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Case Studies by Christian Terwiesch

5 case studies

by Publication Date
published: 24 Mar 2014

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Industry: Research and Development
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
Hypios offers companies (called “seekers”) a secure website where they can formulate and publish R&D problems and reach out to a global community of “solvers”: engineers, scientists and other experts in the Hypios network. The idea is that seekers offer monetary rewards for the right solution and solvers compete to find the best solution and win the reward. Hypios must identify industries where this business model would be most promising and develop an appropriate business model.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Development of new busines models. Innovations in the R&D process. Introduction to Open Innovation.

Keywords:
Open Innovation, Business Models, Business Model Innovation, Innovation, Research and Development, European Competitiveness, Europe

published: 06 Dec 2002

  • Topic: Operations
  • Industry: Steel making
  • Region: South America

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Abstract:
In a revolutionary technology plant, iron ore is converted into pure iron by hydrogen reduction. The case describes the process flow, including flow diagrams, mass balances, yields, and equipment uptimes. The case then describes the fixed and variable cost structure of labor, material and equipment, resulting in an analysis of the plant economics.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case enables the student to analyze a continuous process flow, translating an operational process description into economic performance. Based on the economic analysis improvement projects can be prioritized.

Keywords:
Plant Economics, Continuous Processes, Yield Management, Equipment Uptimes and Maintenance, Flow Analysis

published: 12 Jun 2002

  • Topic: Operations
  • Industry: Steel making
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
The two companies started in 1995 to develop a new breakthrough technology for converting iron ore into pure iron. The project was extremely challenging because of complexity (a three-way joint venture involving three countries) and uncertainty (new technology posing unforeseeable complications). The case describes the difficulties to make the technology work.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Understand the nature of unforeseeable uncertainty, and the limits of risk management. Understand risk profiles, and the management style that is appropriate for projects with unforeseeable uncertainty. Rather than relying on planning and execution, such a project requires a flexible approach that gives the team resources and capabilities for problem solving and learning, and the authority to change course.

Keywords:
Project Management, Risk Management, Breakthrough Technologies, Technology Development, Uncertainty, R&d Partnering, Steel Making

Related:

published: 01 Dec 1997

  • Topic: Operations
  • Industry: Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case describes the development of a new analgesic (painkiller) drug for the German subsidiary of a large Swiss pharmaceutical company. Development was successfully completed by a dedicated unit, and the drug gained a large market share quickly after launch. However, irresponsible use of the drug caused severe side-effects in a few patients, leading to a crisis which ultimately led the German health authority to restrict the drug to a small niche indication. The restriction eliminated most of the commercial potential of the drug. Many factors contributed to this product failure; the question is whether there were systematic management errors.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Many different factors and parties, internal and external, played a role in the failure of Nopane. The organization could not agree on fundamental reasons for the failure, nor on culprits. Several management themes emerge that contributed to the failure, each of which may be explored separately in depth, or all together may be explored more superficially. The themes are: Project organization: setting up a dedicated unit for a project, impacts on organizational interfaces and incentives Cross-functional cooperation: the ability of different functions to communicate and work together, internal and external International projects: the challenge of carrying out an international project simultaneously in Germany, the US and China

Keywords:
Project Management, New Product Development, Pharmaceutical Industry, Organizational Structure, International Development, Cross-Functional Teams

published: 11 Jan 1996

  • Topic: Operations
  • Industry: Automotive

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Abstract:
The case describes a car development project falling behind schedule because of engineering changes in the design of the body stamping dies. The engineering changes can be traced to the parallel execution of several engineering activities. The project manager is faced with the question whether the amount of parallelity, or concurrency, was too high and too risky, or whether engineering changes can be avoided by other means.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case describes the difficulty of working with preliminary information in a concurrent development process where engineering activities are overlapped. It is shown how overlap increases project uncertainty and causes rework delays in spite of having a co-located cross-functional team in place. The case demonstrates fundamental trade-offs of concurrent engineering in addition to organizational communication.

Keywords:
Concurrent Engineering, New Product Development, Innovation Process, Automotive Industry, Engineering Changes, Communication

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