(Adapted from Meredith and Mantel)
D.U. Singer Hospital Products Corp. has done sufficient new product development at the research and development level to estimate a high likelihood of technical success for a product of assured commercial success: A long-term antiseptic. Management has instructed Singer’s Antiseptic Division to make a market entry at the earliest possible time; they have requested a complete plan up to the startup of production.
Project responsibility is assigned to the division’s research and development group; Mike Richards, the project scientist who developed the product is assigned responsibility for project management. Assistance will be required from other parts of the company: Packaging task force, R&D group, Corporate engineering, and Corporate purchasing.
Mike was concerned about the scope of the project. He knew from his own experience that a final formula had yet to be developed, although such development was really a “routine” function. The remaining questions had to do with color, odor, and consistency additives rather than any performance-related modification. Fortunately, the major regulatory issues had been resolved and he believed that submission of regulatory documentation would be followed by rapid approval as they already had a letter of approval contingent on final documentation.
Mike was concerned about defining the project unambiguously. To that end, he obtained an interview with S. L. Mander, the group vice-president. When he asked Mander where his responsibility should end, the executive turned the question back to him. Mike had been prepared for this and said that he would like to regard his part of the project as done when the production process could be turned over to manufacturing. They agreed that according to Singer practice, this would be when the manufacturing operation could produce a 95% yield of product (fully packaged) at a level of 80% of the full