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Selection of Product Development Flow under Uncertainty

The Article, Published by Aravindhan Karuppiah & Trishit Bandyopadhyay in Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, 5(3), 2011, 149-170, 2012

The multimedia and computer industries of the 1990s were fraught with uncertainty and turbulence. Major changes in standards, customer requirements, and technological possibilities may happen on a monthly or even a weekly basis, a time scale much shorter than even the fastest development project. Ability to manage the changes, uncertainty and at the same time being able to deliver with reduced time to market provides a distinct competitive advantage. The product development processes and management practices created for relatively stable information flow, long product life cycle and stable market are no longer capable of producing low cost and high quality products at rapid pace. This paper aims to arrive at a framework that can be used to determine optimal product development flow (sequential, concurrent, overlap) given the nature of change and uncertainty in the information flow. The framework is based on identification of product critical parameters followed by measurement of their evolution, sensitivity, precision, stability and product complexity to determine the level of uncertainty in the development.