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"In a brilliant article in Design Management Journal (Winter 1993), "The Culture(s) of Prototyping," [innovation guru Michael Schrage] declares, "Effective prototyping may be the most valuable 'core competence' an innovative organization can hope to have. "
. . .

"At its roots, the cultural gulf between the quick prototypers and the rest is profound. "The idea that you can 'play' your way to a new product," Carnegie-Mellon's Dan Droz told Schrage, "is anathema to managers educated to believe that predictability and control are essential to new product development."
. . .

"I agree with Schrage's conclusion ("strong prototyping cultures produce strong products").

Behnam Tabrizi and Kathleen Eisenhardt of Stanford's Department of Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management [discovered that] ...products that get to the market on-time (according to plan) and 50 percent over budget earn only 4 percent less than those that are on-time, on-budget; but those that get to the market six months late, even if they are on budget, do 33 percent less well than their on-time, on- budget kin. Lesson: If timing isn't quite everything, it's damn close."
. . .
"The authors offer and then test 10 hypotheses. Six underpin the compression strategy. The first, for example, is, "More time spent in planning is associated with faster product development time." The other five predict that speed will flow from greater supplier involvement, more designers using computer-aided design tools (e.g., speedier design, fewer errors), crossfunctional teams (all key functions represented within the group), overlapping steps (concurrent engineering and production, for instance) and rewarding teams for meeting schedule.
The seventh through tenth hypotheses assess the experiential strategy's trademarks; e.g., No. 7: "More design iterations are associated with faster development time." The remainder predict that development time will be cut by performing more intermediate tests, decreasing the time between milestones and relying on a powerful (high in the pecking order) leader to focus the team's efforts.
. . .
"... the calculative compression strategy was trounced by the just-do-it approach."
. . .
"More specifically, planning actually slowed the overall process (simply a waste of time), more CAD use also gummed up the works (ineffective utilization of the tool is the suspected crime). Overlapping steps, greater supplier involvement and rewards for making schedule didn't make much difference one way or the other, Among the compression-strategy variables, only the use of crossfunctional teams significantly shortened the development process."
"Of the experiential variables, more iterations, more tests and more frequent milestones all speeded things up significantly. A strong leader was helpful, though the result was not statistically significant."

Short Quote:

"Effective prototyping may be the most valuable 'core competence' an innovative organization can hope to have." --Michael Schrage
© Copyright 1995, 2007, HP Management Decisions Ltd., All Rights Reserved.

Author:Peters, Tom
Title:Quick Prototypes: Innovation's Trump Card
Place (City):
Publication Date:5/20/94
Source Type:
Quote Number:18
Categories:Prototyping, Innovation