product risk framework

The new product articles listed below have been published in magazines and journals. The actual articles appear on their own page on this Web site, appear on the publisher’s site (a link to that site is provided), or are available here to download as a PDF file.

Agile Software Development

The Roots of Agile,” Part 2, Preston G Smith, published by Cutter Consortium’s Agile Product & Project Management Advisory Service, 4 October 2007.

A continuation of the article below. Download PDF (3 p., 201KB).

The Roots of Agile,” Part 1, Preston G. Smith, published by Cutter Consortium’s Agile Product & Project Management Advisory Service, 6 September 2007.
Shows the basics of what makes Agile software development work so that it can be expanded to other product types. Download a PDF(3 p., 206KB).

Why Is Agile Development So Scary?” Preston G. Smith, Cutter Consortium’s Agile Project Management advisory service, May 2005

Although agile development is attractive on its surface, it goes against the grain of human behavior, as this article discusses.

Download from Cutter website (You will need to “register” with Cutter to download this one, but you can obtain it by providing very cryptic, non-revealing information).

Flexible Product Development

Designs Change. Deal with It!” Preston G. Smith and John S. Farnbach, Machine Design, 17 March 2011 (Volume 83, Issue 5), pages 38-41.

Using a design project case study, shows how inevitable midproject changes can be handled gracefully and much more cheaply than if they are ignored. Discusses three fallacies about project changes.Download a PDF file (4 pp., 478KB).

Avoid Costly 11th-hour Project Dilemmas by Preparing for Change,” Preston G. Smith and John S. Farnbach, Visions, December 2010 (Volume XXXIV, No. 4), pages 24–26.

Resolves the costly do-it-wrong (miss the market) or do-it-over dilemma by exploring uncertainties early in a project. Download a PDF file (3 pp., 671KB).

Flexible Product Development in a Turbulent World,” Preston G. Smith and Katherine Radeka, Visions, July 2009 (Volume 33, No. 2), pages 20–21.

Covers making decisions at the last responsible moment, rolling-wave and loose-tight project planning, and personas, then it suggests how to make your development process more flexible, depending on where you are today. Download a PDF file (2 pp., 204KB).

Change: Embrace It, Don’t Deny It,” Preston G. Smith,Research-Technology Management, July–August 2008 (Volume 51 No. 4), pages 34–40.

A short but good overview of flexible product development — the best available short of reading the book itself. Download a PDF file(7 pp., 83KB). Also available as a complimentary audio reading on the IRI Website.

Change Happens, Get Used to It!” Preston G. Smith, Project Management Innovations of the Project Management Institute’s New Product Development Specific Interest Group, September 2007.

Addresses the contradiction between the fact that innovation is intimately connected with change while developers fear change; also offers solutions. Download a PDF file (3 pp., 183KB).

Fuzzy Front End

The Strategist’s Role in Shortening Product Development,” Don Reinertsen and Preston G. Smith, The Journal of Business Strategy, July/August 1991, pp. 18-22.

This article covers several cycle time compression areas that lie under the control of the corporate strategist. Download a PDF file(5 pp., 80KB) or read more about Don Reinertsen.

Management Issues

Can You Afford to Be Innovative?” Preston G. Smith, published as Executive Update by Cutter Consortium, September 2010.

Managers want to develop innovative products, but this often means expensive, disruptive delays while the team explores options. This article explores a middle ground where options are identified and explored early, keeping the cost of being innovative low.

Download from Cutter website (You will need to “register” with Cutter to download this one, but you can obtain it by providing very cryptic, non-revealing information).

Developing Your Products in Half the Time,” Roman Pichler and Preston Smith, CriticalEYE, December 2003, pp. 1-4.

Explains to senior executives the pitfalls in approaching rapid product development and points for them to be aware of as they implement such a program. Download a PDF file (4 pp., 236KB).

8 Ways to Manage Contract Designers,” Preston G. Smith,Design News, September 9, 2002, p. S-17.

Engaging a product development organization to help you develop your product has many advantages — but also potential problems. This piece offers some things to think about. Download a PDF file (1 p., 45KB).

From Experience: Reaping Benefit from Speed to Market,” Preston G. Smith, Journal of Product Innovation Management, May 1999, pp. 222-230.

Describes several ways in which managers go astray in implementing a rapid development program and offers enduring approaches for creating such a program. Download a PDF file (9 pp., 62KB).

