Reducing project related uncertainty in the "fuzzy front end" of innovation - A comparison of German and Japanese product innovation projects

Cornelius Herstatt, Birgit Verworn, Akio Nagahira

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recently, researchers and practitioners in the field of innovation management are paying more attention to the so called "fuzzy front end" of product development, also known as the "pre-development" phase (Cooper and Kleinschmidt 1994), "pre-project activities" (Verganti 1997), or "pre-phase 0" (Khurana and Rosenthal 1997, 1998). Managers have identified the front end as being the greatest weakness in product innovation (Khurana and Rosenthal 1997, p. 103). Why? Because it strongly determines which projects will be executed, and furthermore the quality, costs, and time frame are to a large extent defined here. But research in this field has clearly demonstrated that efforts to optimize the innovation process at this stage in practice are minimal. In contrast, effects on the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the whole innovation process are significant (Moore and Pessemier 1993, p. 100). Consistent with these findings, an extensive empirical study by Cooper and Kleinschmidt showed that "the greatest differences between winners and losers were found in the quality of execution of pre-development activities" (Cooper and Kleinschmidt 1994, p. 26). Two factors were identified as playing a major role in product success: the quality of executing the pre-development activities, and a well defined product and project prior to the development phase (Cooper and Kleinschmidt 1990, p. 27)

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationManagement of Technology and Innovation in Japan
PublisherSpringer
Pages329-352
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)3540253262, 9783540253266
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)

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    Herstatt, C., Verworn, B., & Nagahira, A. (2006). Reducing project related uncertainty in the "fuzzy front end" of innovation - A comparison of German and Japanese product innovation projects. In Management of Technology and Innovation in Japan (pp. 329-352). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/3-540-31248-X_16