Product Design and Development Management


Critical analysis relevant theories and arguments with evidence and strong literature. Require to fully understand of course notes and able to reference

Answer ONE question from Part A (Max 3,000 words) and Part B (Max 400 words)
Please state clearly which question you are answering!
Your Part A answer is worth 70% and Part B 10% of the total mark. The remaining 20% will be based on assessment of your in-course work.
Whichever question you choose, you should support your descriptions and arguments with references to relevant literature.
If in doubt please ask!

1 You have been appointed as the product design director for a medium sized company making a relatively complex electro-mechanical product for the consumer market. (The product probably has hundreds of components, suppliers make some of the sub-assemblies, but most parts are made and assembled in-house. The electronic control module is designed and made in-house and the control software is also written in-house. Currently New Product Introduction is badly organised, projects are often late and over budget, there is a lot of wasted time waiting for information and decisions)

Discuss how you would attempt to organise and manage the whole process from Concept to Delivery as effectively as possible. You might consider whether you would use lean approaches and/or project management tools and techniques. Would you introduce a structured new product introduction process such as the stage-gate process? Are there any IT systems that might help?

Describe in reasonable detail the types of work that the members of your design to manufacture team would need to undertake.

In all cases attempt to justify the decisions and choices you make about the tools and techniques you select, in other words explain why you would make each decision and what benefits you expect from using each approach.

2 Lean thinking and good project management both appear to make a contribution to more effective delivery of new products to customers. Use relevant literature to compare and contrast the two approaches. What would you say to a ‘lean thinker’ who stated that designers add value from the customer perspective but project managers don’t, are therefore a waste and should be eliminated?

3 Creative, innovative ideas and good industrial design are the keys to happy customers and profitable new product development companies. Draw upon literature to analyse this statement. You might choose to consider issues around understanding the customer requirement, form and appeal versus function, whether the product needs to be innovative and so on. You might also reflect on how the company can be organised to produce the product as efficiently as possible, thus minimising cost and maximising profit potential.

4 Use your literature survey skills to find a case study about how an individual or company brought a new product to market, for example, Sir James Dyson and his Dual Cyclone vacuum cleaner. What do you believe were the critical success factors in bringing the product to market successfully and protecting the original idea from competitors? What areas could have been improved and how?
You are required to submit no more than 400 words of reflective writing on the case study. You should identify strengths and weaknesses of the group work, how you might have done things better, and, where possible refer to the module material to identify areas of personal learning.

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