- Research Feature
- Read Time: 15 min
Finding the expertise to handle complex, knowledge-intensive team projects is challenging. That’s where a project network comes in.
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From time to time a company’s project truly stands out, creating exceptional value and having an impact on the industry. IBM’s AS/400 development effort in the 80s was a game changer and gave IBM a competitive edge. Apple Inc.’s success in creating the iPod portable media player and iTunes online store is another more recent example of a great project — one that changed the way people listen to and buy music. Why are such projects so rare — and why can’t more projects be like them?
With complex products such as automobiles, integration is a key element of performance. That means managers must understand which activities and competencies they can safely outsource and which they need to keep.
The increase in outsourcing and offshoring of complex work has resulted in innovation efforts that require coordination across cultural, geographic and legal boundaries. If that coordination is mishandled, companies can find themselves needing to make multimillion- or even billion-dollar changes. The complexity of the task makes midcourse corrections likely. Managers must anticipate and adapt their processes in order to reduce risk and, ultimately, cost.
This article explores the process of innovation in 13 global companies. Many of the standard arguments for how to encourage innovation were confirmed, but some surprises were uncovered as well. The article organizes its key insights around five persistent “myths” that continue to haunt the innovation efforts of many companies. The five myths are: (1) The Eureka Moment; (2) Built It and They Will Come; (3) Open Innovation Is the Future; (4) Pay Is Paramount; and, (5) Bottom Up Innovation Is Best.
Best practice in product development (PD) is migrating from local collaboration to global collaboration. Global product development (GPD) represents a transformation for business, and it applies to a range of industries. The objective of this article is to present frameworks that can help companies address strategic and tactical issues when considering GPD. The concepts have been developed through discussions with more than 100 companies in 15 countries in North America, Europe and Asia.
Conventional wisdom has it that companies whose markets are being transformed by disruptive new technologies need to figure out how to switch to the new dominant technology. But two researchers argue that an alternative strategy –one that involves rethinking opportunities for the old technology — can sometimes make sense.
Andrew Lippman of the MIT Media Lab discusses the problems associated with trying to build products that will have appeal for a long time. The alternative? Build architectures that allow people to build their own products.
Two pieces of news:
1) Some companies are trying an approach to launching products that involves less up-front market research and more experimentation in the marketplace.
2) Innovation is on the agenda of the U.S.’s new CTO.
We’re all familiar with the power of volunteer contributions in the open source software movement. Now companies are finding additional ways to work with volunteer contributors.
What does it take to create a successful radical innovation within a big company? New research offers some insights.
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