Amazon.com consistently ranks this book among the three most popular product development titles. Over 100,000 copies are in use by management in many industries.
Developing Products in Half the Time: New Rules, New Tools, by Preston G. Smith and Donald G. Reinertsen, John Wiley & Sons, 1998, 298 pages.
Description (from the cover flap)
In this era of global competition and accelerating product life cycles, the need to get new products to market faster is more compelling than ever. What was once considered fast development is now commonplace.
In 1991, the original edition of this book became an instant hit as the leading guide to reducing product development cycle time. The expanded set of tools in this new edition meets the needs of today's more demanding times.
The book's premise remains solid: time is worth money, and if you quantify this value you can buy time wisely, often to enormous advantage. Rather than pursuing development speed at any price, the authors emphasize subjecting time-to-market decisions to the same hard-nosed business logic used for other management decisions. Developing Products is unique in providing tools for trading off schedule against other business objectives. It integrates powerful methods to manage risk and use resources effectively with proven techniques to accelerate product development.
Smith and Reinertsen discuss hundreds of practical tools for reducing cycle time, describing each one's application and limitations. Countless examples including Black & Decker, Hewlett-Packard, Honda, Motorola, and others illustrate how real companies use the tools. With six more years of implementation experience and responses from readers of the original 60,000 copies, the authors have sharpened the original tools and added new ones.
New topics include: - Advanced tools for calculating the cost of delay - A process for shortening the Fuzzy Front End - Alternatives to co-locating a team - How to effectively involve customers in developing product specifications - The role of advanced technology tools in rapid development - Metrics for projects and processes - New methods for managing risk - How to continuously learn from your development projects.
The strategies in Developing Products in Half the Time apply to companies of all sizes and industries including software and electronics, medical devices, machinery and vehicles, and consumer goods. The authors show how leading companies no longer depend on only a few isolated tools but now integrate a broad array of methods to gain synergy and greater competitive advantage.
This is the guide you will need in the trenches if time to market is important to you -- or if you are wondering if it should be. It will be equally valuable to new readers and to those who must move beyond the original edition.
* See discussion of the effect of project risk management on cycle time.
Foreword (By Neil Hagglund, Corporate VP and Director of Corporate Technology Planning, Motorola, Inc.)
Most of the readers of this book probably associate Motorola with quality. We have worked hard to achieve leadership in this area and are very proud of our accomplishments. However, customer expectations have increased and have never been higher. Our customers expect us to demonstrate flawless quality and provide leadership products with value-added features, at lower prices, in shorter and shorter cycle times. The companies that can respond to quickly changing needs will flourish and those that can't, will be left behind. Time to market is a crucial element in being successful in the global marketplace.
For readers who are about to embark on the journey to faster development, let me offer a few observations. First, in my more than 30 years of product development experience, working with some of the best product developers in the world, I have yet to find a single magic tool for transforming a development process. Other companies may jump from fad to fad hoping there is a fast, easy way to accelerate product development. At Motorola we achieve rapid development the same way we achieved breakthroughs in quality-with old-fashioned hard work and constant management attention.
Second, many readers may wonder if pursuing development speed requires a company to compromise quality. At Motorola we have firmly rejected this option. There are abundant opportunities to improve the development process without taking the sloppy and dangerous approach of sacrificing quality. If you find yourself considering such options, you have not thought deeply enough about your choices. In fast-moving markets we often find that faster development actually provides higher quality to our customers, resulting in products delivered before customer needs begin to change.
Third, I would encourage you to question many of the deeply entrenched methods that you use for product development. Some of our greatest successes at Motorola have been a result of our engineers questioning the fundamental design of the entire process. This willingness to question the status quo proved vital to transforming quality and appears equally vital in transforming development speed.
Finally, I would encourage you to stay the course on this effort. The benefits of faster development can be substantial but they cannot be achieved instantly. Fundamental changes in your development process require careful analysis, broad involvement, and extensive effort. Not everything that is worth changing can be changed quickly. If you approach this as a short, quick journey you will not get very far.
On your journey I think you will find that Developing Products in Half the Time is an excellent companion. I am excited to see this new edition because at Motorola we found the original edition to be far and away the most useful book of its kind. The state-of-the-art in product development has continued to progress in the last six years and this new edition is very welcome. This book remains a vital resource for those of us interested in rapid development. I have read it more than once and I think you will too.
From the 1998 Second Edition:
"This is an exceptional book! Get a new highlighter before you start. There are so many 'ah ha's' in each chapter you will never make it through with an old one."
"An excellent book with a strong treatment of the cycle-time consequences of overloading your development capacity. It provides powerful and practical concepts for dealing with this issue."
"This is practical, useful stuff for people competing in highly competitive fast moving business."
"Using these tools we've more than cut our time to market in half. The new edition of this classic crystallizes the synergy of the fast-to-market techniques, and the icons in the margins highlight the opportunities and pitfalls."
"3M has absorbed many of the tools from the original edition, and this new one will be even more useful. The topic of incremental innovation is crucial to us, and I really appreciate its balanced treatment."
"As the authors correctly point out, the Fuzzy Front End is the least expensive place to reduce cycle time. This book is one of the only sources of concepts, methods, and metrics for compressing this critical portion of the development process."
From the 1995 Updated Paperback Edition
"This is a guide that my colleagues and I refer to repeatedly as we accelerate our development process. I suggest reading it at least once; your competition probably has already!"
"It is no accident that we have bought thousands of copies of this book. It describes practical techniques that really work for shortening product development cycles. These real-world tools have moved our company to new levels of performance."
"Of the many books that have appeared on rapid product development, Developing Products in Half the Time was most influential in forming 3M's new corporate product development guidelines. Its clear, easy-to-read style further increases its impact."
From the Original 1991 Edition
"Provides the most complete step-by-step process for reducing new-product cycle time and is undoubtedly one of the finest books yet published on this subject. It should be required reading for any manager involved in new product development."
"This book should be of particular value to anyone in a commercial electronics-based business. The authors have a useful "how-to" approach with lots of people-oriented suggestions. They provide simple but powerful concepts and treat areas that are often overlooked, such as the front end of the product cycle."
"The authors build on many successful quality-focused techniques of the '80s to present a comprehensive and well-integrated coverage of time-based techniques for the '90s. Their book should inspire you to adopt techniques that can dramatically improve the effectiveness of your product development process."
"The book provides important insights on further accelerating the product development process. Future success depends on exceeding customer expectations, and this requires responding quickly to customers with new, exciting, high-quality products."
"Smith and Reinertsen present a clear, direct approach to building fast product development capabilities. These capabilities are crucial for success in the modern health care industry."
"Industry leadership is often determined by the ability to bring a growing array of new products to market quickly. Such new products are fundamental to the future well-being of both employees and shareholders. This is a practical guide to the techniques that work for acknowledged new-product leaders."
"This is a vital book for any company trying to get its entire organization behind its rapid product development efforts. It presents an extremely practical how-to approach. The insights on managing the front end of the process are excellent. Clearly, the most useful book I've read on this subject."
The book is also available in other languages.
Where to Get It
Please note that New Product Dynamics does not sell books, but please contact us if you have difficulty obtaining the book from the sources above.
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What is new since this book was published? Read our chapter in the PDMA Handbook.