Faster to Market, Preston G. Smith and Don Reinertsen,Mechanical Engineering, December 1998, pp. 68-70.

Discusses how managers, from first-level supervisors to the CEO can facilitate rapid development. Download a PDF file (3 pp., 810 KB)

Make Time-to-Market Technologies a Bottom-Line Issue,” Preston G. Smith, Computer-Aided Engineering, April 1998, p. 78.

A condensed version of “The Business of Rapid Prototyping,” listed above. Download a PDF file (1 p., 66KB).

Saying ‘No’ to Customers,” Preston G. Smith, Across the Board, March 1994, pp. 56-57.

A short explanation of the pitfalls of doing everything the customer wants and thus overloading your development pipeline. Download a PDF file (2 pp., 114KB).

Why Change Is Hard,” Preston G. Smith, Across the Board, January/February 1993, pp. 55-56.

Outlines the difficulties in accomplishing organizational change and what to do about them. Download a PDF file (2 pp., 102KB).


Planning for Change,” Preston G. Smith, published on gantthead.com 10 March 2008.

Explains how planning must be done differently when change dominates your project. Download a PDF file (2 pp., 18KB).

Product Development Process

Remember: Agility Is Lack of Rigidity,” Preston G. Smith, published by Cutter Consortium’s Agile Product & Project Management Advisory Service, 28 February 2008.

Reminds us of the basics of agility—the lessons that seem to be so hard to remember. Download a PDF (2 p., 158KB).

Accelerating Design for Complex Products,” Patrick Barrett and Preston G. Smith, Time-Compression Technologies, May/June 2005, pp. 60-62.

Complexity can cause design work to rise exponentially with the number of components. This article offers ways to counter this trend. Download a PDF file (3 pp., 171KB).

Let Prototyping Drive Your Product Development Process,” Preston G. Smith, Sopheon News, October 7, 2003, p. 3.

Suggests using rounds of prototypes to pace your development development process, rather than phases and gatesDownload a PDF file (1 p., 57KB).

Your Product Development Process Demands Ongoing Improvement,” Preston G. Smith, Research-Technology Management, March-April 1996, pp. 37-44.

Detailed description for setting up a continuous improvement program by reviewing the learnings from each project. Download a PDF file (8 pp., 165KB).

Shortening the Product Development Cycle,” Preston G. Smith and Don Reinertsen, Research-Technology Management, May-June 1992, pp. 44-49.

Overview of the principles of rapid development from the R&D manager’s perspective. Download a PDF file (6 pp., 98KB).

Fast-Cycle Product Development,” Preston G. Smith,Engineering Management Journal, June 1990, pp. 11-16.

Summarizes the techniques of rapid development. Download a PDF file (6 pp., 151KB).

Project Management

Flexible Project Management: Building a Flexibility Toolbox,” Preston G. Smith and Jeff Oltmann, PM World Today, March 2011 (Volume XIII, Issue III), pages 1–6.

Final article in the series. This one covers some of the tools used in a flexible project from a project management perspective.Download a PDF file (6 pp., 92KB).

Flexible Project Management: Creating a Flexible Environment,” Preston G. Smith and Jeff Oltmann, PM World Today, February 2011 (Volume XIII, Issue II), pages 1–7.
Second in a series. Describes the environment needed for flexibility to flourish in an organization. Download a PDF file (7 pp., 94KB).

Flexible Project Management: Enabling a Flexible Team,” Preston G. Smith and Jeff Oltmann, PM World Today, January 2011 (Volume XIII, Issue I), pages 1–6.

Initial article of the series, which focuses on the individual and team characteristics that enable flexibility. Download a PDF file (6 pp., 98KB).

Flexible Project Management,” Preston G. Smith and Jeff Oltmann, presented and published at the PMI (Project Management Institute) Global Congress in Washington DC, October 2010.

Explains how project management is done for a flexible project, providing a non-software alternative to many agile development papers presented at these PMI congresses. Download a PDF file (9 pp., 64KB).


How Product Developers Use the Internet,” Gregg Tong and Preston G. Smith, Product Development Best Practices Report, April 2001, pp. 5-8.

An alternative to the article below with broader context of where the Internet seems to be headed but no hyperlinks. Download a PDF file (4 pp., 171 KB).

