New products, Project management, Decision making
Many companies lack efficient management of the early phases of new product development (NPD) - the socalled fuzzy front end (FFE). Rather than on structured methods, decision makers rely on ?gut ?feel? or ?guessing?. In an attempt to ?educate the guess? this paper discusses the activities and challenges of the FFE, as well as strategies to manage them successfully. It then briefly presents traditional and recent approaches to front-end management support. Based on the identified strengths and weaknesses of existing front-end solutions, the framework of a new management support system for the FFE is presented. Conceptually, the system is based on psychological findings about the process of action-regulation in complex decision environments. Methodologically, it uses Fuzzy Cognitive Maps (FCM) for modeling and simulation.
Jetter, A. J. M. Educating the guess ? strategies, concepts and tools for the fuzzy front end of product development, Proceedings of PICMET 2003:Technology Management for Reshaping the World, pp. 261-272, July 20-24, 2003, Portland, OR