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Factors influencing the front end of the innovation process: A comprehensive review of selected empirical NPD and explorative FFE studies

: Hüsig, S.; Kohn, S.

European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management, Brussels:
10th International Product Development Management Conference 2003 : Brussels, Belgium, June 9-11, 2003
Brüssel, 2003
International Product Development Management Conference <10, 2003, Brüssel, Belgien>
Fraunhofer TEG ()
product development; product innovation

In this paper we construct and propose an empirical-based research framework for the so-called "Fuzzy Front End" (FFE) of the innovation process. While this part of the innovation process that precedes the New Product Development (NPD) process offers the largest optimisation potential for cost savings, quality improvements or time reductions, the term FFE is still ill defined and its influencing factors for success remain largely unclear. Based on a comprehensive review of 66 large empirical-based NPD studies that identify relevant influencing factors of Front End activities and 30 specific conceptual and explorative FFE papers, a comprehensive framework of influencing factors for FFE-performance is proposed. The internal factors that seem to be most important were consolidated in five clusters: strategy, culture, organisation, senior management and process. Moreover, we mapped the external factors that have been neglected in many studies so far and that offer many possible topics for future research. Finally, our findings enable future researchers and practitioners to focus on the most relevant influencing factors of the FFE-performance which are identified by the academic empirical-based literature in this field so far.