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Teamwork plus technology cuts development time

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The deleterious effects of not bringing projects quickly from the laboratory to the market are described, and corporate efforts to cut development time are examined. Many Japanese companies have already wrestled with this problem and moved on to other issues, like their need for basic research. As a result, many US corporations are looking to the Japanese for guidance. This is leading companies to restructure their organizations to encourage open, frequent, and early communication. Launching research projects with technology transfer in view from the start is another approach modeled after the Japanese. Central to Japanese technology transfer is the fact that as a project moves from laboratory to market, the engineers move with it. This is also being tried by some US firms. A less widespread approach to shortening time to market is called concurrent engineering, in which an item is designed concurrently with the processes that would be used to assemble it, manufacture its parts, test it, and repair it in the field. Standardization is also being used to boost researchers' output.<>

Published in:

Spectrum, IEEE  (Volume:27 ,  Issue: 10 )