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Challenges with Evaluating Performance in Product Development

Publication Type:

Conference/Workshop Paper




The purpose of this paper is to from a managerial perspective investigate performance evaluation practices in a product development context. The focus is on exploring how managers perceive and evaluate performance in a software-intensive product development context. The research approach pursued in this research consist of a literature review combined with focused group interviews and exploratory multiple case studies. Moreover, a number of seminars have been held to discuss the findings both in academia and in practice. The result of this research indicates that product development managers are dissatisfied with their current way of evaluating performance. Performance measurements and the perception of performance are focused on cost, time and quality, i.e. what is easily measurable and not necessarily what is important. The dimensions of value creations and learning are missing. It is argued that manager perception of performance is affected by how it is measured, hence limiting the scope of the performance criteria. Thus, a change in the way managers perceive performance is necessary before there can be any change in the way performance is evaluated. Managers within product development that are dissatisfied with their performance measurement system should focus on how the organization perceive performance. By developing relevant performance criteria the first step in developing an effective performance evaluation system is made.


author = {Stefan Cedergren and Anders Wall and Christer Norstr{\"o}m},
title = {Challenges with Evaluating Performance in Product Development},
month = {June},
year = {2010},
url = {}