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Managing Early Stages in New Product Development on a Case Study

Student: Alina Nazarova

Supervisor: Evgeny Tsaplin

Faculty: Graduate School of Business

Educational Programme: Management (Bachelor)

Year of Graduation: 2019

The process of creating any product starts with New Product Development (NPD), which is followed by its launch on the market, where the new product finally enters the introduction phase of its lifecycle. NPD is a complex process that consists of several stages and aims at developing a product from an idea and bringing it to the market. New Product Development is currently an active area of research. A lot of researchers focus their studies on NPD considering activities that precede product launch on the market as extremely important and worth further examination for some reasons. The general purpose of the present research is to develop an approach to managing the early stages of the new-to-the-firm product development process, taking into account existing frameworks and NPD models, as well as the recent experience of the companies that launched new products on the Russian market. To achieve the purpose stated above, the following objectives have been set: • To examine nature and elements of NPD process; • To evaluate critically existing NPD process models; • To define the early stages of NPD and highlight their features; • To look into existing approaches to managing early stages of NPD; • To analyze common problems in early stages of NPD; • To identify success factors for managing early stages of NPD; • To conduct a multiple case study analysis of NPD projects on the Russian market; • To apply gained knowledge for developing a holistic approach to managing the early stages of the new-to-the-firm product development process. The present study focuses mainly on the early NPD stages. However, the idea generation and selection process are not in the scope of this study. The qualitative multiple case study research method has been utilized. To achieve the goal, the theoretical basis of the NPD process and its early stages was examined and qualitative multiple case study analysis was conducted. NPD projects on Russian market selected for qualitative multiple case study analysis helped to identify advantages and drawbacks in the practices. Experts with experience in performing the NPD process were recruited for semistructured interviews. Analysis of the data collected through interviews and secondary data analysis revealed useful insights about managing the early stages of the new-to-the-firm product development process. The knowledge gained from previous studies and case study analysis were used for the development of a holistic approach to managing early stages of the new-to-the-firm product development process. The results of the present study are: • A process model for structuring the new-to-the-firm product development process in general and its early stages in particular based on theoretical frameworks and recent NPD experiences of the companies on the Russian market; • Principles of managing early stages of new-to-the-firm product development project based on critical problems, the most important success factors and useful insights gained from experts’ opinions. The results mentioned constitute the approach to managing early stages of a new-to-the-firm product development project that may be useful for new companies or companies that plan to develop either more innovative or radical innovation products and do not have any established approach.

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