An object-oriented reference model of the fuzzy front end of the new product introduction process

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The global pressures of the modern market are placing an ever-increasing emphasis on the rapid development and introduction of new products. Central to this aim is the implementation of an effective business process for managing and controlling product innovation. Research has shown that the front end stages of the so-called new product introduction (NPI) process are weakest in a high proportion of companies and direct support is needed in this area. This paper describes how an object-oriented methodology has been applied to develop a reference model and architecture to facilitate the re-engineering and implementation of a high quality business process and help remove the fuzziness of the critical early stages of NPI. The results from the application and testing of this tool within a wide range of different companies are summarised and used to help derive conclusions regarding the validity of the research.