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Avoiding emergency innovation: change prediction in innovative products

By C. M. Eckert, R. Keller and P. J. Clarkson

Abstract

Bringing successful innovative products to the market is in many cases a balance between targeted innovation and the reuse of existing technology. Innovation introduces risk, which can be kept at a minimum by careful application of tested technology, provided designers have a clear understanding of how new technology can be incorporated into existing products or how tested technology can be brought across into new products. In reality this integration often fails, and designers need to look for innovative solutions at the last minute to integrate new and old parts. To avoid this “emergency” innovation – as it was termed by an automotive engineer – designers need to understand how different parts of a product are connected to each other and how changes to one component affect other components. This paper reports on a method to predict how change propagates through existing products. A product is represented as a square matrix and the pair wise dependencies between components are captured with likelihood and impact values, such that indirect risk can be calculated. Using various graphic representations of the structure of the product, designers can explore dependencies between components and avoid design choices that might force them to change highly connected parts

OAI identifier: oai:open.ac.uk.OAI2:13270
Provided by: Open Research Online

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