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Literature review

This literature review shall be reviewing documents written about the topic at hand: Fuzzy-Front End of Product at Technology Startups. It shall give importance to studies conducted by names that have long been respected in the field including: Khurana and Rosenthal (1997), Koen et al. (2001), Kim and Wilemon (2002), Reid and Brentani (2004) and Herstatt and Verworn (2004). This shall also focus on the definition given by the authors with regard to the fuzzy front end phase of product innovation. It shall also be discussing other issues that are related to the study of the very important phase in the innovation of certain projects.

In recent times, companies have given importance to the so-called fuzzy front end of product development. For some managers, the front end is where they find the greatest weaknesses of products that they would want to innovate. At the same time, the front end also greatly helps in determining which among their projects would be executed, its quality, the costs and timings that come with it (Herstatt, Verworn & Nagahira, 2002). It is in this particular stage where companies do not exert much effort to optimize but its effect to the whole process is very high.

According to a study conducted by Cooper and Kleinschmidt, cited in the article The Fuzzy Front End of Product Development: An Exploratory Study of German and Japanese Innovation Projects by Cornelius Herstatt, Birgit Verworn and Akio Nagahira (2002), the disparities that exist between the winners and losers were usually found in the quality of their pre-development activities. It is also according to the study conducted by the mentioned authors that two factors had been identified which surely plays a major role in the success of the product.

These are: the quality of executing the pre-development activities as well as a distinct product developed even before reaching the development phase. In the same manner, this chapter would review the different tools associated with the fuzzy front stage of product innovation and/or the development of new products. It would first review project risk management, being an essential part of the fuzzy front end phase would ensure that it would give the enterprise the maximum amount of revenues they could get. Risk management is essential to organizations become conscious of the need to improve their resources- its control and use.

This is essential as they try to survive as they are in the midst of a tight competition. Project management then is an approach being applied by the different organizations in their hopes to improve the use of their different resources in order to improve their operations. In addition, they also mention that project risk management goes beyond the identification, evaluation and treatment of risks. For most companies, it has even in fact been one of the most important aspects of the overall process of project management.

In the same manner, it would look into public relations processes (i. e. the incorporation of communication strategies) within and outside the company and how it affects the success of the process. In summary, this study shall show the importance of public relations to organizations in forging long lasting relationships. In the same way, this study also recognizes the importance of the aforementioned in developing motivational and rewards systems that are also essential in enhancing the productivity of the members. This is because the public relations industry itself recognizes the value of maintaining good relationships between companies and its employees and between companies and its public.

Good relationships are necessary to gain the trust of both the company’s employees as well as its public. In a world were people are saturated with all sorts of marketing information, trust has become the necessary competitive edge that would make a company rise from above the clutter of other competitors. The goal of public relations then is to establish relationships. Internal cooperation and support within the members of the enterprises is then essential to the success of the whole product innovation process.

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