As products launch and change management. Background Most

As organisations become
increasingly global and cross-functional, advancements in technology, silos are
breaking down, connectivity is increasing and organisations face more complex
changes (Cross, Rebele and Grant, 2016). At an increasing speed presents the need for
companies to respond to strategic challenges by increasing their product
portfolios and by addressing new market segments, new product introduction management
in the technology industry has become more challenging. Research has attributed
some difficulties in doing so largely to problems in the new product launch
process, and has pinpointed the essential role of not only adopting to changes
and managing your consumer expectations but also teamwork and managing internal
processes as efficiently as possible is seen as a key to organisational success
(Wind and Mahajan, 1981). An ethos of speed of new product launch
through change management needed for the success of new product introduction.

This study will employ
longitudinal research in a case company to identify if and how they reconcile
this conundrum, to advance understanding concerning the critical link between new
products launch and change management.

 

Background

Most reliable predictors of
success for new introductions relate to product, strategy, process and
marketplace characteristics  (Wilson et al., 2016). Product launch process, also known as
commercialization process, sits within process characteristics and begins when
a business identifies a way to use engineering advancement to meet a market
need and is a the last stage of the new product development. The process
continues through design, development, and marketing, includes efforts to
improve the product, and can be separated into three main parts the product,
the consumer and the organisation developing the new product. All the various
steps owned by different functions with simultaneously overlapping phases (Nevens, Summe and Uttal, 1990; Gourville, 2005). The growing number of new product launches has
triggered challenges and inefficiencies on organisational and process levels
across the global technology industry. With new products constantly emerging,
companies have become more agile to keep up with rapidly changing market
conditions and with all their efforts to get all product components right, yet
most product launches still fail. The same can be said for change management (Schneider and Hall, 2011). One of the main problems is that organisations
like a routine and it still has to be learned. It takes time and money to try
new things; it disrupts and distracts the day-to-day working of the
organisation and can upset current processes and arrangements and require
efforts in acquiring and using new skills. Not surprising that the strategy
they adapt is to try and short-cut the processes by borrowing ideas from other
organisation (Tidd and Bessant, 2013). Another reason depends on how products are differentiated
and how the consumer perceives it. In addition, most consumers are unwilling to
change from one product to another which detects conflict and also means that
the organisation has overestimated the market size, demand, have not positioned
correctly (Gourville, 2005).

At the outset, anything is
possible, but in many cases, the new product development process blurs into the
process of new product launch. For example, customer co-development, test
marketing and use of alpha, beta and gamma test sites yield data on customer
requirements and so on. Typically, product launch process involves a sequence
of awareness, interest, trial, evaluation and adaption. Simply making the consumer
aware of the new product, will not be sufficient, they need to be drawn into
the process through the other stages (Tidd and Bessant, 2013). As debated by Kotter & Schlesinger (2008), when choosing strategy for change, organisations
leaders must continually deal with increased competition, changing workforce,
technological advancements, growth and new regulations. Therefore, organisations need to embrace
change and think about how to support fast growth and implement an agile launch
process that can overcome obstacles related to new product launch. The success depends
on not only adopting to their market needs but successful change management of
internal processes is also a very important factor in managing customer
satisfaction and creating better experience (Cooper, 1999). Critical to note it does not guarantee that it
will be successful. Hence, the quest to investigate the effectiveness of
product launch process have been limited and apart from the lack of research
there still exist inconclusive findings concerning which approach to product
launch process in the technology industry will be the most successful.

These concerns lead to a
comprehensive investigation of the factors, and the techniques that can
optimize the implementation of a product launch initiatives through change
management in the case company.

 

Sample Literature Review

The research literature identifies
several launch challenges, for example, timing, decisions, demand, cross-functional
silos and sales management. In case of innovative technology applications that
are developed and launched is the process of introducing a new product into the
market for initial sale (Tzokas, Hultink and Hart, 2004;
Cooper, 2014). And its main purpose is to maximise companies
profitability by introducing their product into the target market and depend on
the specific buying behaviour to be influenced (Guiltinan, 1999).

 Accordingly, a great deal of launch literature
examines the elements of launch that contribute to new product success (Guiltinan, 1999; Bruce, Daly and
Kahn, 2007; Tidd and Bessant, 2013; Johnson and Sohi, 2017). However, launch process calls for the other
side of the coin, as it’s been largely ignored. In addition, launch is said to
be often poorly managed (Schoenherr and Swink, 2015), and the launch process to be unstructured (Roger J. Calantone and C. Anthony Di Benedetto, 2007; Wilson et al.,
2016). Therefore, it is suggested here that in order to
develop a more organized approach on launch it would be important to grasp the
challenges of it. Because the marketing function is a focal function during
launch (Schneider and Hall, 2011; Tidd
and Bessant, 2013), particularly in the context of marketing it is
considered suitable for examining these challenges. That means that for example
production ramp-up issues are not of interest here as such, but perhaps their
effects on the timing of the new product launch process.

New product launch
activities formulated on the bases of the organisations strategy, considering existing
product iteration or extensions, and introduced to seek growth, to meet market
demand and to take advantages of consumer desires. In addition, it reduces
marketing efforts, reduces risk and enhances the parent brand. However, if the
product loses its purpose, or released to soon or causes confusion amongst
customers and requires recognising the issues, stepping in and correcting any
inaccuracy, which often can be very costly and purely managed. New product
launch particularly is already very costly process and the organisation need to
provide for not only marketing activities, but also invest in internal and
external training, gear up productions and align all operations (Kotler et al., 2008).

The main goal of this research
is to combine the product launch, change management elements, and provide a
product launch framework for a common use in different product launches inside
the case company.

Identify the most critical
product launch stages from change management perspective

 

Research Methods & Methodology

The sample literature conducted, has provided limited insight
into the product launch process from change management perspective.

 

Research objective and questions

The capabilities and conditions of successful product
launch have been viewed from various perspectives by researchers and scholars. This
research will be analysing the product launch process of the case company in
the context of change management. Therefore, this research has two complementary
goals, first to gain a common understanding of change management and launch process
improvement and the possibility coloration between both terms. Secondly, it
aims to provide references for improving management practice concerning product
launch process in the selected case company. This research will investigate and
analyse the change management process transfer and implementation within
product launch process. Common and different process frameworks will be
identified in the case company and how these frameworks influence the new
product introduction. These issues will be critically analysed to compare the
observed practice in the case company with theoretical developments and with results
of earlier studies.

On that bases, the following research questions will
have to be answered:

Whether launch process management can be achieved through
change management?

How case companies launch process change can be
implemented to achieve cross-functional efficiency or is there a need to

 Research scope, limitations and validly of the
research

Both product launch
process and change management subjects are widely applied and examining every
point would exceed the dimensions of this research. Therefor this research will
only provide for an overview of product launch process in the technology
industry and change management theory to create a baseline understanding required
before the actual research conducted. Since this is a case study the validity
and scope of the research is limited to the case company and particular product
launch process discussed