A New Product Development Model for SMEs: Introducing Agility to the Plan-Driven Concurrent Product Development Approach

Tena Žužek, Žiga Gosar, Janez Kušar, Tomaž Berlec
2021 Sustainability  
In order to survive in today's highly competitive global market, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have had to transition from sequential to concurrent product development, which significantly shortens development cycles, reduces costs, and ensures high product quality. Despite its many benefits, concurrent product development is still based on detailed upfront planning and cannot address the challenges related to today's ever-growing uncertainty, constantly changing environment, and
more » ... table requirements. A potential solution to this problem could be in more flexible and value-driven agile project management (APM) approaches, typical of software development. In this paper, we propose a new product development model specifically appropriate for SMEs that combines concurrent product development principles with APM elements. It is designed as a loop of five repetitive steps (macroplan, microplan, iteration activities, review, and retrospective) that are being executed within individual concurrent development loops. The application of the model is presented on a real case example of process development and small batch manufacture of a complex wiring harness. The study reveals many benefits of the proposed model, such as improved communication, faster detection of discrepancies, more effective problem solving, and greater flexibility. A positive impact on project success is also observed.
doi:10.3390/su132112159 fatcat:nx6iwina4fbrlirbdexsjgf7xu