Class I


Our inaugural class completed the first seven Capstone projects in November 2000. Below is a list of titles, authors, and advisors, followed by abstracts:

For a copy of a Capstone report, please e-mail and indicate project title, your organization, and the reason for your interest.

Current students should login.

Strategic Sourcing of Product Development Services - A Decision Making Framework

Neil Dempsey, Salvador Barragan-Perez (both from Xerox), and Charles Cappellino (Goulds Pumps); Sandra Rothenberg, faculty advisor; Rich Penwell (Xerox) and Barry Erickson (Goulds Pumps), industry advisors. (This project was presented at the Management Roundtable conference on Product and Process Leadership in Boston, April 2001, and published in the Journal of Supply Chain Management).

Execution of an extended enterprise sourcing model for product development services is an essential endeavor in today's highly competitive and fast paced global economy. This project explores the critical challenges that must be overcome as companies seek to implement the extended enterprise, including supplier capability assessment, the impact on maintenance of technical competencies, and confusion over roles and responsibilities. A four-step framework is developed to assist product development managers in making effective sourcing decisions.

The Governance Mechanisms that Influence the Success of International Strategic Alliances

Ed Solcz, Mike Piccirilli, and Bill Williams (all from Xerox); Sue Hartman, faculty advisor; Charles Gardiner (Xerox), industry advisor.

This project examines three primary factors that influence the success of international strategic alliances: the selection of an alliance partner, the choice of organizational form or governance structure, and the management processes used to govern the relationship. A diagnostic/prescriptive tool is developed to determine the likelihood of alliance success. Along with a concise set of lessons learned, utilization of the tool will enhance the probability of success for future alliances.

Collaborative Design and Development to Accelerate Durable Goods Design and Manufacturing

Gary Faguy, Tom Lambert, David Thompson, and Kris Walker (all from Xerox); John Ettlie, faculty advisor; Tony Federico and Audrey Pantas (both from Xerox), industry advisors.

The ever increasing demand for new products at benchmark quality levels necessitates the engagement of partners. Enabled by the Internet and advanced software, a new breed of collaborative design tools is emerging that will solve many of the problems experienced while partnering. Our research shows that two major organizational limitations must be solved in order for assembled products companies to embrace these critical tools: 1) internal resources must be optimized by creating true concurrent design practices across global geographies, and 2) partnerships must be extended in an effort to virtualize resources.

Applying Self-Organizing Principles to Product Development in a Globally Distributed Environment

Mike Monahan, Gene DiTomasso, and Tony Fantanzo (all from Xerox); Paul Stiebitz, faculty advisor; Dave Zawadzki (Xerox), industry advisor.

Command and control style management is often too slow or inefficient to manage complex organizations in a turbulent marketplace. There is a tendency for these organizations to suffer from process paralysis. Globalization of product design among business partners in a web-based environment represents a paradigm shift in new product development which requires fundamentally new ways of architecting, designing and manufacturing products. This project examines ways in which governing principles of complex adaptive systems can be utilized to improve the architecting, design and management processes of products developed in globally distributed environments.

Technology Infrastructure Services at Customer Sites

Anthony Nozzi and Amy Opela (both from Xerox); Sudhakar Paidy, faculty advisor; Jack Hennessy (Xerox), industry advisor.

Employees located at customer sites often do not have access to electronic information services provided to employees at internally connected sites. This project undertakes the development of an information systems architecture that enables the delivery of employee services and access to internal corporate resources at remote sites. A business and technical feasibility analysis forms a solid foundation for full-scale development and implementation.

Platform Element Dynamics in a Multi-Product Development Environment

Hamidah Mansor and Mark Troia (both from Xerox); John Ettlie, faculty advisor; Tony Federico (Xerox), industry advisor.

One popular approach designed to improve product delivery and lower cost is to develop a family of products based on a common platform. Despite mounds of literature and years of industry experience associated with platform implementation, there continue to be significant challenges with this approach. In this project a strategic framework is constructed to evaluate the factors affecting platform strategy. A structure is provided to assess the platform development process against its organizational infrastructure and in the context of continuous technology evolution. New ideas are forwarded to improve the platform development process and identify a complementary organizational infrastructure. A technology roadmap for future platforms is also identified.

The Application of Software Process Improvement (SPI) and CMM to the New Product Development Process and Financial Results

Anthony Bradley and Chris Shafer (both from Xerox); Mike Lutz, faculty advisor; Steve Schlonski (Xerox), industry advisor.

SPI initiatives are commonplace in today's software development companies. Logically, these initiatives should translate into more efficient product development and, therefore, to improved productivity and cost savings. This project examines SPI activities in a number of companies to determine financial impact and NPD process performance impact. Guidelines are provided to help managers make intelligent decisions about the application of CMM to SPI initiatives as a function of organizational size and structure, project type and scope.