A Kodak moment

Advantix project named 1997 international project of the year

In the late 1980s, Eastman Kodak recognized that the standard 35mm photographic system needed improvements; it believed realizing improvements would stimulate growth. Thus, it launched a five-year-long project known as Orion. This article documents how the Orion project evolved, an effort that Kodak realized by teaming with its main competitor, Fuji Film, and three camera manufacturers, Canon, Minolta, and Nikon. What emerged from this team--an unprecedented and historic collaboration in the photo industry--was a new photographic system, now known as the Advantix Advanced Photo System (APS). This system changed every aspect of picture-taking: film base, film packaging, camera design, and photofinishing equipment. This article discusses how the project team concealed this massive US$500 million effort from the public, how the team worked together, and how the team used project management practices to realize a product that won accolades from Business Week as one of the best products of its time. A sidebar outlines the seven innovative project management practices that evolved from this project.
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