The emergence of a new production paradigm has been widely discussed in the literature. Concepts developed in operations management research related to the new paradigm should also be valid and useful in construction. Unfortunately, these have been weakly applied in the product development processes in most companies, despite the importance of this process. The product development process (PDP) comprises the set of activities needed for the conception and design of a product, from the identification of a market opportunity to its delivery to the final client. Its main objective is to translate customer requirements and needs into a design solution. Successful PDP requires the effective control of the work developed by the teams involved and of the exchange of information between them. This paper aims to contribute to the integration of the existing theories related to product development and operations management, looking for linkages between them. It also presents the results of an exploratory case study that aimed to propose a model for planning and controlling the PDP, based on the adaptation of tools originally developed for physical production planning and control. This involved the implementation of a previously defined process model for managing the PDP, as a basis for long term planning. The main benefits and difficulties faced during the implementation of this planning method are discussed.
Product development, process planning, operations management, design management.
Tzortzopoulos, P. , Formoso, C. T. & Betts, M. 2001, 'Planning the Product Development Process in Construction: An Exploratory Case Study' In:, Ballard, G. & Chua, D., 9th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Singapore, Singapore, 6-8 Aug 2001.