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The Use of Creativity and Systematic Innovation within the Product Life Cycle

From the Perspective of Product Management

Bachelor Thesis 2009 66 Pages

Business economics - Business Management, Corporate Governance

Excerpt

Table of Contents

Abstract

Index of Figures

List of Abbreviations

Index of Tables

1 General
1.1 Introduction
1.2 The Target Group

2 Basics
2.1 Product Management
2.1.1 Main Tasks of Product Management
Product Innovation
Product Variation
Product Differentiation
Product Diversification
Product Elimination
2.1.2 Connection to Creativity and Innovation
2.2 Creativity and Innovation
2.2.1 Basics
2.2.2 Factors for Creativity and Innovation
Area of Conflicts: Creativity versus Efficiency
Supportive Organisational Characteristics
Personal Barriers and Obstacles
Team Characteristics

3 Selection of Techniques and Tools
3.1 Creativity Techniques
3.1.1 Progressive Abstraction
3.1.2 Brainstorming
3.1.3 Brainwriting - Method
3.1.4 Relevance Tree
3.1.5 Synectics
3.1.6 Morphological Box
3.1.7 Attribute Listing
3.2 Systematic Innovation Tools
3.2.1 9 Windows
3.2.2 Function Attribute Analysis
3.2.3 Perception Mapping
3.2.4 Contradiction Matrix & 40 Inventitive Principles
3.2.5 TRIZ Trends of Evolution
3.2.6 Smart Little People

4 Use of Creativity Techniques and SI Tools within the PLC
4.1 Product Life Cycle
4.1.1 Use of Techniques and Tools within Introduction
4.1.2 Use of Techniques and Tools within Growth
4.1.3 Use of Techniques and Tools within Maturity & Saturation
4.1.4 Use of Techniques and Tools within Decline
4.2 Checklist for the Use of Techniques and Tools

5 Bibliography
Books and Magazines
Internet Sources
Further Sources for Information:

6 Table of Contents Appendix

Appendix
A Perception Mapping Example
B The 39 Contradiction Parameters
C The 40 Inventitive Principles
D TRIZ Trends of Evolution

Abstract

The fulfilment of customers’ needs is the main objective of an organisation; the product line has to be continually improved and varied in order to reach this objective. The offer of alternative ways for conceptions to enhance or upgrade products and develop innovative product ideas within product management is the main goal of this paper. The main chapter deals with a selection of creativity techniques and systematic innovation tools that are connected to the several phases of the product life. The conclusion of this work is presented as a recommended checklist for the application of such techniques and tools. This paper also explains the daily tasks of a product manager relating to the life cycle of a product. It copes with the basics of innovation and creativity, with personal creativity barriers as well as with supporting characteristics of an organisation. The definition of advantages and disadvantages of team working is also part of this paper.

In general the content of this paper enables individuals or groups to improve their know-how in terms of creativity and innovation. It offers possible techniques and tools to enhance products that are categorised in a specific phase of its life cycle in order to improve their general figures.

Index of Figures

Figure 2-1: preconditions for innovations

Figure 2-2: technology push versus market pull

Figure 2-3: simultaneous coupling model.

Figure 2-4: interactive model of innovation.

Figure 2-5: typical product life cycle

Figure 2-6: tension efficiency versus creativity

Figure 2-7: team development curve.

Figure 3-1: schematic procedure of the method progressive abstraction

Figure 3-2: example for a reference tree.

Figure 3-3: synectics funnel – procedure for synectics method.

Figure 3-4: template of 9 windows tool

Figure 3-5: function attribute analysis for a lens polishing system

Figure 3-6: graphical image of a technical contradiction

Figure 3-7: example of a TRIZ trend – space segmentation

Figure 3-8: example of an evolutionary radar plot

Figure 3-9: example for various Smart Little People types

List of Abbreviations

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Index of Tables

Table 2-1: main tasks of product management.

Table 2-2: advantages and disadvantages of team work.

Table 3-1: example morphological box – design of a table.

Table 3-2: example for method attribute listing

Table 3-3: 40 inventitive principles

Table 4-1: types of problems

Table 4-2: categorisation of techniques and tools

Table 4-3: suitable idea generation techniques and tools.

