Stage 1: Define Problem and Solution

Primary findings

Secondary findings

Primary findings

Barriers

Placing creative people in NPD roles as analysts without providing them with proper training and coaching in disciplined NPD processes is only getting it half-right and likely destroy value rather than creating it. Forcing business discipline on the creative mind is a necessary element to consider.
Interview Survey. Study of 69 analysts evaluating 267 early-stage NPD projects.
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The priorities established by R&D sponsors do not necessarily reflect the highest priority needs of the target beneficiaries. Instead of representing the short-term (tactical) needs of the farmers, the sponsor's R&D priorities may instead represent long-term (strategic) needs as perceived by key actors within the sponsor agency.
Case study of agricultural R&D within The Netherlands.
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Carriers

Early stages of NPD require creativity because early ideation requires revision through branching thought processes. Identify people with high levels of creativity (reliably measured with standard instruments), and train them the Stage-Gate methods. The overall speed and productivity of typical NPD processes can be increased nine-fold over standard activity by people with low levels of creativity. Forcing business discipline on the creative mind is a key combination.
Interview survey. Study of 69 analysts evaluating 267 early-stage NPD projects.
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Models

Consider adopting the NexGen Stage-Gate process, where the NPD process has been streamlined by removing all the non-value added activites. This NexGen process is also more flexible and adaptable, where steps and stages overlap.
Authors' research experience. This new process has been borrowed from lean manufacturing.
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KT should be conceptualized as a paradigm from start to finish, as a continuum. KT is a conceptual model of how research is created, used and what impact it has. Most KT starts after a product is developed, but it should start from the conceptualization of research. The process must work with the target audience from the beginning. Further, it should know the state of research before the study occurs. Identify stakeholder groups and let them do some of the work, to ensure the research is getting out to the appropriate groups with appropriate methods.
Summary of expert panel meeting to guide future KT work sponsored by a Federal agency.
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NPD project teams have a tendency to get immersed in the product's underlying technology during the Development Phase, and sometimes even bypass understanding of market conditions and commercialization requirements until technical success is assured. Not addressing all three early and often leads to negative consequences in the NPD process.
Conclusions drawn from case studies and experience.
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Pre-Development Phases (1 — 3), along with Supplier and Customer involvement in NPD process provide two benefits: 1) Increase product quality capability; 2) Accelerate pace of development by reducing uncertainty and false starts.
Survey of 85 firms manufacturing industrial goods for the mechanical and electronic sectors.
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Summary report on the state of Assistive Technology research, development and transfer activity, sponsored by U.S. Federal agencies.
More and better-coordinated mechanisms are needed to promote the process of technology transfer and to help eliminate barriers to the transfer process. Because the field is relatively small and specialized (but one that is growing daily), federal government support is necessary. The federal government can influence and impact the availability and affordability of new assistive technologies through strategies that: • identify opportunities to spin off of other federal research and development and technology transfer activities; and • enhance existing programs to allow sharing of risk, cost and validation of new assistive technology with companies. Financial incentives are needed to help businesses bridge the technology transfer "valley of death" between commercial development of assistive technology and surviving low and slow market sales.
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Supply Push versus Demand Pull — Factors influencing the process of KT can be conceptualized in a matrix model. KT is initiated either by knowledge producers or by the system in a push configuration, or by knowledge consumers (practitioners or beneficiaries) in a pull operation. KT efforts must attend not only to what issues are being addressed and how these problems can be solved, but also to why it is important for patients and practitioners that systems changes occur.
Literature review grounded in practical experience of health care professionals.
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Methods

