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Turnbull, Kenneth James (2005) Multifunctional. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



The New Product Development (NPD) process in manufacturing industry, together with the application of multi functional teams in the process, has been well studied in the extant literature. Tools, and techniques used to assist project teams in NPD have also been investigated in detail. However, many of the claims of the effectiveness of 'tools’ such as Rapid Prototyping (RP) and techniques such as Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) are anecdotal in nature, lacking empirical evidence, or promoted by authors with a commercial interest in the subject. Therefore, as part of the objectives of this research to provide more empirical data, case studies were conducted over a period of 12 years in companies such as Flymo, Kenwood, and Domnick Hunter. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) were selected for the case studies to provide a rich source of quantitative and qualitative data from which some of the root causes of NPD problems were identified. A common NPD problem identified was project delays, following late changes to the specification and the product engineering. It was clear however, that not all of the changes had a negative impact on a project, indeed some teamwork studies encourage changes to improve the product value and quality. A 'penalty weighting' model to quantify the 'impact' of changes with respect to any benefits was developed to identify the most cost effective period for teamwork studies and provide an efficiency profile for each project. A strategic business approach for Rapid Prototyping activities was also presented together with a 'sub-group' methodology to encourage innovation and reduce 'front end' delays. Appropriate project management control documentation was developed for the NPD teams to support the control of various KPIs including product deliverables, product costs, capital spends and launch timing.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:2005
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Sep 2011 09:54

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