Integrated Product Development

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Collaboration and Timing Are Everything

Integrated Product Development and Concurrent Engineering are management techniques for breaking down organizational boundaries and functional silos to develop innovative new products. The benefit of successful integrated product development (IPD) initiatives is remarkable - delivering better products and services to market faster and at a lower development cost.

For IPD to work, two opposing forces need to be constructively managed. The first is creative collaboration. The second is meeting cannot-miss due dates. Experience has shown that piloting IPD with a small, dedicated team focused on clear objectives is easy - but large scale IPD initiatives with large numbers of team members who must deal with complex and conflicting issues is extremely difficult. The more ambitious the product development initiative, the more likely goals are missed.

Emagineering™ is the first role-based collaborative management tool that can leverage and reuse a company's intellectual property assets while fostering the out-of-the-box thinking required to develop innovative new products. In addition, Emagineering™ provides the disciplined decision making services required to ensure that new products and services are delivered on time and within budget.

Senior Executive Leadership

Many senior executives have risen to their current positions of authority within their company due to their skill and creativity for developing new products. Yet the higher up the organization they are promoted, they all too often become distanced from what they both enjoy the most and the company values the most

- their unique ability to envision, develop, and launch the innovative products that capture significant market share and create customer delight.

Emagineering™ is the only role-based collaborative issue resolution solution that allows senior executives to effectively lead and direct the critical development efforts of numerous product initiatives. Emagineering™'s unmatched ability to add the power of senior executive vision and coaching to IPD initiatives gives organizations a significant competitive advantage.

Groundbreaking Approach to IPD

Traditional approaches to automating the IPD process, such as Product Development Management and Product Life cycle Management applications, are based upon detailed methodologies programmed into conventional project-management software. This approach provides organizational discipline - but at the cost of creativity and enthusiasm for the development effort.

Emagineering™'s role-based approach to collaboration and recognition of individual contributions has the opposite effect. It encourages IPD teams to explore new ideas proposed by the truly inventive geniuses within each company. It allows the team - no matter where the members are located - to brainstorm new ideas, develop hypotheses, and openly analyze issues. The ability of the group to improve upon the innovative insights of its members and turn ideas into deliverables is the power of Emagineering™.

Managing What Is Important

Even a simple IPD initiative will generate hundreds of issues - too many for any senior executive to manually or mentally monitor. To concentrate on what is important, senior executives focus on coordinating the schedules among teams and the major blocking issues that could disrupt their progress. For example, if the time from product design to volume shipments is projected to be 18 months and creating and launching a marketing program is 9 months, the senior executive-in-charge will be most concerned about any blocking issue, such as the inability to produce a critical component, which will cause a misalignment of available manufacturing and marketing resources.

Emagineering™ provides senior executives with the issue-based and personnel-participation status report they need to monitor the progress of even the most complex IPD initiative. This status report surfaces blocking issues to the top - no matter how far down in the organization the problem first originated. Emagineering™ allows Executive Sponsors to provide informed guidance to members of the IPD team as soon as actual and potential blocking issues are identified.

Emagineering™ allows senior executives to lead and personally direct IPD teams before goals are missed, not retroactively respond to months-old problems that threaten to cause an initiative to fail. The advantage is an IPD process that brings better products to market faster as opposed to one that degenerates into the "blame game" among departments.

Keeping Global IPD Teams Working Together

For IPD to be successful organizational hierarchies must be flattened and functional silos put on their side. Marketing, Sales, Engineering, Manufacturing, and R&D must all work together as a well-synchronized team.
Since many IDP teams number over a hundred members located on different continents and employed by multiple companies that are networked together in a product supply chain, it is vital that all the team members know each other's identity and who is responsible for what. Emagineering™ provides this service with its Team Directory and Instant Messaging capability. With Team Directory, users can look up other team members, when they joined the initiative, where they are located and what Issues they are responsible for resolving. And when one team member wants to quickly consult with each other, Emagineering™'s Instant Messaging capability ensures that team members can see who is online - no matter in what time zone they are currently working.

Disciplined Collaboration

The strength of IPD teams is the breadth of experience and vision individual members can contribute and their ability to freely flow innovative ideas among each other. But to take full advantage of this knowledge, it must be shared throughout the enterprise and not locked into departmental servers that cannot be securely accessed by others. And to meet product deliver due dates, the team's research and analysis process must end and a disciplined decision making process start on time. Emagineering™ provides the services necessary to meet these essential IPD process requirements.

Emagineering™ is a role-based collaboration and issue resolution system. Roles, not titles, allow teams to organize for maximizing both creativity and collaboration. Anyone from any functional area can raise and contribute to issues and ideas.

In Emagineering™'s issue workspace, documents, including CAD drawings, PDF's, Web Pages, audio files, images, and budget spreadsheets, can be gathered. To improve the collaboration process, an unlimited number of annotations, similar to electronic sticky notes, can be attached to each one.
Discussion comments are captured allowing team members to openly analyze an issue from multiple perspectives. And Emagineering™ provides a service for formally requesting additional information from content experts.

Emagineering™'s issue resolution process is extremely powerful. Project leaders designate issue decision makers and establish due dates as soon as an issue is identified. The system automatically publishes a weekly initiative portfolio report that escalates blocking issues up to executive sponsors for guidance. Decision makers establish a workflow, either new or from a template, of whom they want to review the team's recommendations and when. Each step has due dates and actions taken are monitored in real time with a graphical workflow chart. If a decision-making due date is missed, the issue's status is downgraded and flagged to senior executives.

Emagineering™ collaboration blends the freedom that is required for creativity with the discipline necessary for making the right decisions on time.

Fast, Flexible, and Effective for IPD

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication for a collaborative IPD initiative management system. Emagineering™ has an intuitive Web-based user interface that anybody who has ever surfed the Web will master in minutes.

All team members need to take full advantage of Emagineering™'s power from anywhere in the world is a PC with Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0+ and an Internet connection. Systems administrators do not have to install and maintain any Emagineering™ -specific software on end-user PCs.

Emagineering™ is a multi-tier, J2EE-compliant Web-services application. This architecture allows it to securely scale up to support thousands of concurrent users and tens of millions of documents managing an unlimited number of IPD initiatives. Emagineering™ was created for increasing the productivity of the entire enterprise and its partners - not just as a departmental system for producing progress reports.

Emagineering™ includes a comprehensive, enterprise-wide document management system with integrated full text retrieval capability. Once ideas are captured within Emagineering™, they are never lost. A simple search on any word that relates to the idea will allow a user to retrieve the relevant documents within the system for reuse in other IPD initiatives.