Online Resources for Product Developers,” Preston G. Smith and Gregg Tong, Visions, April 2001, pp. 14-16.

The online counterpart to “What Do Product Developers Read” (below). Contains nearly 30 hyperlinks to key sources. Download a PDF file (3 pp., 309 KB).

What Do Product Developers Read?” Preston G. Smith, Visions, October 2000, p. 8.

Because innovation is inherently multidisciplinary and multi-industry, there is no single periodical that covers it. This short piece will head you toward the most popular sources. Download a PDF file (1 p., 94KB).

Risk Management

Try It Out,” Preston G. Smith, published on gantthead.com 1 December 2008.
(gantthead.com is now projectmanagement.com)

Emphasizes the importance of experimentation when uncertainty reigns. Download a PDF file (2 pp., 18KB).

Managing Project Risks When Change is the Norm,” Published on gantthead.com 27 May 2008. (gantthead.com is now projectmanagement.com)

In environments of heavy change, project risk must be managed quite differently than the traditional approach, as this article describes. Download a PDF file (2 pp., 18KB).

How Much Risk Management Is Enough?” Preston G. Smith,Journal of the Society of Project Management (Japan), June 15, 2005, p. 30.

One can easily overdo project risk management, spending all of one’s time managing risk rather than completing the project. Here is some guidance. Download a PDF file (1 p., 29KB).

Agile Risks/Agile Rewards,” Preston G. Smith and Roman Pichler, Software Development, April 2005, pp. 50-53.

Describes how the conventional project risk management process can be accelerated dramatically for an agile project. Download a PDF file (4 pp., 258KB).

A Portrait of Risk,” Preston G. Smith, PMNetwork, April 2003, pp. 44-48.

Using two examples of risks from industry, this article shows how a risk model provides a picture of a risk that helps the team to understand and take effective action against the risk. Download a PDF file (5 pp., 161KB).

The Risk of Talking About Risk,” Preston G. Smith, Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry, March 2003, pp. 48-53.

Although there is great value in managing your project’s risk, even mentioning that there could be problems ahead may cost you your job. This article addresses this delicate subject. Download a PDF file(3 pp., 122KB).

Dealing with Project Risks Successfully,” Preston G. Smith and Guy M. Merritt, Product Development Best Practices Report, October – December 2002 (three-part series).

The first installment of this series covers risk models, the second describes the risk management process, and the third provides implementation advice. Download a PDF file (9 pp., 261KB).

Managing Risk Proactively in Product Development Projects,” Preston G. Smith, Keynote presentation at the IPLnet Workshop 2002 in Saas-Fee, Valais, Switzerland, 10-11 September 2002.

A summary of project risk management aimed at a technical audience; includes a case study. Download a PDF file (4 pp., 144KB).

Managing Consulting Project Risk,” Preston G. Smith and Guy M. Merritt, Consulting to Management, September 2002, pp. 7-13.

Illustrates the broad applicability of the risk management process by applying it to a small management consulting project, including a case study. Download a PDF file (7 pp., 286KB).

Thirteen Ways to Mismanage Development Project Risk: How to Avoid Those Erroneous Routes,” Preston G. Smith, Visions, July 2002, pp. 22-23.

A “short course” on project risk management by showing what not to do. Download a PDF file (2 pp., 100KB).

Using a Risk Model to Build Development Team Consensus,” Guy Merritt and Preston G. Smith, Project Management Innovations, December 2001, pp 1-2.

Describes the considerable value of using a Standard Risk Model as a framework to manage a project risk. Download a PDF file (2pp., 49 KB).

Managing Risk as Product Development Schedules Shrink,” Preston G. Smith, Research-Technology Management, September-October 1999, pp. 25-32.

Provides both the principles and a process for ongoing project risk management; includes examples. Download a PDF file (8 pp., 104KB).


The Three Keys,” Preston G. Smith, published on gantthead.com 11 August 2008. (gantthead.com is now projectmanagement.com)
The keys to success are people, people, and people. Download a PDF file (2 pp., 19KB).

Effective Development Begins and Ends with People,” Preston G. Smith, published by Cutter Consortium’s Agile Product & Project Management Advisory Service, 15 May 2008.

Download a PDF (2 p., 181KB).

Strengthening Cross-Functional Team Collaboration,” Preston G. Smith, inKNOWvations, Sopheon e-newsletter, March 2003.

