Chapter 13 of the "Handbook of Research on Knowledge-intensive Organizations" by Dariusz Jemielniak (Editor) and Jerzy Kociatkiewicz (Editor) [672 pages, Information Science Reference, 27 February 2009] contains reviews of five common models of the new product development process. Chapter 13 is "Modeling the New Product Development Process: The Value of a Product Development Process Model Approach, as a means for Business Survival in the 21st Century" by Jonathan D. Owens, University of Lincoln, UK. These five models are:
- Stage-Gate model
- Multiple convergent process
- Product and cycle-time excellence
- Total design
- Third generation NPD process
Besides a brief description of each model, the author presents percieved weaknesses of each model. For example, the Stage-Gate model "encourages isolation of functional areas."
The models are characterized by generation. The phase development models of the 1960s are the first generation of defined product processes. Sometime, these are known as over-the-wall processes because development is handed to the next functional group. The second generation models are based on based upon Stage-Gate type models plus cross discipline structures. Currently, the third generation processes are relatively inadequately defined but incorporate the management practices of concurrent and simultaneous engineering.
The author reports that "Since many product development authors and practitioners have reported these positive results, it is no wonder that they are driven to try and capture the essence of good product development practices and processes. Therefore, in an effort to make the task of modeling the process more manageable, different authors have tried to summarize their complexities by generalizing and minimizing differences between companies and products. However, because of this the models are often only a representation of the process...none have been found that depict the whole of the process for NPD with explicit emphasis on customers needs compliance." (page 222)
This new product development chapter is a small portion of a knowledge management resource. It provides insights on the transition from new product development models that were more suited to command-and-control teams to inter-organization, collaboration networks. This chapter does not address how to create knowledge and transfer knowledge at the developer level.