Process reengineering for the product development process at an analytical instrument manufacturer
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering.
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In an analytical instrument manufacturing company, the new product development process was analyzed with the objective of reducing time to market, to full scale production of new products and to improve project management and communication in the organization. Several problem areas were identified in the study and the thesis focuses mainly on the systems level changes that the organization would have to make in order to address the identified issues. The problem areas in the organization were the lack of categorization of development efforts, lack of a clear project plan to guide the development effort, functional integration issues and the lack of activities for process evolution. In order to address the lack of categorization of development efforts, a categorization strategy based on the product being developed and the associated deviations in the development process for each of the categories are discussed. To tackle the issue of no project plan, an up-front project planning process which should precede the development effort is laid out for the organization along with templates of the tools that could be used as aids in the process. Finally, to address the functional integration challenge, a dedicated development team that would be responsible for the project over the entire project timeline is recommended which would also help in achieving better communication across different functional units working on the same project. It is expected that the up-front work of project planning and development effort categorization would help in reducing the time to market and full scale production by having a more structured and specific development process for the new product and also by appropriately utilizing the existing knowledge in the organization. The other changes are expected to primarily advance the project management and communication challenges faced by the organization.
Thesis: M. Eng. in Manufacturing, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, 2014.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 84-85).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology