation that will help to achieve corporate strategic intent. These include building layers of advantage, searching for loose bricks, changing the terms of engagement, and competing through collaboration. Building layers of advantage addresses the benefits of a wide portfolio of resources such that a company faces less risk in competitive battles. Finding loose bricks in the competitor’s wall of defense is necessary to break in to markets and challenge competitors. Changing the terms of engagement involves changing the terms of competitive engagement in any advantageous way while still manufacturing and selling products and services. Collaboration of smaller companies in order to combine resources allows smaller companies to be competitive in oligopoly type markets.

Read R-II-15: “Strategic Intent” (pages 577 – 588)

For this discussion, document how your company has applied the four approaches to competitive advantage, addressing the questions posed under “Questions to Consider”.

Questions to Consider for the Discussion:

  1. When was your company established, and what resources have they integrated during their history?
  2. How has your company staked out under defended territory of their competitors?
  3. How has your company changed the terms of competitive engagement with their competitors?
  4. How has your company collaborated with other companies when bidding on contracts?
  5. Is your company a collaboration of older firms?

 

 

 

M6A1: Essay: “Managing the Internal Corporate Venturing Process”

Part III Introduction: “Enactment of Technology Strategy-Developing A Firm’s Innovative Capabilities” describes innovation challenges within established firms in terms of innovative opportunities arising in the induced process versus innovative opportunities which arise autonomously. In small firms corporate strategy and strategic action are tightly linked, while in large firms the link between strategy and action must be secured. Management challenges are especially posed by autonomous innovative opportunities. The article describes nine different management alternatives for managing autonomous innovative opportunities in a large firm.

R-III-13: “Managing the Internal Corporate Venturing Process: Some Recommendations for Practice” describes internal corporate venturing (ICV) as an important avenue for corporate growth and diversification that is difficult to manage. The article describes major problems in the ICV process at three levels of management: group or venture leader, division management, and corporate management. Major problems of core processes fall into two arenas, definition and impetus. Recommendations are given for responsibilities of personnel in the effort to manage core process problems.

Outcomes

  1. Describe the evolutionary framework of the strategy making process in established firms
  2. Recognize and evaluate the uncertainty that constrains the ability to predict the value of radically new technologies
  3. Select a design alternative for an internal entrepreneurial initiative
  4. Identify classic problems in ICV core processes at all levels of management
  5. Invoke measures to circumvent classic ICV core process problems

Instructions

  • Read: Part III Introduction: “Enactment of Technology Strategy-Developing A Firm’s Innovative” Capabilities (pages 703-717)
  • Read: R-III-13: “Managing the Internal Corporate Venturing Process: Some Recommendations for Practice” (pages 955-965)
  • Answer the following Comprehensive Questions below

Questions:  Part III Introduction: “Enactment of Technology Strategy-Developing A Firm’s Innovative Capabilities”

  1. What is induced strategic action? Give an example. (2 pts)
  2. What is autonomous strategic action? Give an example. (2 pts)
  3. Describe in your own words the five dimensions of the fundamental uncertainty that constrain the ability to predict the value of radically new technologies. Give an example of each. (15 pts)
  4. Why are autonomous strategic initiatives a challenge for management? (6 pts)
  5. What are the nine design alternatives for internal entrepreneurial initiatives? For each design alternative, summarize in two to three statements when it should be utilized. (25 pts)

QuestionsRIII13:  “Managing the Internal Corporate Venturing Process: Some Recommendations for Practice” 

  1. Regarding ICV, what are problematic aspects of the core processes at each management level? Refer to Exhibits 1 and 2 on page 956. Describe each of the six individually. (30 pts)
  2. For the six core processes listed in Exhibit 3 (page 960) which do you believe will be both easy to implement and effective? Explain your reasoning. (10 pts)
  3. For the six core processes listed in Exhibit 3 (page 960) which do you believe will be the most effective but difficult to implement? Explain your reasoning. (10 pts)

 

M6D1: The Transfer of Technology from Research to Development

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By the end of this activity you will be able to:

  1. Recognize and evaluate factors that determine the likelihood of successful technology transfer from research to development
  2. Predict the likelihood of successful technology transfer from research to development

R-III-5, a study conducted by IBM’s Research Division, discusses factors to be considered to successfully transfer technology from a research department to a development department, as well as recommendations for successful transfer. Factors include technical understanding of the research and product application relationship, feasibility of the research and product application, growth potential, and timeliness. Recommendations for successful transfer include a dedicated advanced technology group for technology transfer and joint participation by research and development while the project is still in research. R-III-5 also presents 18 studies that were transferred successfully, not transferred, or not transferred successfully.