100% of the respondents reported their firms used the idea generation and product development stages for their new-to-the-world products.
Survey findings.
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Best Practices concerning the requirement for a sharp, early product definition prior to initiating the NPD process: 1) The benefits to be delivered to the customer — the value proposition — clearly defined. 2) The target market defined — the segment at which the product will be targeted. 3) The positioning strategy defined in the eyes of the customers versus competitive products. 4) The product concept defined — what the product will be and do. 5) Establish firm product specifications to avoid unstable specifications and scope creep which can extend time and cost of NPD process. 6) The product's features, requirements and specifications defined. 7) Using a teaming contract between the project team and management to define the product, the project and corporate expectations before the NPD process begins.
A quantitative survey of 105 business units, supported by team's experience in NPD modeling, consultation, application and analysis.
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Comparing Academic and Corporate inventors, each identified the process elements within three categories: 1) Most Critical: Academics — none/Corporate — customer needs analysis. 2) Most Time Consuming: Academics — documentation of design work in technical memos/Corporate — Beta testing. 3) Most Problematic: Academics — technical problems arising during development; testing, data analysis, evaluation, and reporting/Corporate — Defining the market and its growth potential.
Eleven structured interviews involving five academics, five corporate and one hybrid approach, where each mapped their individual approach to NPD drawing from a set of Stage and Step activities.
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Exxon/Mobil lists a key lesson as: Include significant marketing resources early in the NPD cycle. This helps avoid commercial failures that were championed only by the technical side of the company.
Industry experience.
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Four Best Practices in the NPD process are: 1) Emphasis on pre-Development homework. The fuzzy front end of NPD is considered most problematic. This is where the new product idea is fleshed out into a clear product definition; that the magnitude of the opportunity is assessed, and the business case constructed, and the action plan for the NPD process is mapped. How much homework is enough? On average, twelve percent of the project's total cost (labor, material, equipment) is spend on Up-front Homework before the Development begins.
A quantitative survey of 105 business units, supported by team's experience in NPD modeling, consultation, application and analysis.
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Implement Balanced Matrix structure in conjunction with formal new product development process.
Surveys and interviews revealed clearer goals, priorities and tasks, stronger team cultures, and increased commitment.
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Important to identify a problem amendable to technology-based solutions (Stage 1.2), propose a solution (Stage 1.3), and determine the scope of the project (1.4). Lacking in this case is input from all relevant stakeholder groups (Stage 1.1), or consideration of a future path to market (Stage 1.5).
Description of technology-based research, development and testing conducted through Federal grant funding.
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In general, the earliest four stages of the NPD process are done the least well and provide the greatest opportunity for improvement. These include the vision and strategy development, as well as the pre-development NPD activity where the initial concept is shaped, along with the preliminary and detailed analysis.
Interview survey. Study of 69 analysts evaluating 267 early-stage NPD projects.
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Intensity of planning is the most influential factor (in new product development project success). The value of intensive project planning is hardly affected by technological newness, as both interaction effects are very small and not significant.
Survey of 475 research and development projects
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Maintaining sufficient lead time over competitors has a positive impact on market share. Similarly, lagging has a negative impact on market share. Lead and lag time is particularly significant during volume production and concept generation stages, and less significant during the prototype development stage.
Survey. High statistical significance.
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Make sure that the team is led by persons with significant decision making responsibility (power), cognitive ability to creatively handle multiple factors and adequate management skill in order to improve product concept effectiveness.
Authors report significant and robust link [link 4+ link 3] in the integrated model, between this method and product effectiveness and thereby to financial success. Actual results not reported.
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Must be aware that examining product effectiveness as compared to productivity outcomes or marketplace performance will correlate higher with NPD success and cross functional integration
Meta-analysis. β = .185, p < .01
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Ongoing research using LISREL modeling based on data from over 350 companies, or strategic business units (by de Brentani, Kleinschmidt, and Salomo, forthcoming) shows that having a formal NPD process has a strong and positive indirect impact on outcome — via the NPD routines actually carried out.
Authors own research efforts
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Senior Management to NPD Committee — envisioning — The communication that occurs in this stage can be explained using ‘engagement’ capability. Engagement capability encompasses commitment formation, motivating, enthusing and path finding. It is this capability that the CEOs and GMs interviewed talk about in order for the NPD process to occur successfully.
Case study analysis
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Substantial research on user-orientation in NPD is concerned with maintaining a market orientation during the conduct of development processes, which focuses on the the expressed needs of current customers. Since this may lead to a successive series of incremental innovations, it is also important to maintain a learning orientation which challenges assumptions and integrates new information.
Literature review.
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The basic idea of participatory ergonomics is that the workers/users themselves actively partake as designers, generate ideas and design their (own) working environment or living space. By being engaged in the process of change, people can actively contribute to the solution of their own problems.
Literature review.
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The primary drivers of performance appear to be: 1. Cross-functional Involvement and good interfacing between those involved in undertaking NPD. 2. Developing a profile of defined product/market arenas to direct new product ideation and investment in R&D and marketing capabilities. 3. Provision of adequate resources for undertaking NPD. 4. Leadership and organization of projects including the use of product champions and enabling managers the flexibility to make decisions relating to NPD activities. 5. A strong market orientation that links both customer and competitor insights into the NPD process for improved decision-making. 6. A high level of senior management involvement in order to illustrate to employees that management is committed to successful NPD outcomes. 7. Undertaking up-front homework including appropriate project screening and evaluation activities, concept development and testing, and preliminary market and technical testing.
Survey. Results from questionnaire analysis.
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To capture the actual activities of product innovation, it is necessary to distinguish between two types of planning: 1) Pre-decision business planning and 2) Post-decision project planning. At the beginning of the NPD process, information is gathered with the aim of evaluating the innovative idea and developing an initial understanding of the business case. This early-stage planning involves a number of scanning and analyzing activities that can be subsumed under the term business planning.
Analysis of data collected from 132 NPD projects.
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To ensure compliance with the FDA's Quality System Regulation, medical device manufacturers should use a structured product development process to instill discipline in the product life cycle. A hierarchical approach arranges activity from Stages (phases) to Steps to Activities and finally to Tasks. Each Stage has a unique theme and set of deliverables. For example: Stage 0 — Concept Research. This stage identifies new market opportunities, determines customer needs and conducts high-level evaluations of the opportunity and its strategic fit. This activity concludes with the management approval of an integrated business plan for the project, which is then updated at the conclusion of each subsequent stage.
Summary of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's regulations for the research and development process underlying Medical Device manufacturing.
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When measuring the success of NPD, use objective measures, such as sales or profits, instead of subjective measures
Meta-analysis. β = -.381, p < .01 (see Table 2 — H9)
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Measures