Effective team collaboration is a key to developing a winning product. This article suggests how to achieve such collaboration.Download a PDF file (3 pp., 37KB).

Leading Dispersed Product Development Teams,” Preston G. Smith, inKNOWvations, Sopheon e-newsletter, August 2002.

A short version of “From Experience: Leading Dispersed Teams” below. Download a PDF file (3 pp., 38KB).

From Experience: Leading Dispersed Teams,” Preston G. Smith and Emily L. Blanck, Journal of Product Innovation Management, July 2002, pp. 294-304.

Describes what you need to do — besides applying technology — to keep your team working effectively when it is no longer co-located.Download a PDF file (11pp., 197KB).

Communication Holds Global Teams Together,” Preston G. Smith, Machine Design, July 26, 2001, pp. 70-74.

Provides survival skills for new product teams that find themselves scattered across cities or continents by applying communication technologies wisely and appreciating cultural differences. Download a PDF file (3 pp., 111 KB).

Reaping the Rewards of Empowerment,” Preston G. Smith,Current Drug Discovery, July 2001, pp. 37-39.

Report on a conference, “Improving Cross-Functional Performance in Pharmaceutical Development,” which thus offers critical advice for enabling large cross-functional teams developing new products to function better. Download a PDF file (3 pp., 69 KB).


Using Conceptual Modelers for Business Advantage,” Preston G. Smith, Time-Compression Technologies, April 2001, pp. 18-24.

An updated version of “Rapid Prototyping Accelerates the Design Process” below. This material was also presented at the TCT conference in Cardiff, Wales in October 2000. Download a PDF file(5 pp., 336 KB).

Rapid Prototyping Accelerates the Design Process,” G. Thomas Clay and Preston G. Smith, Machine Design, March 9, 2000, pp.166-171.

Concentrates on conceptual modelers, showing how they can be leveraged to yield speed gains much higher than their cycle times would suggest by redesigning your development cycle. Download a PDF file (4 pp., 169KB).

The Business of Rapid Prototyping,” Preston G. Smith, Rapid Prototyping Journal, October 1999, pp, 179-185.

Suggests how to get more out of enabling technologies, such as rapid prototyping, and how to justify procuring them more convincingly by relating them to profitability. Download a PDF file(7 pp., 116KB).

Focus on Profit to Reap Benefit of Speed to Market,” Preston G. Smith, Steel in Focus (Australia), Winter 2000, pp. 20-21.

An excerpt from “Reaping Benefit” that concentrates on calculating and using the cost of delay. Download a PDF file (2 pp. 100KB).

Leverage the Cycle-Time Capability of Your Rapid Prototypes,” Preston G. Smith, Time-Compression Technologies, December 1998, pp. 36-43; reprinted as SME Technical Paper PEo1-177.

Suggests that when we look at rapid prototypes solely in terms of their speed relative to conventional prototypes, we are overlooking the cycle-time leverage of which they are capable. Download a PDF file (8 pp., color, 176KB).

Low-Tech Tools Speed Plastic Parts,” Daniel A. Eastman and Preston G. Smith, Machine Design, August 8, 1996, pp. 40-46.

Covers how high-tech tools for designing plastic parts, such as solid modeling and rapid tooling, can be leveraged by applying a management approach that supports them. Download a PDF file (5 pp., 306KB).

From Experience: Time-Driven Development of Software in Manufactured Goods,” Tomlinson G. Rauscher and Preston G. Smith, Journal of Product Innovation Management, June 1995, pp. 186-199.

Offers several techniques for accelerating the development of machines whose operation depends on embedded software.Download a PDF file (14 pp., 115KB).

U. S. Firms Are Finally Getting up to Speed,” Preston G. Smith and Don Reinertsen, San Jose Mercury News, April 1, 1991.

Short article emphasizes calculating and using the cost of delay.Download a PDF file (1 p., 40KB).

Winning the New Products Rat Race,” Preston G. Smith,Machine Design, May 12, 1988, pp. 95-98.

Introductory article covering some time to market techniques.Download a PDF file (4 pp., 274KB).


Implementing TQM on a Shoestring,” Bruce E. Hamilton and Preston G. Smith, Journal of Management Consulting, September 1993, pp. 11-19.

Illustrates how consultants can work with small companies to implement a program such as TQM on a small budget. Download a PDF file (9 p., 98KB).