Kangley, Harvey (2020) Barriers to Implementing PD Process Change in a British Manufacturing SME: A Case Study. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

The purpose of this thesis is to explore the hypothesis that there are barriers to the implementation of a formal new product development (NPD) process and associated tools in small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and that these can be overcome by close partnership with a suitable knowledge base partner.

This thesis begins with a thorough review of existing literature relating to product development process change within SMEs. Following this, the experiences of a UK based manufacturing SME that makes use of a novel formalised process for product development are presented within a series of case studies. The Product Development (PD) process attempts to incorporate the recommendations of the literature. The case studies are based on projects that took place before and after the SME embarked upon a product development focused Knowledge Transfer Partnership.

The case studies have enabled conclusions to be drawn in relation to this hypothesis. Barriers identified within the literature review and experienced by the SME within project case studies are discussed, these include: Interference or a lack of strategy from top management; A lack of knowledge (and/or training) of the product design process and its tools; Complexity of tools and processes; A lack of resources or poor management of resources; Poor process flexibility; and prior development project failures.

New barriers are identified based upon the experiences logged within the case studies, these include: the desire (or perhaps need) within an SME to be agile and complete projects quickly or achieve a ‘Quick Win’, a bottleneck in the throughput of product development projects, the difficulties faced by SME’s in accessing appropriate test equipment; a lack of communication (to inform company strategy) between product development team members and top management; and poor communication of information relating to a product from the product development team at the point of commercialisation.

FINAL THESIS - Kangley.pdf - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 18 September 2025.
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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