Flexible Product Development
Flexibility in the development of a new product is important because changes are to be anticipated. This comprises the customer’s requirements, how the customer might use the product, how competitors might respond, and in the new technologies being implemented in the product or in its manufacturing process. In the development of cutting-edge products frequent changes are to be expected at any time.
Contemporary management approaches tend to plan a project completely right from the start and try to avoid changes in the process then. These methodologies have strengths for mature products, but for truly innovative products such rigid processes are not effective. Flexible product development uses several techniques to make decisions at the last responsible moment and to keep the costs of change low.