Re: I want to move this discussion to a wider audience

From: Preston Smith (
Date: Tue Jun 30 1998 - 17:01:31 EEST

At 08:22 AM 6/30/98 -0400, Elaine Hunt wrote:
>The following is a discussion that I would like to hear everyone discuss.
>I'll feel free and reword some of it...
>>>> I believe, and have convinced our management of the benefits of RP far
>outweigh the down-side of the equation. However, lack of real information,
>in an understandable and credible form, is the real issue here.
>>>> Steve, what kind of understandible and credible information is needed?
This is actually a fairly straightforward process, but to do it
effectively, you have to think like a businessperson, not an engineer.
First, list all of the benefits associated with your RP proposition. Then
list the costs. Some of these benefits and costs will be far more concrete
than others, but this is fine; the point here is to capture them so you
won't be surprised when somebody else identifies them later.

The major costs, such as the machine, supplies, labor, and floor space, are
easy to calculate. Some, such as environmental or health effects of toxic
materials, are clearly more subjective.

The major benefit is likely to be the time saved by getting prototypes
faster. This cost of delay can be calculated in financial terms (dollars,
yen, francs, etc.) using a technique covered in Chapter 2 of our book,
Developing Products in Half the Time: New Rules, New Tools, ISBN
0-471-29252-4; I can send you a flyer for this book by private e-mail if
you need it.

So that you are comparing apples to apples, it is best to reduce all costs
and benefits to profit terms, which will help you communicate with
management. There will be some very soft items, such as environmental
effects, that you may have to just list, but try to estimate these
quantitatively too.

If speed is your major objective, A short article I published in CAE
magazine, "Make Time-to-Market Technologies a Bottom-Line Issue," (April
1998, page 78) will help you think like a businessperson here. If you can't
find this magazine, go to the Internet RP Conference,, where you
will find a copy of it SHORTLY. Or, if both of these fail, I could send you
a copy via e-mail.

Preston Smith CMC

New Product Dynamics tel: +1 (503) 248-0900
Portland, Oregon USA fax: +1 (503) 294-1192


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