Read R-III-5: “The Transfer of Technology from Research to Development” (pages 738 – 745)

R-III-5 lists eight primary factors and six secondary factors that affect the successful transfer from research to development. For a current research application of your choice, identify the challenges involved in regards to two primary factors and one secondary factor when transferring the technology from research to development, addressing the questions posed under “Questions to Consider”. 

Questions to Consider for the Discussion:

  1. Why is it important to have joint participation by research and development while the project is still in research?
  2. Why does transfer occur when outsiders recognize the value of the technology?
  3. How are feasibility and timeliness related?
  4. What tactics can an advocate use to sell the results of research?
  5. How large must a company be for internal users to be a secondary factor?

 

 

 

M6D2: Note On Lead User Research

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By the end of this activity you will be able to:

  1. Practice your own innovative skills
  2. Plan Stages I and II of a Lead User Study
  3. Identify and characterize Lead Users

R-III-8 describes how the potential of alternative uses of research can be determined methodically. Lead Users are defined as consumer groups who lead with respect to cutting edge applications of important markets and technical trends. Stages of a Lead User study are discussed which include project planning, trends/needs identification, preliminary concept generation, and final concept generation.

Read R-III-8: “Note On Lead User Research” (pages 799 – 805)

For this discussion, tell us about a possible alternative market for an existing technology. Identify the type of Lead User and outline Stages I and II of a Lead User Study that should be conducted to give a first approximation of the alternative market potential, addressing the questions posed under “Questions to Consider”.

Questions to Consider for the Discussion:

  1. What are the characteristics of Lead Users?
  2. What are the three types of Lead Users?
  3. What resource commitments are required for the level of innovation that will support the alternative market?
  4. How can Stage II: Trends/Needs Identification be conducted in a quantitative and scientific fashion?
  5. Why is ‘Testing the Concepts’ not a stage of the Lead User Study?

 

M7A1: Essay: “Enactment of Technology Strategy”

Part IV Introduction: “Enactment of Technology Strategy-Creating and Implementing a Development Strategy” how development projects are traditionally managed and states the bases as to why so many fail and/or not completed on time. It describes six phases of a development project and claims that traditionally management attention and influence is heavy in the end phases of the project when they should be focused at the beginning phases of the project for success. The article suggests the development strategy leadership approach for senior management at the onset of projects in order to determine the best set of projects to pursue. Four team structures are defined with recommendations for the types of development projects each is best suited for. Guidance for post process learning is also presented.

Outcomes

Completing this activity will enable you to:

  1. Allocate management attention and influence at the correct phases of the development project
  2. Select the optimum aggregate of development projects
  3. Structure development teams appropriately, ensuring greatest efficiency
  4. Complete successful development projects on time

Instructions

  • Read: Part IV Introduction: “Enactment of Technology Strategy-Creating and Implementing a Development Strategy” (pages 989-1005)
  • Answer the following Comprehensive Questions below

Questions:  Part IV Introduction: “Enactment of Technology Strategy-Creating and Implementing a Development Strategy”

  1. What are the three areas of promise associated with the commercialization of new products and processes, that is, of successful development projects? Give a specific example of each. (15 pts)
  2. According to Exhibit 2, successful development projects occur when attention and influence by management is allocated at the onset of development projects, not in the prototype building, pilot production, and manufacturing ramp‐up phases. Traditionally why is management resources focused at the end phases of the project? (10 pts)
  3. What are shortcomings of go/no‐go decisions on a handful of projects by senior management? What does the development strategy leadership approach entail? (10 pts)
  4. Regarding the widening of the mouth of the funnel theory when creating an aggregate set of projects, it is encouraged to investigate alternatives before making the go/no‐go decisions on just a few. How can these costs be justified to pure financial branches of management who may well see this as a waste? (10 pts)
  5. State the characteristics of a functional team structure. What type of development project is a functional team structure best suited for? (10 pts)
  6. State the characteristics of an autonomous team structure. What type of development project is an autonomous team structure best suited for? (10 pts)
  7. State the characteristics of a light weight team structure. What type of development project is a light weight team structure best suited for? (10 pts)
  8. State the characteristics of a heavy weight team structure. What type of development project is a heavy weight team structure best suited for? (10 pts)
  9. Three post project learning elements are required to successfully learn from past projects.  Describe how each of these could be executed in a firm. They are:
    • Step 1:   The need for learning must be recognized
    • Step 2:   Identify, analyze, capture and incorporate lessons learned
    • Step 3:   The additional resources identified in Step 2 for future projects must be allocated (15 pts)

