The change of NPD process triggered by the change of product architecture: A case of Japanese OEM X.

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Type de publication:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Kyoto (2014)


Heavyweight Product Manager, Japanese OEM, NPD Process, Product Architecture, product planning


In this paper, the author describes the change of NPD process triggered by an architectural shift of product in one Japanese OEM X. In OEM X, the concept of “component sharing” has changed from “carrying over” of the identical component to sharing the “form” and “structure” to achieve the shared “ideal behavior” of each system. This change came along with the change of the product planning process. OEM X introduced the process of “comprehensive planning,” which enables OEM X to optimize the midterm plan of its product line.
These changes triggered the change of whole NPD process. Before the change, the NPD process was focused to optimize the engineering drawings for each identical vehicle and the program manager took the larger role for integrating the component design into one vehicle. On the other hand, a large portion of the engineering process done for all the product in advance of the beginning of the engineering process for the identical vehicle after the architectural shift.
The change of NPD process resulted that the necessity of communication and integration led by program managers reduced in the development process of each identical vehicle. In other words, the engineers became able to design each component in a highly modularized manner.
The case implies 3 findings. 1: The change of the product architecture triggered the change of the whole NPD process of cars in the OEM into highly modularized manner. 2: The way of working of program managers is affected by the change of product architecture. 3: This case implies one effective way of NPD different from the Heavy Weight Product Manager system which Clark&Fujimoto (1991) introduced.

Copyright© Gerpisa
Concéption Tommaso Pardi
Administration Géry Deffontaines

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