Visor, is the handheld computer which Handspring company wants to release to the market to compete its market competitor Razor which produced by 3Com company. However, what is interesting is both companies has contacted IDEO for product design. Palm company, which is one of the 3Com devisions, has a successfully achieved its targets working with IDEO through its legendary product development process to produce Palm V handheld computer. IDEO enabled to translate the vision of Hawkins which was the Palm pilot at that time to reality which gave Hawkins the trust to work again with IDEO in his company Handspring.
IDEO product development process is unique, it goes through five development stages which started by understand/observe, visualize/realize, implement/detailed engineering and finally Implement/ manufacturing liaison. Each phase has its targets and deliverables that has to be achieved to move to next phase. However, IDEO has been asked to design Visor to be compatible, smaller and cheaper than Palm V within a limited time that cutes down the development process which could effect the quality of the product.
IDEO now has to decide weather to proceed the clint order and take all the consequences or advice Handspring to extend the development process time to create a killer product. From a business perspective, the features that Handspring asked to be designed into its handheld product are competitive but yet it’s not enough to compete the current market leader. However, maybe the cost would be the main factor which effect this competition. I believe releasing the product with this lower standards won’t help Handspring to achieve its targets. here will be that barrier which prevent customers to shift to the new product. what i suggest is giving more time to development process and develop that killer product which then could successfully acquire market attention. What made these companies and other worldwide companies likes Apple choosing IDEO for designing their projects is the designing philosophy that they follow. IDEO is a pioneer in combining engineering with art to produce an aestheticallycompetent products.
Additionally, IDEO has covered all the designing services that is needed for developing and manufacturing new projects such as; mechanical and electrical engineering, industrial design, ergonomics, information technology, prototype machine and cognitive psychology. IDEO is believing in flat organizational structure, no titles, positions or even dress code are existed, only the how excited the individual is in leading the project. This organizational structure is differ IDEO from other startups and big companies which are appleying bureaucratic hierarchal systems to achieve their organizational targets.
However, only few big companies like google enabled to implement such a flat system. I believe that these organizational approaches are based on the nature of company’s business more than randomness. It’s really hard to control a company with 10,000 employes using this methodology. It would cause a managerial problems, process delays and waste of money and time. IDEO believes that failure is enlightened trial which help the company reach production accuracy. Moreover, there is no a wrong idea, any idea has rose will archived for future project.
The environment which allow all employes to design his or her own workplace, awarding them by giving more competitive projects and organizing these events where individuals and groups can present there latest projects and designs, it is the culture which characterized IDEO from all its competitors, awarded and made the company a leader in designing felid. “Never go to a client without a prototype” and “If the picture worth thousand words, a prototype is worth ten thousand” That’s what prototype constitute to IDEO.
It is the most valuable tool which allow the company to communicate with its customers, experts, marketers and end users. Transform the visualizing image of a product into a tangible object is helping the two parties to be ensured about the final design. In prototyping, IDEO does not aim to perfect the prototype more than creating a a quick and simple ones which allow a greater number of iteration. Rapid prototyping at IDEO followed the three R’s : Rough, Rapid and Right. which the final R focuses on creating several models with Right product aspects.
In comparison with software development, both systems use a minimal planning and faster designing to make it easier to write or to make and then eligible to make any changes. Palm V is a resulted from accumulative process of five phases started as Palm which had superior features than its competitor at that time Apple by graffiti program for writing, syncing and a size of deck cards that can store address, numbers and calendar. However, after this product has introduced to the market, Startups began to enter the market acquiring market share.
Hawkins decided to to contact IDEO to create a slimmer and sleeker version of the existing Palm with a new targeted market segment, Female users. When they first started, IDEO couldn’t find customer feedback and data regarding the current palm product to begin with, so they decided to buy thousand of these devices and distributed them among friends and employes to generates feedback about the product. Additionally, they involved female member to the team and other females groups to achieve that targeted focus. A weekly meetings has been held to get the client in touch with development process and to make any necessarily changes.
IDEO suggested serval changes and improvements to the current product such as change the battery to the rechargeable lithium ion batteries and using the industrial glue?.? Some of these changes accrued due to the lack of experience and knowledge so they shifted the manufacturing to Asia. By the end of phase 2, 20-25 prototype were produced which used the CAD to help create accurate industrial model. Finally, in last two phase they started to test prototypes and meet governmental requirements and then to production.
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