 

 

 

M7D1: Communication Between Engineering and Production: A Critical Factor

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By the end of this module you will be able to:

  1. Evaluate the complete impact of design changes
  2. Differentiate the types of engineering documentation required for a product
  3. Determine the level of detail of documentation required for a product
  4. Allocate engineering resources effectively

R-IV-1 discusses the importance of communication and cooperation between engineering design and engineer production such that optimum products can get to market quickly.  Stages of the design-production process are described which include design, prototype, pilot, and production, as well as the design freeze cut-off point whence the design is formally frozen. Engineering documentation, which includes drawings, bills of material, schematics, and assembly prints, is a form of engineering communication that is costly to initially create as well as to maintain, so must be judiciously generated. Bills of material must be complete for effective inventory control and planning. Changes to a product will always include both benefits and costs, thus must be thought through carefully before implemented.

Read R-IV-1: “Communication Between Engineering and Production: A Critical Factor” (pages 1007 – 1012)

R-IV-1 discusses cost and benefit tradeoffs of design changes. A small design change of a product may enhance a product in ways such as cost or weight, but also may result in increased manufacturing, maintenance, loss of inventory, and loss of quality. For a small design change of a product that you are aware of, such as going from a metal to a plastic part on a product, discuss the cost and benefit tradeoffs from both the design viewpoint and the production viewpoint, addressing the questions posed under “Questions to Consider”. Also consider documentation costs.

Questions to Consider for the Discussion:

  1. What is value engineering? Give an example.
  2. What is the fundamental characteristic of the design freeze point?
  3. When is highly detailed documentation required?
  4. What are the costs involved with obsolete inventory?
  5. Why is it judicious to batch engineering change requests?

 

M7D2: Accelerating the Design-Build-Test Cycle for Effective New Product Development

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By the end of this activity you will be able to:

  1. Set up team interaction using the most appropriate communication model for the task
  2. Minimize the number of design-build-test cycles performed by the development team you are responsible for
  3. Ensure your development team produces more timely, high quality products
  4. Select emerging technologies that allows your development team to perform efficiently

R-IV-7 discusses the competitive advantages a firm may gain by developing high quality products rapidly, which includes market shares and margins. This may be done by accelerating the iterative design-test-build cycle, as well as limiting the number of cycles needed, by appropriate communication channels and advanced design tools. Four models of communication are discussed in R-IV-7: Serial/Batch, Early Start in the Dark, Early Involvement, and Integrated Problem Solving. The choices firms make regarding communication between upstream and downstream groups and how to link the actual work in time shapes the nature of cross-functional integration of the development process and the success of the project.

Read R-IV-7: “Accelerating the Design-Build-Test Cycle for Effective New Product Development” (pages 1128 – 1139)

Four models of communication are discussed in R-IV-7: Serial/Batch, Early Start in the Dark, Early Involvement, and Integrated Problem Solving. In your discussion, an example of a product development project that would be suited for each of these communication models, addressing the questions posed under “Questions to Consider”. Also consider documentation costs. Consider that, though necessary communication of utmost importance, unnecessary communication is a waste of resources.

Questions to Consider for the Discussion:

  1. What are advantages due to developing high quality products rapidly for a firm?
  2. What is meant by ‘framing the problem’?
  3. What can be done to minimize the number of design-build-test cycles?
  4. Which model of communication requires the least resources?
  5. Which model of communication may result in more costly mistakes?

M8D1: Challenges Facing Established Firms

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By the end of this activity you will be able to:

  1. Allot resources to optimally pursue new opportunities
  2. Allot resources to successfully grasp existing opportunities

Challenges face established firms in regards to innovative technology. Three challenges include 1) working on existing opportunities; 2) pursuing future opportunities; and 3) optimally balancing the firm’s resources to work on the existing while pursing the future opportunities.

Read Part V Conclusion: “Innovation Challenges in Established Firms” (pages 1139 – 1159)

In light of the questions posed under “Questions to Consider”, describe how your firm allots and distributes resources for innovative technology opportunities. Link their actions to corporate strategy and corporate planning.

Questions to Consider for the Discussion:

  1. How does your firm allot resources to grasp existing opportunities?
  2. How does your firm allot resources to pursue future opportunities?
  3. Is the allotment of resources optimal?

 

 

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