Case ID: 600143     Solution ID: 36914     Words: 1304 Price $ 45

IDEO Product Development Case Solution


The case arrangement gives an investigation of the item improvement instance of IDEO, one of the world's biggest and best item advancement firms. This examination concentrates on the item improvement, and outline of the new expected hand held processing gadget of 3Com, Palm V. A knowledge is given on why IDEO is the correct accomplice and advancement firm for the 3Com, by surveying the strategic offer of IDEO against the prerequisites of Hawkins' group. The investigation quickly reveals insight into how IDEO's group, under Boyle's authority figures out how to plan a tastefully satisfying and actually skillful item that acquires another benchmark for the hand held processing gadgets.

As IDEO's consultants we recommend three courses of action, each having its advantages and disadvantages. Our three alternatives are as follows: 1. Reject Handspring's proposal

2. Accept Handspring's Proposal

3. Recommend a New Proposal to Handspring

We recommend that they should proceed with the third alternative by proposing that Handspring can extend the development schedule, but keeping in mind that if Handspring rejects our offer, we will still choose to take the project, after all it is a good opportunity as we discuss in more detail in the report. We also recommend in the last section ways of measuring the Visor project's performance, which are as follows:

* Implement incremental Reviews

* Use the Design Structure Matrix (DSM)

I. Introduction

IDEO is one of the world's most successful product development firms, which operates under a very innovative and unique process. It has clients in several industries that include mechanical and electrical engineering, industrial design, ergonomics and cognitive psychology. In this section we would like to explore IDEO's organization, processes, management, and the role of experimentation and prototyping. IDEO's organization

IDEO is a very dynamic organization that we can characterize by five key terms; innovation, prototyping and brain storming (enlightened trial and error), focused chaos, information sharing and a consumer-centered mentality.

Innovation: innovation is their competitive edge as well as their core business function, and to achieve it they have created a ‘legendary innovation process' and an inspirational work environment. Everything at IDEO inspires them with new ideas, starting with their personally designed work space that includes bicycles hanging from the ceiling to the 300 objects in the Tech Box. At IDEO employees are encouraged to leave their desks to interact with each other.

Enlightened trial and error: through rapid prototyping and brainstorming IDEO is able to make spectacular failures that enrich its knowledge for future product developments. IDEO develops a number of prototypes that is larger than any company you might have seen. 

The process again relies heavily on prototyping and brainstorming. Regarding prototyping IDEO follows the 3 R's model; rough, rapid & right". ‘Rough' as in it can be made from any available material, rapid emphasizes speed and right is concerned with focusing on a small section of the product but getting it right.

Furthermore, IDEO's process enables them to concentrate on the design aspect of any product development project, as well as the engineering and technical aspects, unlike some of its competitors who choose and stress industrial design over engineering. Also note that failure is expected, encouraged and incorporated as part of the process.

An important characteristic of this process is that it is not specific to a certain product, client or industry, but it is there for IDEO employees to continuously generate new ideas for anything one can imagine.

To better illustrate the essence of IDEO's process; let us quote David Kelley in one of his videos: "we're not experts at any given area; we're experts on the process of how you design stuff". Therefore, IDEO always strives to answer the question of how to innovate using their well-established process'. IDEO's management

The management style adopted at IDEO is a flexible, non-hierarchal one, where all employees seem equal. This is portrayed in their lack of titles and permanent assignments. Project leaders are chosen based on how good they are able to deal with group members and not based on seniority. Furthermore, according to the case they choose to motivate employees with high performance by giving them "more challenging projects to lead" (page 6), or shares in the company. If you notice both rewards have a value associated with them, for example the challenging projects show that employees are motivated by the nature of their work and not the monetary value they receive, while giving shares increases the sense of ownership in the company and hence, their loyalty.

Decisions are taken by the teams themselves, as for command decisions (decisions from managers, who they called in the videos ‘the adults'), they are sometimes practiced but for very short periods. For example a decision taken after a brainstorming ‘Deep Dive' session that entails how the teams will be split and what activities they will carry out, however, after that participative decision making takes place.

Finally, as we learned from the videos IDEO and specifically David Kelly hires people who do not listen to him, because only then can they challenge ideas and become innovative.

Read More

Excel Calculations

Questions Covered

  1. What is IDEO’s value proposition for Palm V? That is, what value does Palm expect to gain from IDEO’s service?
  2. Was IDEO able to deliver on this value proposition? How?
  3. Identify the creative solutions implemented in the engineering and design of Palm V. How did they come about? How were the problems identified and the solutions developed? What were the costs and benefits of these creative solutions?
  4. Describe the steps in the “knowledge funnel” for the development of Palm V. Were these steps serendipitous or predictable? Why?
  5. Does IDEO manage and/or facilitate the perception-imagination relationship? Provide specific examples.