ENLIGHTENED EXPERIMENTATION THOMKE PDF

But now, companies can take advantage of new technologies like computer simulation, rapid prototyping, and combinatorial chemistry to improve efficiency and reduce the cost of experimentation. But achieving that requires a thorough understanding of the link between experimentation and learning. The challenges are managerial as well as technical: Organize for rapid experimentation Examine and, if necessary, revamp entrenched routines, organizational boundaries, and incentives to encourage rapid experimentation. Consider using small development groups that contain key people designers, test engineers, manufacturing engineers with all the knowledge required to iterate rapidly. Determine what experiments can be performed in parallel instead of sequentially.

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HBS associate professor Stefan Thomke explains. Email New technologies such as computer simulations not only make experimentation faster and cheaper, they also enable companies to be more innovative. But achieving that requires a thorough understanding of the link between experimentation and learning. The challenges are managerial as well as technical: Organize For Rapid Experimentation Examine and, if necessary, revamp entrenched routines, organizational boundaries, and incentives to encourage rapid experimentation.

Consider using small development groups that contain key people designers, test engineers, manufacturing engineers with all the knowledge required to iterate rapidly. Determine what experiments can be performed in parallel instead of sequentially. Parallel experiments are most effective when time matters most, cost is not an overriding factor, and developers expect to learn little that would guide them in planning the next round of experiments.

Fail Early And Often, But Avoid Mistakes Embrace failures that occur early in the development process and advance knowledge significantly. Well-designed tests have clear objectives what do you anticipate learning?

Anticipate And Exploit Early Information Recognize the full value of front-loading: identifying problems upstream, where they are easier and cheaper to solve. Acknowledge the trade-off between cost and fidelity.

Experiments of lower fidelity generally costing less are best suited in the early exploratory stages of developing a product. High-fidelity experiments typically more expensive are best suited later to verify the product. Combine New And Traditional Technologies Do not assume that a new technology will necessarily replace an established one.

Usually, new and traditional technologies are best used in concert. Remember that new technologies emerge and evolve continually.

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Enlightened experimentation. The new imperative for innovation.

The Idea in Brief Millennium Pharmaceuticals shrank its drug-testing time from weeks to minutes—and beat its competitors to market. This is enlightened experimentation: using affordable new technologies like computer simulations and rapid prototyping to systematically innovate. Enlightened experimentation slashes the cost and time of innovation, and lets you regularly test a greater number of diverse product ideas—increasing your number of breakthroughs. Industries with high product-development costs—software, pharmaceutical, automotive—have made huge strides using this approach. But virtually all companies can benefit from cheaper and faster investigation of more innovative product and service concepts. The Idea in Practice How can your firm become an enlightened—and profitable—experimenter? Organize for Rapid Experimentation Experimenting quickly provides the rapid feedback you need to shape ideas.

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