Table 4-4: phases of product life cycle and accordingly product policy

Table 4-5: summary of recommended techniques and tools

1 General

1.1 Introduction

The management of products is an essential requirement for successful organisations. Strategically coordinated activities for upgrading products, broadening of the range of goods by variants, developing follow-up models and enhanced products are creating the best premises to continually use resources of the organisation. These activities require profound studies of the market, potential competitors, new technologies and customer requests in order to create new ideas for enhancing the present products and to introduce innovative products.1

In most organisations unfortunately the systematic internal achievement of new ideas is neglected. The aim of this paper is to enable organisations to get new ways to generate ideas for future products, as well as suggestions for idea generation in order to carry out product variation, product differentiation or product diversification along the product life cycle. It also copes with emotional or organisational barriers within the creative process and team characteristics for creativity workshops.

1.2 The Target Group

This paper is addressed to a broad audience; it is composed out of operational user and strategic user. Operational users are people that apply the specific techniques and tools explained, strategic users are responsible for the coordination of such creativity and innovation activities as well as the elaboration and validation of the outcome.

The usage of this paper requires a basic knowledge of creativity techniques, systematic innovation approaches and the product life cycle itself in order to appropriate handle the activities described.

2 Basics

2.1 Product Management

2.1.1 Main Tasks of Product Management

The managing of a product through its product life cycle (PLC) is one of the main tasks of product management; beside the development of strategies for new products (product innovation) it contains also the management of already established product lines (product variation, product differentiation and product diversification).

A Product Manager’s - business includes the modification of previously launched products according to the customers’ changing needs and requirements. Future technical and technological trends, the completion of product range with product variants and the elimination of various products is part of the product managers’ duties.2

From the changes in consumer preference, emerges the need to adjust the product or develop a new product in order to abide the companies’ success. According to Ansoff3 the continuous adaption of the product portfolio is necessary to keep the competitive advantage of the organisation.4

Reasons for the change of the production program:5

- Identification of altered preferences concerning specific customer needs. The offered products do not fulfil the requirements of the customer, thus a misfit occurs. In this case a product variation is suitable.
- Identification of similar, but not equal preferences concerning specific customer needs. In this case a product differentiation would be a possibility.

Product differentiation and product variation are both parts of product modification. They can be differentiated in the following way: a product differentiation means that the existing product will be supplemented by variations of that specific product while a product variation means that the existing product will be replaced sooner or later by the varied product.6 Table 2 – 1 shows the main tasks of product management related to the phase of the product or product line.

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Table 2-1: main tasks of product management7 Product Innovation

The conditions for a product innovation are the novelty of a product and its economical success, if these two apply it is referred to as product innovation as shown in Figure 2 – 1.8

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Figure 2-1: preconditions for innovations9

The origin of the product innovation can either be technology driven or market driven. The technology driven model, also often referred to as “technology push”, assumes that discoveries of science are applied to product ideas and turned to prototypes. The role of the market influencing the innovation of products leads to the second model, called “market pull” model. This model, displayed in Figure 2 – 2, chooses the influence of the market and the customer needs as encourage for product innovations. The interaction between the powerful influence of the market and the customer and marketing leads to new ideas for innovations.10

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Figure 2-2: technology push versus market pull11

These two models explain where the initial stimulation of the innovation emerges. The simultaneous coupling model displays that product innovation is a simultaneous coupling of all three functions that foster innovation.12 The simultaneous coupling model is displayed in Figure 2 – 3.

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Figure 2-3: simultaneous coupling model13

Figure 2 – 4 describes the interactive model, this model connects the two linear models, technology push and market pull. Innovations emerge as a result of the interaction of all parties concerned during a typical innovation process.14

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Figure 2-4: interactive model of innovation15 Product Variation

There is no continuous increase in turnover of a product; the products’ turnover shows a curve, called product life cycle which is illustrated within Figure 2 – 5. Due to this product life cycle there is a necessity to deal with product variations.16

The reduction of the turnover and the decrease of the success in the market could be regarding the following:17

- Customer requirements are changing continuously. The increased requirements force the manufacturer to the permanent improvement of the product line.
- Ignoring the technological progress could lead to a reduction of sales due to outdated products.
- Regulative changes force manufacturers to develop new product variations.
- Business competition could also lead to a variation of the product line in order not to loose potential customers.

