Project Management Institute

Measuring performance in new product development projects

a case study in the aerospace industry

Measuring a project team's performance is a complex task involving numerous variables. When the task involves measuring a research and development (R&D) team's effort to develop an innovative new product, the task becomes nearly impossible to successfully complete. This article examines a case study showing how an Italian aerospace company--Aermacchi--is using a performance measurement system (PMS) to determine how well its organization is developing a new military fighter jet, the M-346. In doing so, it overviews the literature on applying a PMS to measure a new product development (NPD) project; it details eight guidelines that other researchers have recognized as critical for implementing a PMS, explaining the benefits and the impact of using these guidelines. It then discusses the case study, identifying the authors' research methodology, describing the M-346's evolution, and defining the key activities performed--and the primary challenges encountered--when using the proposed PMS.
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