Step 5.3

Test alpha prototype models under controlled lab conditions.

Primary findings

Secondary findings

Primary findings

Barriers

Organizing knowledge into a universal format for efficient transfer strips away significant meaning such as local relevance and other idiosyncrasies.
Literature review findings
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Users comparing two similar products may presume that the more attractive design is functionally superior even when presented with written or verbal evidence to the contrary.
Controlled experiment findings
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Brand identity takes precedence over information even when consumers are presented with facts about performance.
Controlled experiment findings
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Limitation on Consumer contribution — Users might not be willing to contribute to radical innovation projects (barrier of NOT WANTING), due to high anticipated cost of switching from familiar, and fear that user's existing knowledge may become obsolete.
Literature review and case study.
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Limitations on Consumer contribution — Cognitive limitations can hinder the ability of users to delivery valuable input (barrier of NOT KNOWING), due to: 1) Users can be functionally fixed on their current use context; 2) Difficult to evaluate concepts and prototypes when no reference product exists; 3) High technological complexity can limit value of input.
Literature review and case study.
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Users, and in particular consumers, are often not able to articulate their need for really innovative products, because their thinking is framed by the products currently on the market. Also, reactions of potential users when confronted with highly innovative new product concepts are not always reliable, as they may find it difficult to imagine the use of these innovative products in their daily lives.
Literature review.
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Carriers

Face to face interactions are superior means of achieving tactic value such as relationship building and individual professional development. 
Literature review findings
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Firms need to establish a competence in how to systematically identify consumers who are willing and able to contribute to radical innovation in NPD, and how to effectively and efficiently interact with them: 1) Know which users are capable of providing valuable input to innovation projects; 2) Know what interaction patterns with users are appropriate in innovation projects.
Literature review and cast study.
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Teams may meet with customers directly in focus group settings, to achieve a shared team understanding of who the customer is and what the customer wants.
Literature Review — 1969 — 1994.
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Methods

As ExxonMobil's NPD process progresses, marketing activities scale up from limited sampling with key customers to much more significant work in trials with customers using the new product.
Industry experience.
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Bench tests generate useful data for regulatory reviews, for creating discussion points with the regulators, and for designing the laboratory and field testing by users.
Case studies and author experience.
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Conduct market research, business analysis, prototype development and trials to reduce uncertainty, acquire information and ultimately increase new product development success.
Literature Review
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Research data from educational psychology proves people often have a very difficult time taking general concepts and translating them into specific applications. Ensuring comprehension is an important first step, but is not sufficient. One must help people apply the information, and ensure they can perform the tasks to achieve specific results. This can be done by clearly articulating what a user needs to accomplish and in what context.
Medical Device Industry experience.
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Six general themes for NPD best practice are described: (1) Instill a strategic, long-term orientation toward NPD. (2) Have a formal portfolio management process. (3) Implement a formal NPD process supported by a discipline to adhere to this process. (4) Conduct market research proactively. (5) Use cross-functional teams. (6) Utilize standardized criteria and metrics.
Generated from published studies on benchmarking data.
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Techniques for gathering voice of the customer information include: use of customer complaints, internal market research, focus groups, one-to-one interviews, phone interviews, contextual inquiry, customer behavior studies, and perceptual mapping.
Literature review and case studies
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The user-oriented product development approach is characterized by: a problem analysis of user/use requirements with a starting point in the use situation, leading to the formulation of 'user requirements'; a transformation of these user requirements into measurable engineering requirements;an iterative design where prototypes are tested by users and modified by designers.
Literature review
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User input involved an initial focus group to establish the development plan, consumer testing of the alpha prototype, and then again field testing of the beta prototype. All to ensure the device fully met the needs of the target audience.
Paper describes device design, prototype construction and testing with consumers involved at all levels.
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Utilization of market research early in the new product development process, and continuing throughout the entire development phase is critical to ensuring success.
Survey data.
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Voice of the Customer Information as a Best Practice for the NPD process: 1) Market and buyer behavior studies are a valuable source of information for planning the market launch. 2) Market research as a tool to help define the product. 3) The customer or user ought to be an integral part of the Development process. 4) Identification of customers or users real or un-articulated needs and their problems, is considered fundamental to voice-of-the-customer research, and should be a key input to product design. 5) Working with highly innovative users or customers.
A quantitative survey of 105 business units, supported by team's experience in NPD modeling, consultation, application and analysis.
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Measures

Authors recognize the important role customers play in in NPD, but also recognize the communication barriers between manufacturers and customers. They propose linking a series data capture tools in a Customer-oriented Information System (COIS). It consists of a Functional Attributes Hierarchy (FAH) which the designers use to capture key product attributes. Customer requirements are separately collected and organized in an Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) to be correlated to the FAH. Lastly, all the material is entered into a relational database which can avert the semantic gaps between the data model and the engineering designs, to better and more accurately capture customer input.
Project team created a software system to capture and reconcile input from corporate and customer sources, and then apply the system to one case example.
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Quality Function Deployment is a tool for bringing the voice of the customer into the NPD process from conceptual design through to manufacturing. A survey also found that QFD was most commonly used to clarify customer requirements and ensure those customer requirements are considered in the product engineering requirements.
Survey of 400 companies.
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Utilize DELI — a segmentation tool to be used when there are large numbers of product features and levels. Can be used to determine the most appropriate market segments for a product, the most appropriate features for a product, the most appropriate features for each market segment, and to identify relevant competition and their offerings.
DELI as a combination of multi-dimensional scaling, customer segmentation and joint –space mapping. Tested using survey data.
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Tips

