Case Study: Ideo Product Development

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Abstract This report is based on a case presented by Harvard Business School, titled “IDEO Product Development.” The goal of this report is to examine whether an engineering design company, IDEO, should have requested more time to complete a design for a Personal Data Assistant (PDA) that was to be called the Handspring Visor. The key events take place between March 1996 and September 1999. IDEO is an unconventional Silicone Valley based company, and the hiring company was the then newly formed PDA manufacturer Handspring. IDEO was in the process of completing a related and competing PDA design, the “Palm V,” for 3Com’s Palm division, when they were approached by Handspring. Additionally, the founders of Handspring worked for 3Com and…show more content…
Within this culture, team members share information and ideas constantly, so it is easy to see when an employee’s performance is subpar. This does not necessarily mean that underperforming employees will lose their jobs. In fact, very few employees are ever fired, because there is nowhere for them to hide. If an employee is an underperformer, the employee knows it and the rest of the team knows it, so there is a tremendous amount of pressure to remain in stride with the rest of the team. If a team member is unable to perform to everyone else’s expectations, that employee will often leave far before they need to be let go. The hiring of an underperforming individual is a rare occurrence because IDEO takes great pain in selecting the perfect applicants for the job. The hiring process at IDEO is very long and in depth. An applicant may expect up to ten interviews before a position is offered to them. To ensure fresh perspectives, IDEO hires many young but experienced individuals who come from other internship programs. Another method that the company uses to maintain its innovative spirit is the nature and composition of the design teams. First, designers rarely hold on to one specific job assignment for very long. Designers are continually challenged by different projects, and different assignments within said projects. Second, the composition of the teams also helps lead to creative flow, in that

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