Read the case of “We’ve Got Rhytm! Medtronic Cardiac Pacemaker Business”. Please answer the following questions: a.
Which of the improvements in the new product development process that the Medtronic management team implemented strike or impress you as having been particularly crucial to turning the company around? b.
What are the costs and benefits of having implemented product line architecture and train schedule in the pacemaker business? Answer:
I am so impressed with the platform strategy, even though the other 5 processes were also contributed to the turning of Medtronic back to its rhythm. The platform strategy was an answer to the Medtronic’s inability to introduce new product ahead of its competitors.
Some factors that contributed to this problem were:
No structured approach to plan product families. New products were not leveraged with derivative products that could extent their life and market reach. 2.
No integrated process to focus on the new product development. The first element of platform strategy, which was designing new product to accommodate the full range of derivative models, helped Medtronic to improve their capability to plan product families. The new product will have the highest performance and most sophisticated features. The product families then derived by de-featuring and de-rating certain elements of that design. This element also helped ensuring Medtronic to focus their effort and resources during product development stage. The second element of platform strategy was strived to maintain strong presence in both low end and high end market. The high-end product will be introduced first in high price, while the derivative of this high-end product introduced later to target the low-end market segment. Each new product will always be designed to enter both low-end and high-end market. This is also answering the ironic of pricing the high cost product low and the low cost product high. The third element of the platform...
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