Methodical product development

Developing products is one of the most demanding cognitive activities, humans can perform. Developers still have to discover new solutions, despite of vague or contradictory requirements. The research discipline “methodical product development” aims to improve the teaching and as well as the practical application of product development methods and approaches. Companies, teams and individuals within this field of activity must be supported by recommended actions, methods and models. Due to the consistently changing conditions in the industrial environment, the main focus of the research unit “methodical product development” is to constantly address present-day challenges in the business environment, for example by new procedures (e.g. agile development), forms of organization (e.g. open innovation) or kinds of products (e.g. product-service systems). Relevant impulses are generated through application oriented research projects (with industry partners) as well as through a variety of bachelor and master thesis.

Main topics

The emphasis of the research unit “methodical product development” can be summarized in the following topics:

Methods for the product and service integrated product development

In this main topic, the development of product and service integrated systems, so called product-service systems, is focused. On the one hand, the interactions of these systems with the business model and its development are of interest. On the other hand, innovative smart technologies also offer high potentials in providing services, which need to be taken into consideration during the product development.

  • Early phase of the development of product-service systems (division)
  • Risk based assessment during the development of digital business models
  • Development of smart product-service systems
    - Integrated product and business model development
    - Variant and complexity management
    - Resource efficiency

Development controlling

Due to the typical characteristics of the development activities, the entrepreneurial success of product development activities is not only difficult to evaluate, to measure or to allocate to involved stakeholders but also difficult to plan. The thematic focus lies on the case specific choice of existing key performance indicators as well as on the development of new performance indicators, especially for the field of research and development.

  • Systematization and case specific allocation of key performance indicators for the performance measurement in the product development
  • Development of performance indicators for the potential assessment of R&D projects

Planning and controlling of development processes

Development processes need to be adapted to the specific development context (e.g. industry sector, development object and quantity). A special interest is given to a concurrent controlling of the development processes in order to anticipate uncertainties and resulting risks in the course of the development process. Furthermore, also during the early phases of the planning and the definition of requirements, subsequent processes and forthcoming risks can also be influenced.

  • Adaption of development processes to specific development contexts (significant participation in the committee GPP FA 701: methodical product development)
  • Risk oriented planning and controlling of innovative projects
  • Requirements management
    - Risk oriented classification of requirements for the controlling of development processes
    - Definition of the solution space through a model based requirements management (QFD)

Transformations in the product development and implementation of methods

The continuous change in the industrial environment requires the adaption of companies and with that of the product development. This changing process challenges organizations and their employees and can involve the implementation of new methods for example. Therefore, this research topic addresses both suitable training concepts and innovative teaching methods for the higher education of future product developers.

  • Education and qualification (Querlink zur Lernfabrik)
    - Imparting of methodical approaches for the development of technical systems and products in higher education
    - Imparting of competences for the development of resource efficient products
    - VImparting of competences for the development of smart products
  • Situative operationalization of methods

The Team

  Michael Herzog
  IC 1 / 175
  0234/32-25469

  Daniela Kattwinkel
  IC 1 / 175
  0234/32-24133

  Young-Woo Song
  IC 1 / 175
  0234/32-26316

Project Partners