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Metrics for Managing Research and Development in the Context of the Product Family

Marc H. Meyer, Peter Tertzakian and James M. Utterback
Management Science
Vol. 43, No. 1 (Jan., 1997), pp. 88-111
Published by: INFORMS
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2634487
Page Count: 24
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Metrics for Managing Research and Development in the Context of the Product Family
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Abstract

The paper proposes methods to measure the performance of research and development in new product development. We frame these measures in the context of evolving product families in the technology-based firm. Our goal is to more clearly understand the dynamics of platform renewal and derivative product generation and their consequences for long-term success. We explore the utility of the proposed methods with data gathered from a large measurement systems manufacturer. We find that the methods and measures can help management assess the technological and market leverage achieved from the firm's present and past product platforms. This provides a foundation for transforming single-product, single-period planning processes into a multi-product, multi-period form that embraces the product family and the renewal of product architecture. The research also shows the need to integrate data from engineering, manufacturing, and sales organizations to produce information for managing the growth of the firm's product families.

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