University of Oulu

J. Majava, J. Nuottila, H. Haapasalo and K. Law, "Customer Needs in Market-Driven Product Development: Product Management and R&D Standpoints," Technology and Investment, Vol. 5 No. 1, 2014, pp. 16-25. doi: 10.4236/ti.2014.51003

Customer needs in market-driven product development : product management and R&D standpoints

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Author: Majava, Jukka1; Nuottila, Jouko1; Haapasalo, Harri1;
Organizations: 1Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Scientific Research Publishing, 2014
Publish Date: 2019-03-06


Meeting customer needs is considered to be vital for new product success. This study explores customer need identification and related challenges in product management and research and development (R&D) in a market-driven context, where a large number of customers exist. This paper reviews the literature on customer interaction and needs in a product development context. Despite the rich literature, product management and R&D angle have not been sufficiently addressed. Thus, customer need identification and challenges from product management and R&D managers’ perspectives are studied in two new product development (NPD) projects: one in business-to-business (B2B) and the other in business-to-consumer (B2C) market. While differences between B2B and B2C markets exist, the results indicate that product management professionals must collaborate with various stakeholders and utilize many information sources to obtain and interpret diverging customer needs. Recommended practices for companies to tackle various customer-need related challenges include systematic ways of working, small cross-functional teams in product definition, and avoiding early handovers between product management and R&D. Besides internal collaboration, product management and R&D professionals should aim for some direct contact with selected external customers to clarify the real and project specific needs, and to build overall understanding about customers.

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Series: Technology and investment
ISSN: 2150-4059
ISSN-E: 2150-4067
ISSN-L: 2150-4059
Volume: 5
Issue: 1
Pages: 16 - 25
Article number: 42663
DOI: 10.4236/ti.2014.51003
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 222 Other engineering and technologies
Copyright information: © 2014 Jukka Majava et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. In accordance of the Creative Commons Attribution License all Copyrights © 2014 are reserved for SCIRP and the owner of the intellectual property Jukka Majava et al. All Copyright © 2014 are guarded by law and by SCIRP as a guardian.