The effect of uncertainty perception on activity selection in product development teams

Sarah Venturim Lasso, Philip Cash, Melanie Kreye, Jaap Daalhuizen

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Uncertainty perception plays a key part in innovative product development projects since they have high levels of uncertainty. Consequently, understanding the strategies that teams use to deal with uncertainty can point to key insights for improving project performance. Therefore, it is relevant to investigate this area of uncertainty perception and subsequent activity in product development project teams. In spite of the existing literature on product development and uncertainty, gaps remain in mapping the types of perceived uncertainty in different projects and also understanding of the influence of uncertainty on individual´s activities. We present evidence from a case study of two interconnected projects in a high technology company. The key results were the mapping of several uncertainties that are perceived by the team members in both projects and the activities triggered by different uncertainty types. Key insights from this study are the interconnections between uncertainties, affecting product development activities across projects. Despite taking specific counter actions in the first project, major uncertainties were still inherited by the subsequent project, significantly impacting the project´s early phases activities.This research generates three main contributions in terms of mapping uncertainties and triggered activities. The first is the existing of multiple perceived uncertainties interacting in both project types, which increases the challenges of the projects. The second is the uncertainty sets situations, which have a major role in the project in contrast to the single uncertainties situations, and has significant impact in the product development
projects and their performance, echoing also in the triggered activities. The third is the triggered activities which are different for single uncertainty types situations and uncertainty sets situations.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2017
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event24th International Product Development Management Conference - Reykjavik, Iceland
Duration: 11 Jun 201711 Jun 2017
Conference number: 24


Conference24th International Product Development Management Conference


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