Innovation models and the front-end of product innovation

Van Zyl, Hillet (2006-12)

Thesis (MScEng (Industrial Engineering))--University of Stellenbosch, 2006.


This thesis explores the innovation survival issue. As role players in an increasingly global marketplace, businesses acknowledge that regular and constant innovation is the key to remaining competitive. In other words, in order to be successful, businesses are compelled to operate and produce products that will satisfy the changing market requirements and exploit new technology opportunities. The study also investigates the difficulties and risks associated with innovation activities. Secondly, with the goal of addressing the identified problems and risks, a study is made of formal innovation models. The different innovation models are then compared with each other and plotted on a general Innovation Landscape. The populated Innovation Landscape thus serves as a positioning guide to innovators, so that they can select the best-suited innovation model for a specific industry and project. A case study is then undertaken to test the level of applicability and the possible support that formal innovation models can offer to a real industrial problem. The case study focuses on the front-end of innovation and the formal innovation model studied was the W-Model. The W-Model is also critically evaluated, based on the results of the case study, in order to propose improvements so that it can better support future industry innovation applications.

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