An empirical study into the causes of lateness of new product development projects

K.E. Oorschot, van, J.W.M. Bertrand, C.G. Rutte

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In this paper we investigate the causes of lateness of new product development projects. From literature, we have identified three possible causes of lateness: optimistic estimates of processing times, instability of project networks and the impact of due date nearness on engineer's performance. Over a time-span of 42 weeks, detailed empirical data were collected of two product development projects to verifY the occurrence of these three causes in real-life product development projects. The data reveal that indeed engineers produce optimistic estimates, but only for large work packages, that the project networks were highly unstable, and that the engineer's performance was highly affected by due date nearness. The data suggest that project lateness is mainly due to the combined effect of project network instability and the engineer performance being dependent on due date nearness. From the interpretation of the data implications are derived for the management ofnew product development projects.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEindhoven
PublisherTechnische Universiteit Eindhoven
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)90-386-1668-6
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Publication series

NameBETA publicatie : working papers
ISSN (Print)1386-9213


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