A critical evaluation of product innovation management in a small to medium sized enterprise
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This research was undertaken in order to critically evaluate the Quest product innovation process and to determine if it promotes successful New Product Development (NPD) in a Small to Medium-sized Enterprise (SME). The Quest process was evaluated by comparing it to best practice reports in literature, and then by using it to develop several products in an SME environment via an action research methodology. Data was collected in the form of meeting minutes, observations of the team members, and the analysis of project documents such as financial analysis, the project time line, and stage gate reviews. The analysis of these results suggests that the Quest process contains many of the best practice NPD principles. However, this research also demonstrated that using an NPD process correctly is only one of the factors that contribute to successful NPD. This research demonstrated that there were several other factors that contributed to successful NPD that must be controlled by the project team. These were the evaluation of the products at the phase gates, the use of the NPD process intuitively to fit the needs of the project, and the understanding and inclusion of all the business disciplines, especially marketing principles. During the project a factor outside the control of the project team had a major influence on the outcome of the research. That was the change in the businesses marketing strategy from high to low risk. This move resulted in the A Critical Evaluation of Product Innovation Management in a Small to Medium Sized Enterprise project being stopped in favour of a production focused business improvement plan to reduce waste and increase productivity. This research demonstrates that there are many factors that must be managed correctly in order to achieve successful NPD.
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