By acquiring market information through direct interaction with customers, developers obtain an understanding of what customers want and are better able to integrate this information into new products intuitively.
Survey of 166 NPD firms.
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Consumers with the right qualifications to participate in radical innovation projects are highly motivated toward exploration of new rather than familiar solutions, are open to the application of new technology platforms, possess a diverse range of competencies at high levels of proficiency, and operate from within a very supportive environment.
Literature review and case study.
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Customer interaction enhances the NPD process most at the early and and late stages of product design and development. The middle stage of prototyping and bench testing should be left to the internal project staff, while customers can be kept abreast of this interim progress to keep them current. A deficit in current business practice is particularly evident in the early stages of NPD.
Field interviews and 310 survey responses from R&D managers.
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The outlined dimensions of user competence need to be differentiated according to the different stages of NPD in which the consumers are involved, such as Idea Generation activity, versus Design activity, versus Prototype testing activity.
Literature review and case study.
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Secondary findings

Carriers

To mitigate power inequalities and transcend the different cognitive and cultural worlds of participating stakeholders, an independent facilitator should guide the process and fulfill an intermediary role as a knowledge broker.
Source: Sperling & Ashby (2001); Hargadon (2002). In: Klerkx, Laurens & Leeuwis, Cees (2007)

Methods

Beta testing — Prototype testing as an input to product functionality definition.
Source: Biemans (1991). In: Dolan, RJ & Matthews, JM (1993)

Customers can evaluate the product's interface with existing operations and feedback can benefit supplying firms because such feedback alerts sellers to buyer's perceptions of salient product attributes and reduces market uncertainty.
Source: Stump, Athaide & Joshi (2002) p. 444.. In: Koufteros, X., Vonderembse, M. & Jayaram, J. (2005)

Empirical studies show that users play an important role for NPD in the field of medical technologies.
Source: Biemans, 1991; Luethje, 2003. In: Lettl, C (2007)

For demand articulation, dialogue between end-users and producers of knowledge and information, as well as other relevant stakeholders, should take place throughout the innovation process.
Source: Douthwaite et al (2001). In: Klerkx, Laurens & Leeuwis, Cees (2007)

Listening to the customer's needs early in the product development process has been identified as being critical for eventual market success.
Source: Griffin & Hauser, 1993; Hauer & Clausing, 1988; Nayak & Chen, 1993. In: Datar, S., Jordan, C.C., Kekre, S., Rajiv, S. & Srinivasan, K. (1997)

Marketing-R&D interface theory suggests that without the interface between these two functions, marketing knowledge would be underused, potentially resulting in unsuccessful products.
Source: Griffin & Hauser (1992); Gupta, Raj, & Wilemon (1986); Song & Dyer (1995); Song & Parry (1997). In: Li, T. & Calantone, R. J. (1998)

One way to integrate the “voice of the customer” is to implement quality function development (QFD). QFD emphasizes identifying customer needs and mapping them to specific product characteristics. A series of interaction matrices translates customer needs into process step specifications.
Source: Hauser & Clausing (1988) and Griffin (1992). In: Spivey, W.A., Munson, J.M., & Wolcott, J.H. (1997)

Some areas of innovation lend themselves better to participatory development than others, and different types of innovation (incremental vs. radical) call for particular competences on the part of participating end users.
Source: Sumberg et al (2003); Lettl (2007). In: Klerkx, Laurens & Leeuwis, Cees (2007)

The market research methods most frequently cited by Fortune 500 companies include: focus groups (used by 68% of companies surveyd); limited roll out (42%); concept tests (26%); show tests and clinics (19%); attitude and usage studies (19%); conjoint analysis (15%); Delphi (9%); quality function deployment (9%); home usage tests (9%); product life-cycle models (8%); and synectics (8%).
Source: Mahajan and Wind, (1992). In: May-Plumlee, T. & Little, T.J. (2006)

Tips

Among computer and medical equipment manufacturers, successful new products incorporated greater use of market information in the NPD process, while failed products used less.
Source: Ottum & Moore, 1997. In: Suwannapron, P., Speece, M (2003)

Companies must interact with customers when technology is experiencing rapid change.
Source: Day & Wensley (1988). In: Li, T. & Calantone, R. J. (1998)

Consider conducting prototype testing online because it has been found to be as effective as physical prototype testing. In addition it can be much less costly and completed in a shorter time frame.
Source: Dahan, E. & Srinivasan, V. (2000). In: Ozer, M. (2003)

The greater the customer demand, the greater the need for integration of marketing knowledge and R&D knowledge in order to fill the gap between customer requirements and product offerings.
Source: Gupta, Raj & Wilemon (1986). In: Li, T. & Calantone, R. J. (1998)