Document Type

Closed Project

Publication Date

Spring 2004


Dundar Kocaoglu

Course Title

Project Management

Course Number

EMGT 545/645


New products -- Management, Project management, Technology -- Management, Engineering -- Management


The start of a new product development project is a confusing time. People are working to establish what the product looks like, how long the development will take, what the cost will be and many other variables. This confusion is so universal that a term “the fuzzy front end” is a common description. Initially Team 3 set out to find, through a review of the literature, a set of best practices for the fuzzy front end. However, no best practices exist. It is argued in the literature that each company and each project is so unique and that best practices cannot exist. What were found instead are tools and metrics to evaluate the front-end practices of organizations, and through case history, compare to what a world-class front-end process would be. Through interviews and team member experience, this evaluation was applied to InFocus, Inc. and the Canadian Military. Further, these two organizations’ front-end processes are compared and contrasted. Finally, recommendations are made for both organizations to improve their front-end performance.

Note: The presentation associated with this report is included as a supplemental file.


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