A sample of measurement items for new product development proficiency and organizational integration are shared. All items are rated on a seven-point Likert scale. See tables within the text for actual measurement items.
Survey of 45 firms in heavy construction industry.
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Conduct a need/usage context analysis with lead product users to gain insights into new product opportunities. Although this technique is helpful for big picture questions, more specific marketing questions should be answered by combining other measures.
Literature Review
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Obtain expert opinions to inform early go/ no-go decisions. Experts can provide insight regarding changing market conditions and potential consumer acceptance of products. However, managers must be aware of the potential for biases.
Literature Review
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Scenario analysis and information acceleration techniques can be used to forecast future needs and desires and to simulate impending market conditions.
Literature Review
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Survey consumers to obtain purchase intentions. Managers must note that changes in the marketplace and long spans of time between testing and product release may impact the reliability of such results.
Literature Review
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Survey consumers to produce multi attribute models that inform the relative importance of product functions and features, as well as its position in the marketplace.
Literature Review
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Tips

A high-quality new product process is a key factor among successful businesses. However, the process must possess a few key attributes. It must include early technical and market assessments, leading to the development of a business case, prior to the initiation of development activities. It must define all aspects of the product including the market and the product's position within competition. There must be tough go/kill decision points where weak projects are rejected. Quality of execution of the process is paramount, and deliverables for each gate should be pre-defined early on. The process must also be flexible.
Survey of 161 business units.
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Another primary contributor to product success is strategic focus. Firms should choose projects that build upon the firm's existing technological, marketing, and organizational competencies. When new ventures are undertaken, the firm must consider and perhaps minimize where possible one or more dimensions of newness.
Survey of 172 electronics products
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Be effective in using certain types of information and different information sources and use cross-functional integration between functions and departments. These practices will lead to higher NPD performance.
Claim was stated based on responses from case studies and the literature review.
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Best performers address the following elements of a portfolio management strategy: 1) Seek a portfolio that contains high value-to-the-business projects. Identify those projects by seeking better information, particularly market, competitive and pricing information, early on in the process. 2) Seek the right balance of projects (long-term versus short-term; high vs low risk; etc). Seek the right number of projects so that available resources can meet the demands of accepted projects.
Survey of 105 U.S. companies
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Consider that service products benefit more strongly from CFI than goods.
Meta-analysis. Significant moderating effect on CFI-product success relationship when Services are produced (vs. for goods)
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During the engineering of a system, about 20% of the actual life cycle cost for the system has been spent, but about 80% of the life cycle cost of the system is committed based upon the decisions that have been made during the engineering process. Mistakes due to an improper definition of decisions made in this front end of the system life cycle can have substantially negative impacts on the total cost of the system and its success with the users and bill payers.
Case studies and interviews
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Effectively retrieve information from past product development projects and maintain high levels of functional integration to achieve proficiency in product prototype development and product launch.
Survey. Significance found for interaction between functional integration and retrieving for prototype development proficiency (F=6.74, p<.01) and product launch proficiency (F=4.18, p<.05)
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Frequent or infrequent meetings can be used to help integrate manufacturing personnel into cross-functional teams. This integration of manufacturing serves to inform other units of manufacturing constraints (i.e. assembly and testing requirements) and ensure that manufacturing personnel are aware of long range plans. Regular meetings early in the process also help to ensure that manufacturing will have the necessary production equipment in place at the appropriate time.
Interviews with four high-tech firms.
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Including manufacturing personnel in cross-functional teams early on in the NPD process can be highly beneficial. Enables potential problems to be uncovered and addressed before they become too costly; ensures that production processes will be available to produce selected product features; helps other departments to understand manufacturing capabilities and limitations.
Interviews with four high-tech firms.
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Logic models are useful to any person trying to plan, manage, account for, audit, evaluate, or explain the connections between what a program requests in terms of resources and what it seeks to accomplish.
Case study
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Select project managers based on skills instead of level of seniority or previous positions. Give managers responsibility for entire new product development process — from beginning to end.
Results of structured interviews and surveys among staff members.
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The odds inherent NPD are shown in the universal success curve as 1 in 300 at idea submission, 1 in 125 after patent granted, 1 in 9 during early stage development, 1 in 4 during major development and still only 1 in 1.7 (60%) at commercial launch, success is almost assuredly not on the original path chosen at the outset of the project. There remains a need for creative and non-linear thinking throughout the NPD process.
Interview survey. Study of 69 analysts evaluating 267 early-stage NPD projects.
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To be accepted in earlier phases of the new product development process, manufacturing personnel must focus on establishing credibility with other business units. This can be done by: planning to satisfy down-stream requests from product planning and design; developing a mutual understanding of expectations for all parties; providing useful cost estimates; and developing a common knowledge base.
Interviews with four high-tech firms.
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When developing a new product process, firms must take care to benchmark their performance against other firms. At the very least, firms should evaluate their own performance on a set of metrics - such as the ten metrics and 48 measures used in this paper's research. The metrics include success rate, percentage of sales by new products, profitability relative to spending, technical success rating, sales impact, profit impact, meeting sales objectives, meeting profit objectives, profitability versus competitors, and overall success.
Survey of 161 business units.
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Secondary findings

