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Internet Assignments The following is a set of short questions that require the student to check out one or more sites related to some aspect of product development or management. These have been successfully tried out as short hand-in assignments, classroom discussions, or both. Any of these can serve as the basis of a good class discussion, especially if the instructor has access to a wired classroom and can guide a website search with the students using the classroom’s projector. Both undergraduate and MBA students seem to like the challenge of the assignments, and the discussion that ensues. The questions are open-ended, and students are likely to come up with a wide range of differing opinions on all of them. In fact, the more disagreements and differences of opinion, the better. Please feel free to make up your own questions to your favorite websites as well, and if you would like to share an internet assignment with us that worked particularly well for you, please do so. At the end of the set of questions is a short list of websites to organizations that may also be of interest to the student. The set of assignments begins on the next page.

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Part I: Opportunity Identification/Selection Product Development & Management Association (www.pdma.org): Follow the links to the on-line newsletter, Visions. Browse the titles of articles in the current issue and recent back issues and select one that seems interesting and relevant. Prepare a summary of the article. Be sure to discuss how the article is relevant to material covered in this course. Product Development & Management Association (www.pdma.org): Follow the links to the OCI (Outstanding Corporate Innovator) award. Check out the list of recent winners, and do a little on-line research to find out more about one or two of them. What do they do to achieve excellence in product innovation? Product Development Institute (www.prod-dev.com): Follow the links to the Stage-Gate system. Write a short summary about Stage-Gate and how it works. How do firms benefit from following a systematic new products process? (You may get additional information at the related website, www.stage-gate.com.) Kellogg’s (www.kelloggs.com): Explore the Kellogg’s site and get information on its new products. Based on what you see, what appears to be the corporate strategy of Kellogg’s driving new product development? Would you say there is a move away from the “core” cereal business to some extent? Rubbermaid (www.rubbermaid.com): Rubbermaid has had an excellent track record in the development and launch of new products. Check out its most recent new product launches. What are the characteristics of its newest products? What seems to drive new product development? Try to sketch out Rubbermaid’s Product Innovation Charter. 3M (www.3m.com): 3M has almost been synonymous with product innovation for a century. Explore this website, noting its historical product innovations as well as its newest products. What keeps a firm like 3M consistently successful with new products for so many years? What appear to be the product drivers and market drivers of new product development at 3M? Part 2: Concept Generation Campbell Soup (www.campbellsoup.com): Check out Campbell’s newest products. How does Campbell appear to generate ideas for its new products? How might Campbell apply some of the concept generation techniques discussed in the text? Morton Salt (www.morton.com): Check out Morton’s newest products. How does Morton take one of the most mundane of products, salt, and seemingly generate a never-ending supply of new products? New Pig Corporation (www.newpig.com): New Pig is a very innovative firm in the business of industrial spill cleanup, and an Outstanding Corporate Innovator award winner. Check out their

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range of products and services, and their newest products. How would you say they generate new product concepts? Landor Associates (www.landor.com): Check out Landor’s client firms and select two or three for which they developed a new corporate identity. How does a firm like Landor generate ideas for corporate identity “makeovers?” IDEO (www.ideo.com): What services are provided by IDEO? How does a firm like IDEO constantly generate innovative new ideas and concepts? Judging from the website, what seems to keep a firm like IDEO creative? Simmons Market Research Bureau (www.smrb.com): Follow the links to Correspondence Mapping. Check out their sample positioning map. What is correspondence mapping? What does the map represent, and how might it be used in concept generation? Part 3: Concept/Project Evaluation National Family Opinion (www.nfow.com): Check out this website. What support does NFO offer the new product developer, both at concept evaluation and elsewhere in the new products process? Product Development Institute (www.prod-dev.com): Follow the links to the NewProd model. According to this website, what are the most important precursors to product success? How can the NewProd model be used to screen and select potential new product projects? Expert Choice (www.expertchoice.com): What is the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP)? Check out the information provided on AHP in this website and summarize how it works. If desired, download a test version of AHP and try it out. What might be a couple of drawbacks in using AHP for product project selection? QFD Institute (www.qfdi.org): Explore this website and summarize what QFD does for the firm. What advantages does it offer? How does it effectively capture the “Voice of the Customer?” What might be a couple of drawbacks of QFD? Part 4: Development Corporate Design Foundation (www.cdf.org): Follow the links to the on-line newsletter, @Issue. Browse the titles of articles in the current issue and recent back issues and select one that addresses some aspect of product design. Prepare a summary of the article. Discuss the important role of design in the success of the product discussed in your article. A Gallery of Bad Designs (www.baddesigns.com): This website collects bad designs of all different types, including poorly-designed products. Select two or three of the badly-designed products as identified on this website. Describe their problems and how they could easily have been rectified. What could have been done to avoid these problems? 232


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Procter & Gamble (www.pg.com): Explore the P&G site and figure out how they test the likely market acceptance of their newest products. Is this an effective method? What are its pros and cons? What do you think of some of the newest products under consideration? NewProductWorks (www.newproductworks.com): Follow the links to the “Hits and Misses.” Here you will see recently launched products and informed comments on whether they are likely to succeed or not, as well as recent and “classic” new product failures. Do you agree with the opinions expressed on the site regarding the recent product launches? Indicate how you might product-use-test two of the more recent products, following the steps in the text. Part 5: Launch Namestormers (www.namewave.com): Check out Naming Services, Naming Software, and DoIt-Yourself Naming. Prepare a short summary of the do’s and don’ts of product naming. How does the naming software work? Go through one of the simulations and summarize how computer-assisted name selection works. ACNielsen (www.acnielsen.com): Check out this website, and scan the range of support products provided by ACNielsen. What tools does ACNielsen provide the product manager that enables him/her to manage the launch of a new consumer non-durable product? Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) (www.infores.com): Check out this website, and scan the range of support products provided by IRI. What tools does IRI provide the product manager that enables him/her to manage the launch of a new consumer non-durable product? NPD Group (www.npd.com): The NPD Group provides detailed information on a wide range of consumer products. Select a product category of interest, and summarize the kind of information provided. How might this information be used by product managers during new product planning or launch? Mountain Dew (www.mountaindew.com): Follow the links to the Code Red product. How is this product promoted? It was hugely successful in the weeks and months following its launch. What might account for this success? How is its launch plan different from the less-successful Pepsi Kona product referenced in the case at the end of Chapter 20? Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch (www.mlaw.org): Follow the links to the wacky warning labels. Incredibly, all of these are real examples. Have we become too litigious a society? Do we really need all of these labels, or a warning on our coffee cups telling us the coffee is hot? In your opinion, where is this all leading?

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Organizations Product Development & Management Association: American Marketing Association: Corporate Design Foundation: QFD Institute for the Advancement of Quality Function Deployment: SRI International (developers of the VALS questionnaire for lifestyle segmentation): Consumer Product and Safety Commission: Food & Drug Administration:

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http://www.pdma.org http://www.ama.org http://www.cdf.org http://www.qfdi.org http://future.sri.com/vals/valsindex.htm l http://www.cpsc.gov http://www.fda.gov


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