Distributed new product development project based on internet and world-wide web: A case study


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Distributed new product development project based on internet and world-wide web: A case study
Journal of Product Innovation Management
Hameri, A.-P., Nihtilä, J. 
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The deluge of hype about the wonders of the Internet, Intranets, and the World Wide Web continues unabated. At the same time, we hear numerous tales about endless streams of busy signals, broken connections, and painfully slow response times. Surveying the apparent gap between the promise and the often-painful reality, a skeptical manager might reasonably question whether this technology can satisfy the rigorous demands of business users such as product development project teams.
In a case study of a large, geographically distributed product development project, Ari-Pekka Hameri and Jukka Nihtilä find that Web-based applications can play an important role in new-product development (NPD) efforts. Particularly when projects involve numerous teams from various locations, such tools can provide effective media for communicating and disseminating information. The case study also suggests that these networked information technology (IT) applications can offer important benefits in terms of project and process management.
The project described in this study involves a major NPD collaboration, with several independent subprojects and hundreds of team members from various research institutes and companies. The Internet and the World Wide Web provide the media for managing and disseminating project data. Using hypertext links, the Web-based system gives team members easy access to engineering drawings, 3D models, parameter lists, prototype test results, and other engineering information. The point-and-click interface also allows team members to access information about the project structure and schedules, as well as meeting notes, newsgroups, and electronic bulletin boards.
Analysis of the file-transfer activities between the Web server and the project groups highlights several important points regarding networked IT applications, information sharing, and project management. First, the system used in this project serves primarily for disseminating information, rather than for fostering collaboration between different groups. Increased collaboration among networked team members probably requires more sophisticated version- and configuration-management capabilities. Second, file-transfer activities typically come in bursts around project milestones; this highlights the essential role that project milestones play in coordinating the work of distributed team members. The electronic media enhance not only the work leading up to milestones, but also the dissemination of decisions made at each milestone.
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19/11/2007 10:28
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20/08/2019 13:33
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