Carriers

Creativity is seen as an important personality trait for NPD analysts because a lack of meaningful product uniqueness has been found to be the number one reason why new products fail.
Source: Crawford (1977). In: Stevens, G., Burley, J., & Divine, R. (1999)

Reducing R&D and Marketing uncertainty during the Planning Stages (NtK Stages 1-3), as opposed to during the Development Stages (NtK Stages 4-6), has a greater impact on the eventual success of the innovation. Therefore, project teams should allocate more effort in cross-functional information acquisition and processing during the planning stage, that is customary.
Source: Moenart, et al (1995). R&D/marketing communication during the fuzzy front-end. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 42: 243-258.. In: Song, X.M., Thieme, R.J., & Xie, J. (1998)

Models

An NPD Model shows that technical and marketing activities complement each other at each stage of the NPD process, which takes place within an environment defined by the firm, the marketplace, and the nature of the project itself.
Source: Cooper (1980). In: Calantone, R.J., diBenedetto, C.A. (1988)

Companies adopting market orientation understand deeply the explicit and latent needs of their customers, share this information widely throughout the company, and coordinate activities to create superior customer value.
Source: Shapiro, 1988; Kohli & Jaworski, 1990; Narver & Slater, 1990; Deshpande et al, 1993. In: Shum, P., & Lin, G. (2007)

Innovations do not result from discrete events, but primarily through problem-solving processes.1
Source: Dosi (1982). In: Amara, N., & Landry, R. (2005)

Since the Assistive Technology sector lacks sufficient infrastructure and funding to support a heavy R&D investment, technology transfer is playing — and will play — an ever greater role in meeting the demand for more effective and less costly AT applications. Given the persistent lack of resources, incentives, and networks among AT companies to tap productively into Government, University and Industry technology transfer opportunities.
Source: Lane, Joseph (1999) Understanding Technology Transfer. Assistive Technology. 11, 1, 5-19. In: Interagency Committee on Disability Research, Washington, DC (2000)

The NPD process generally includes the following phases: idea generation, concept definition (where the original idea is translated into terms of the attributes and functions perceived by the customers), product concept test (to identify important attributes and improve the product concept), preliminary design, detailed design, prototyping and early modifications made during the pilot production phase before market launch.
Source: Clark & Fujimoto (1991). In: Filippini, Roberto Salmaso, Luigi & Tessarolo, Paolo (2004)

