Full citation

Datar, S., Jordan, C., Kekre, S., Rajiv, S., & Srinivasan, K. (1996). New Product Development Structures: The Effect of Customer Overload on Post-Concept Time to Market. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 13(4), 325-333.

Format: Peer-reviewed article

Type: Research — Non-experimental

Experience level of reader: Fundamental

Annotation: The paper attempts to quantify the optimal amount of customer input — enough to gain the needed voice of the customer, but not too much which can impede the NPD process. Twenty-five customers is stated as the optimal number to consult.

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

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

Knowledge user level addressed by the literature: Organization

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

Primary Findings

Method: Firms need to efficiently manage the level of customer interaction to obtain the needed information while not impeding the NPD progress. When designers receive input on the product design from no more than 25 customers, the knowledge gained is optimized with no detrimental impact on time to market. Beyond 25 customers, the time to market performance degraded quickly and at an increasing rate as function of the number of customers involved.
Case analysis of 220 new product efforts.
Occurrence of finding within the model: Step 4.11