Managing Product Introduction Projects in Operations: Key challenges in heavy-duty vehicle industry
In today’s market conditions, manufacturing companies are under pressure to constantly launch new products or product variants to the market in short intervals. Introduction of new products poses managerial implications on the existing production systems and their processes. Hence, the production and operations organisations are increasingly involved in the early phases of new product development since they are responsible for the product introduction and delivery. The project management of product introduction therefore play a significant role in the success of new product development. The existing literature covers a wide range of issues and disturbances in the product introduction process in different industries. However, little research exists on the management of product introduction from a project management perspective especially from the viewpoint of operations. Based on a case study at a manufacturing company in heavy-duty vehicle industry, this paper examines the challenges in managing product introduction projects in the production and operations organisation. The study identified seven types of projects in relation to the product introduction. Further, nine key challenges are identified in the management of product introduction projects which are associated to the resources, time-readiness and schedule, gated administration, ways of working, communication and time-sharing, learning, business cases, co-ordination and alignment, and competences. The study contributes new insights into project management in operations by deepening the understanding on the issues associated to the product introduction projects.