The NPD process is characterized by uncertainty, it requires problem solving cycles, and it involves the creation and use of new knowledge.
Source: Brown and Eisenhardt (1995); Murmann (1994). In: Filippini, Roberto Salmaso, Luigi & Tessarolo, Paolo (2004)

Methods

Creating user ownership of the R&D process and its outputs, requires early and continued involvement in the entire R&D process.
Source: Johnson et al (2003). In: Klerkx, Laurens & Leeuwis, Cees (2007)

Customer knowledge, customer access, and competitor knowledge are central to the marketing capabilities that must be drawn upon in the NPD process. These capabilities are built on a profound understanding of customer needs and factors that influence these needs.
Source: Kohli & Jaworski (1990). In: Marsh, S.J., & Stock, G.N. (2003)

Several factors help reduce overall NPD time including strategic factors such as reducing product complexity, stating strategic intent, minimizing technical difficulties, and increasing co-development with suppliers.
Source: Griffin (1997a). In: Filippini, Roberto Salmaso, Luigi & Tessarolo, Paolo (2004)

The most significant differences between successful and unsuccessful products lie in the quality of execution of the first few stages of NPD — simply stated, the first few plays of the game seem to decide the outcome. Attention should be focused on the first three stages where we determine what should be developed.
Source: Cooper (1988); Cooper (1993). In: Stevens, G., Burley, J., & Divine, R. (1999)

There are multiple strategies for generating new product ideas including benchmarking, user observation, lead user analysis and analogic thinking. Of these techniques, analogic thinking has the greatest theoretical support as the driver of truly innovative thought.
Source: Perkins (1997). In: Dahl, D.W., & Moreau, P. (2002)

Measures

A universal success curve shows that the odds of commercial success for substantially new products averages 1 in 300 at the idea submission stage (or at patent disclosure stage), and 1 in 125 at the small project stage (or after a patent is granted). After the detailed analysis of Stage 4, the odds of success are 1 in 9 (11%). Even when the project reaches the stage of major development, the odds of success are typically no greater than 1 in 4 (25%). At the commercial launch stage the odds of success are still only 1 in 1.7 (60%). This success rate curve has remained essentially unchanged in the last 40 years.
Source: Stevens & Burley (1997). In: Stevens, G., Burley, J., & Divine, R. (1999)

Measures of Organizational Integration, NPD Proficiency and new product success
Source: Price, 1972; Pinto & Pinto, 1991; Ruekert and Walker, 1987a, 1987b; Miller and Friesen, 1982; Souder, 1981. In: Millson, M.R. & Wilemon, D. (2006)

Tips

Application of integrative tools for new product development.
Source: Hauer & Clausing, 1988; Natter et al, 1001; Hauer, 1993. In: Natter, M. & Mild, A. (2003)

Consider Pre-development planning, product advantage, clear product concept.
Source: Cooper & Kleinschmidt, 1987, 1993. In: Brown, S.L. & Eisenhardt K.M. (1995)

Effective, accurate and timely knowledge management which involves the recording, retrieving, and reviewing of detailed information on past product development projects will affect performance of new product development projects.
Source: Lynn, Reily, and Akgun (2000); Lynn, Simpson, and Souder (1997); Lynn, Skov, and Abel (1999). In: Sherman, J. D., Berkowitz, D., & Souder, W. E. (2005)

Evidence from the problem-solving literature suggests that people confronted with a creative task, search through a space of possibilities in memory, hoping to access useful information. The process is an attempt to transfer information from familiar, existing categories (base domains), and us it in the construction of their new idea (target domain).
Source: Perkins (1997). In: Dahl, D.W., & Moreau, P. (2002)

Project level success factors can be complemented by a set of higher order or strategic program-level factors, which are perhaps preconditions for sustained innovation. These preconditions are: (1) top management’s commitment to and visible support for innovation; (2) long-term strategy in which innovation plays a key role; (3) long-term commitment to major projects based on considerations of future market penetration and growth rather than short-term ROI criteria; (4) corporate flexibility and responsiveness to change; (5) top management acceptance of risk and an associated need for sensible termination criteria; and, (6) creation of an innovation-accepting, entrepreneurship-accommodating culture.
Source: Rothwell (1994). In: Reid, M. (2001)

Reid and Brentani have argued that a better understanding of the fuzzy front end can ultimately lead to competitive advantage, since actions taken to improve the NPD process at the fuzzy front end, when the NPD process is still at the idea stage, are more cost-efficient than actions taken during actual implementation of a product idea.
Source: Reid and Brentani (2004). In: Brun, E., & Saetre, A.S. (2008)