Managing product development process complexity and challenges: a state-of-the art review
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Owing to the highly competitive and globalised marketplace, manufacturing industries are under tremendous pressure to reduce cost and time-to-market and yet offer a large variety of products. Consequently, the companies are compelled to operate at the lowest profit margin and shift manufacturing operations to developing countries for cost savings. Product development (PD) processes play a very significant role in achieving a competitive edge and success in new product development. However, current PD processes are not adequately upgraded nor equipped with efficient design tools and techniques to meet the challenges of the global market. This paper highlights these emerging challenges and their impact on successful product development. Specifically, the paper classifies PD literature into three key areas (design analysis activities, activity structuring and a coordination mechanism for a collaborative design framework), requiring simultaneous development and effective integration, to provide a seamless PD process structure. It further provides directions for future research intended to enhance PD process effectiveness. 2007 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.