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Figure 2-5: typical product life cycle18

Although it is rather complicated to differ between product variation and new product development these are the characteristics of a product variation:19

- The quality has been improved
- There has been a predecessor within the market or the organisation The specific phases of a product life cycle are explained in detail in chapter 4.1. Product Differentiation

Theoretically there are two kinds of product differentiation. Studied literature shows the differentiation of a product of a particular manufacturer against the competitors within the market and also the variation of a particular product of one manufacturer.20

There are several possibilities for a product differentiation:21

- Differentiation of a product

Configuration of the product

Enhancement of performance and functional features and design

- Differentiation of service

Service features in connection to the product

Advanced guarantee services

- Differentiation by employees
Quality of advice

- Differentiation by organisation image or brand image Using of second brands (high level and low level pricing)

Product Diversification

Unlike product variation and product differentiation the product diversification is not directly assessing an existing product; according to Ansoffs’ product-market growth matrix it implies a new product in a new market. The product diversification is differentiated according to the previous production program:22

- Horizontal diversification means the expansion of the production program with a product with an equal production stage (e.g. yoghurt and buttermilk)
- Vertical diversification is the integration of a previous or subsequent production stage (e.g. yoghurt E--) milk)
- Lateral diversification is a new production program which is not related to the previous production program. (e.g. yoghurt and biscuits) Out of the analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) the organisation receives valuable information concerning resources, knowhow and possible action fields for a product diversification. The main goal of this analyse is to compare the opportunities and threats of the organisation within its environment with strengths and weaknesses of the organisation itself in order to derivate strategic approaches.23

Product Elimination

Product elimination means the abrupt or gradual removal of product or product lines that have a negative impact on the achievability of organisational objectives.24

2.1.2 Connection to Creativity and Innovation

Having read all the above mentioned daily tasks of a product manager the desperate need of knowledge and experience in terms of creativity and innovation is comprehensible. For each step within this function the use of creativity techniques and systematic innovation tools can lead to unexpected and valuable enhancements of the product or also to new product innovations.

Within the next chapters, some basically information of creativity, innovation and several techniques and tools is given.

2.2 Creativity and Innovation

2.2.1 Basics

Creativity

Examined literature shows various attempts to explain and define “creativity”, many authors agree on the definition of the author J. E. Drevdahl:

“Creativity is the ability of human beings to create compositions, products or ideas of any kind that are basically new to the creator. Creativity can emerge from imaginational thoughts or from synthesis of mind, whereas the outcome is much more than just summing up the already known. Creativity includes the composition of new models and combinations out of experience, the transfer of well known connections to recent situations and the discovery of new relationships. The creative outcome has to be beneficial and target-oriented and must not exist only in the fantasy of the creator. It has not to be practically used, perfect and complete. It can affect every phase of artistic and scientific production and can be methodical and processual.”25

Innovation

Most authors of economic papers define innovation as a commercial and practical application of ideas and inventions. Inventions are the conceptions of ideas; innovation is the transfer of inventions or ideas into the economic environment. The initiation of an innovation is the conception of an idea; a new idea is not an innovation or an invention, but a collection and combination of thoughts. Converting these ideas into specific objects is called an invention.

The transfer of such inventions into products, which improve the companies’ performance within the market, is a complete process that stands for innovation.26

„Innovation is the management of all the activities involved in the process of idea generation, technology development, manufacturing and marketing of a new (or improved) product or manufacturing process or equipment.“27

2.2.2 Factors for Creativity and Innovation

Several specific environmental influences affect the creativity and ability of innovation within an organisation. The contents of following pages point out the origin of conflicts. Supportive organisational characteristics, the advantages and disadvantages of a team as well as personal barriers and obstacles are explained within this subchapter.

Area of Conflicts: Creativity versus Efficiency

A fundamental problem for management today is the tension between the need for stability and the need for creativity as shown in Figure 2 – 6. Organisations require stable and static rules and routines for their daily business in their competition environment. In this well organised environment a company that seeks to avoid time and money wastage has to have room for creativity and innovation, an area or field where creativity and innovation can emerge. In order to hold an advantage over the competitors an organisation also needs to develop new ideas, hence they require a flexible organisational environment that enables employees to be creative. The characteristics of such an environment are listed within this chapter.28

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Figure 2-6: tension efficiency versus creativity29

Supportive Organisational Characteristics

The capacity for creative behaviour or creative processes is based on three fundamental components:30

1. Available knowledge

An essential characteristic of a creative process is the re – organisation of existing values and knowledge, therefore the more someone knows the larger and more extensive the amount of resulting creative connections is.

