Full citation

Adler, P. S., Mandelbaum, A., Nguyen, V., & Schwerer, E. (1996). Getting the Most out of Your Product Development Process. Harvard Business Review, 74(2), 134-152.

Format: Non-peer-reviewed article

Type: Research — Non-experimental

Experience level of reader: Fundamental

Annotation: This article presents a case study which describes a process management approach to new product development, similar to what has been done with the manufacturing process. Through extensive data mining and analysis a more efficient development process is discovered which involves cross functional staff training and best practice templates. Other top manufacturers were able to reduce their product development time by 30-50% by using process management.

Setting(s) to which the reported activities/findings are relevant: Large business, Small business (less than 500 employees)

Knowledge user(s) to whom the piece of literature may be relevant: Manufacturers

Knowledge user level addressed by the literature: Sector

This article uses the Commercial Devices and Services version of the NtK Model

Primary Findings

Barrier: Uneven workloads cause backlogs in product development.
Case Study. Example provided by a large manufacturer of electronic components.
Occurrence of finding within the model: Gate 1, Gate 2

Carrier: Use an aggregate development plan, which ranks each proposed project based on strategic importance and a rough estimate of the required resources to help avoid overburdening workloads.
Case Study.
Occurrence of finding within the model: Gate 2

Model: Use best practice templates to standardize work processes to speed up the work flow.
Case study example and other manufacturers discussed in article found this to be true.
Occurrence of finding within the model: Stage


  • Invest in tools, staff or other resources to help reduce development bottlenecks, the time to market benefits usually far outweigh the investment cost.
    Case Study. Top manufacturers have found this to be true.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: Step 4.9, Step 4.10
  • Maintain a feasible amount of development projects at one time, in order to finish projects faster.
    Case Study. Similar discovery found by top manufacturers which applied process management to their development projects.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: Step 4.7