1. Sequential product development process

Sequential development of the new product was developed by NASA in the early 60s of the last century and it is called a Phased Review Process model. It has been adapted and developed by the enterprises. It involves moving the innovation process from department to department with the constant manager’s change of certain development stage.

The NPD process has been divided into functional tasks assigned to the department of the company but the start of another tasks succeeds after completion, reconciliation and possible revision of the preceding tasks. The action is listed as the existence of barriers between the tasks. This process burdened with a number of drawbacks:

  • integration occurs to a small extent, as a specialist in each department shall submit the product to the next,
  • the transition to the next phase occurs only when the requirements of earlier phase will be met, it may block the whole process,
  • the process is slow and requires considerable time overtaking to avoid mistakes,
  • slightly focuses on customer’s preferences.

Linear Process involves several successive stages; every next one can begin only after the previous one.  The graphical conception of steps made up a sequential process is presented at below chart. The other team works during each stage of the product, which focuses on a limited number of tasks, which makes it impossible to separate and diffusion of knowledge.

Despite many disadvantages that this model has, Glen L. Urban of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology lists the advantages of this approach: „one way to minimize wasted resources and reduce the percentage of new-product failures is use a sequential decision process in which poor project are eliminated  early and “good” projects are given priority”.

Susan Hart also highlights the positive role of the model pointing to the close cooperation with the department of research and development and the innovation’s level of the product. The model is often used in organizations in which the R&D department provides ideas for product development. These ideas are often based on improving the technology, improving the quality of use or they are completely different from the earlier concepts. Such products, with the features previously mentioned, are most likely to arise and survive in the market.


Stages of the sequential process NPD

Source: own study based on R.G. Cooper, Kleinschmidt E.J, Stage-Gate Process for  New Product Success, Innovation Management U3, Denmark 2001.

Literature is not consistent with what concrete steps the process. It often depends on the department that the company has. Susan Hart lists six distinct stages of in new product development:

    1. conceptual design,
    2. technology demonstration,
    3. feasibility demonstration,
    4. process capability demonstration,
    5. design review,
    6. product readiness.

John Priest illustrated new product development process differently-as six interconnected phases. These are:

  1. requirements definitione,
  2. conceptual design,
  3. detailed design,
  4. test and evaluation,
  5. manufacturing,
  6. logistics, supply chain, and environment.

Literature distinguishes two basic models of sequential product development process: phase-department (departmental-stage models) and activity stage model. They are early models’ representation of new product development based on the linear model of innovation in which each department of enterprise is responsible for the effects of tasks.

Phase-department model

Most NPD process in this model is as follows: department of research and development provides interesting ideas, engineering and technical department take them and develops possible prototypes, production department tests possible mass-production ways of the designed prototype, the marketing department prepares and implements a plan of new product release to the market.

Faculty perception (NPD-New Product Development) hinders its efficient implementation and its cause is the low level of coordination and integration. This process is characterized by a large number of changes in its duration and the need for continuing the conversation during its implementation. Measures of controls and procedures are different for different departments.


Activity-stage model

It also represents the simultaneous model. It is characterized by the participation of project teams consisting of company’s employees from the departments involved in the development process as well as external experts. Integration processes follows. These models are more close to real processes occurring during the development of a new product. Computer systems of planning process play an important role (CAD, CAM, selection process, expert systems of products and processes design).