2. Mechanism of knowledge management

This includes used thinking principles and methods as well as the degree of freedom of thought (e.g. capacity for judgment, associations, thinking in analogy.)

3. Psychodynamic forces

These forces have their roots in the creative person itself (e.g. curiosity, self-realisation, willingness for empathy and identification, spectrum of needs.) but they’re also affected by external influences like assignment of roles, responsibility, recognition and harmful or joyful experiences. Therefore the development of creativity also depends on the characteristics of the environment that is related to this person.

In order to support creativity within the company the organisational environment should show following characteristics:31

1. Provide essential knowledge for creative performance

The availability of internal and external knowledge for innovative employees, the possibility to broaden their experience and to open every available communication and information method for them is necessary in order to enable innovation to emerge.32

[...]


1 See: Albers, Sönke / Herrmann, Andreas (Editor) (2007): Handbuch Produktmanagement. Strategieentwicklung – Produktplanung –Organisation – Kontrolle. 3rd edition. Wiesbaden: Gabler Verlag. page 317ff

2 See Albers/Herrmann(2007): Handbuch Produktmanagement. page 11ff

3 Harry Igor Ansoff (* 1918 in Wladiwostok (Russland); † 14. Juli 2002 in San Diego) Russian mathematician and economist

4 See Albers/Herrmann(2007): Handbuch Produktmanagement page 597

5 See Albers/Herrmann(2007): Handbuch Produktmanagement page 597

6 See: Albers/Herrmann(2007): Handbuch Produktmanagement page 597

7 Source : (adopted) Albers/Herrmann(2007): Handbuch Produktmanagement page 597

8 See Trott, Paul (2005): Innovation Management and New Product Development. 3rd edition. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited. page 23

9 Source: Trott (2005): Innovation Management and New Product Development. page 15

10 See: Trott (2005): Innovation Management and New Product Development. page 23

11 Source: (adapted) Trott (2005): Innovation Management and New Product Development. page 23

12 See Trott (2005): Innovation Management and New Product Development. page 24

13 Source: Trott (2005): Innovation Management and New Product Development. page 24

14 See Trott (2005): Innovation Management and New Product Development. page 24

15 Source: (adapted) Trott (2005): Innovation Management and New Product Development. page 25

16 See: Albers/Herrmann(2007): Handbuch Produktmanagement page 598

17 See: Albers/Herrmann(2007): Handbuch Produktmanagement page 598ff

18 Source: (adapted) Albers/Herrmann (2007) Handbuch Produktmanagement page 598

19 See: Albers/Herrmann (2007): Handbuch Produktmanagement page 599

20 See: Albers/Herrmann (2007): Handbuch Produktmanagement page 602

21 See: Albers/Herrmann (2007): Handbuch Produktmanagement page 606ff

22 See: Albers/Herrmann (2007): Handbuch Produktmanagement page 610

23 See: Albers/Herrmann (2007): Handbuch Produktmanagement page 613ff

24 See: Albers/Herrmann (2007): Handbuch Produktmanagement page 765

25 See: Schlicksupp, Helmut (2004): Innovation, Kreativität und Ideenfindung. 6th edition Würzburg: Vogel Verlag. page 32

26 See: Trott (2005): Innovation Management and New Product Development. page 14ff

27 Trott (2005): Innovation Management and New Product Development. page 15

28 See: Trott (2005): Innovation Management and New Product Development. page 78

29 See: Trott (2005): Innovation Management and New Product Development. page 78

30 See: Schlicksupp (2004): Innovation, Kreativität und Ideenfindung. page 41ff

31 See: Schlicksupp (2004): Innovation, Kreativität und Ideenfindung. page 42ff

32 See: Schlicksupp (2004): Innovation, Kreativität und Ideenfindung. page 42ff

Details

Pages
66
Year
2009
ISBN (eBook)
9783640611447
ISBN (Book)
9783640610952
File size
782 KB
Language
English
Catalog Number
v135283
Institution / College
Campus02 University of Applied Sciences Graz – Innovationsmanagement
Grade
Gut
Tags
Cycle From Perspective Management Creativity Techniques Innovation Management Product Management Systematic Innovation TRIZ

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Title: The Use of Creativity and Systematic Innovation within the Product Life Cycle