IDEO Case – Case Study Example
IDEO Case Questions IDEO won more design awards in the 1990’s than any other firm. What is it about their process and culture that can be attributed to their success? Be specific.
There are many elements related to IDEO’s process and culture that can be contributed to their design effectiveness. Perhaps the most prominent consideration is that the company clearly has developed high-level self-reflexivity in terms of process. This is witnessed in the process wherein innovate product designs emerge from repeated failures. In terms of culture, the emphasis on innovation and what has been referred to as ‘Californian iconoclasm’ also creates a social environments where such creative potential can be nurtured and achieved success.
2. Do you see any parallels between IDEO’s three ‘R’s’ and software development (e.g. Agile development)
There are clear parallels between the three r’s and product development. The clear implication is that the three r’s constitute an articulation of the company’s process for development, where iteration is implemented as a means of achieving product innovation.
3. Could IDEO’s culture be implemented at a large company? What might some barriers be?
It’s possible that IDEO’s culture could be implemented at a large company with a number of caveats. The main challenge in this culture would be the difficultly in harnessing the creative abilities of the company in corporate iteration processes because the sheer amount of employees would make this difficult. This could potentially be circumvented by developing teams of people that would handle specific development aspects.
4. How is the organization at IDEO structured? Do you see any similarities between IDEO and a start-up?
The IDEO organization is noted to be structured through a number of smaller design studios. This is done as a means of maintaining the innovative group development process. There is a great similarity to a start-up in that the company follows a largely democratic order, encouraging great participation from its employees. The company also has an informal work environment, encouraging employees to design their own workspace.
5. Could IDEO’s emphasis on understanding and observing be beneficial to new ventures? Why or why not?
IDEO’s emphasis on understanding and observing could clearly be beneficial to new ventures. This understanding and observation process is a universal and broad reaching approach that is not product specific, but can be implemented in nearly all forms of product innovation.
6. Who was on the team in Phase I of the Palm V? How might these individuals contribute to the success of the product?
Most notably Phase I of the Palm V team involved a diverse array of individuals. This included a selection of international members, as well as emphasis on female participants. The obvious implication being that the international members could aid in contributing cultural specific product insight, and female members would add a gendered perspective.
7. What were some issues with the lithium ion batteries? Putting the unit together? How were these solved?
The issues with the lithium ion batteries was determining recharging times and use patterns. Another issue was concern surrounding the anodized aluminum. Because of client restrictions, IDEO’s innovation process could not be implemented and they had to settle for conservative development solutions.
8. How has the opinion, “people don’t want a combination device” played out in the marketplace?
It seems clear that combination devices in terms of phone and computer technology have become an essential aspect of the modern market, with customers demanding multi-purpose phone, tablet, or eReader technology.
9. Handspring wants to launch the product in late 1999, giving the product about 10 months to develop. Should the development team push for an aggressive schedule – not going through IDEO’s traditional development process? There is not enough time in the project to invest heavily in Phase 0 or Phase I? Is this an issue for the project?
The issue emerges in a question of quality. Properly answering this question involves a consideration of the company’s ultimate goal in product completion and a conservative assessment of market measures. IDEO has demonstrated that their innovate process is effective and given time could contribute to this product; as such, sacrificing this aspect would sacrifice quality for efficiency. The company needs to consider whether they want to establish market share as a low-cost alternative, or as a quality innovator. Given IDEO’s history, it seems that they opt towards the later, making the shortened time period an issue for the project.