In a newly released report, Aberdeen Group found that top manufacturers were able to dramatically reduce their product development lead times, while increasing product quality, by leveraging community collaboration tools. These tools range from Web 2.0 plug-ins (e.g., wikis, blogs, discussion forums) for product development applications to virtual meeting solutions (e.g., teleconferencing solutions, webcasts). Incorporating the voice of the consumer, while enabling real-time collaboration among employees, has been a core priority among product companies. As such, there is a continued need to leverage new social technologies that are available to support business initiatives.
The use of real-time design collaboration is becoming more pervasive in a globalizing economy. Though the technology may be there, the benefits of concurrent design can only be realized if properly adopted. One major factor of adoption is user interface and ease of collaboration. It is evident that social networking, discussion forums, and virtual meeting solutions have been highly effective for sharing ideas within a community – but what about the case of product design and development? The responses reveal that top companies are able to leverage community collaboration technologies to improve communication, and to increase visibility to their product information among all stakeholders. The result is an ability to make expedited and informed decisions that lead to faster product to market, and to lower cost of errors.
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