Concepts to products: Lessons learned from industrial success stories

Ilkka Jokioinen*, Petri Suomala

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to discuss successful industrial product development (PD) projects. The study seeks to identify both the features that are common to successful projects and the features that seem to distinguish one success project from another. Design/methodology/approach - The paper is based on an ex-post analysis of real-world projects that can be considered successful. The empirical data were collected on a case study basis. The approach is built on the analysis of four cases that represent different businesses within one industrial company. Findings - The study produced several insights. First, one major pattern conjoins all the studied projects: they were intended and able to produce valuable solutions for productivity problems in customers' industry. Importantly, it was possible to prove this value (explicitly) at an early stage of the development. Originality/value - Regarding the successful practices, the observed ways to develop a new and an innovative industrial product and to bring it to the market differed from case to case. A textbook approach for a good R&D process was not found in the cases. Contrary to an "ideal" process, the phases of development overlapped each other and some phases were completely absent. In these settings, the innovative and entrepreneurial development team had been able to overcome the problems that originated from missing upfront "home work" or from a less rigorous process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-395
Number of pages26
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2006
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Benchmarking
  • Industrial performance
  • Performance criteria
  • Product development


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