Product Development at Dell Corporation
Case #1: “Product Development at Dell Computer Corporation,” Harvard Business School
Over the last few years, Dell has created much value for its shareholders but not without going through some tough times. The case describes how Dell re-designed its product development process after experiencing a major product setback and a significant decline in firm profits. Central to the discussion will be the design and management of stage-gate processes in product development.
1. What competitive forces are shaping the computer industry in 1993?
2. What has been the state of Dell prior to and in 1993? Its financial situation? Its customer
base? Its product quality and product development process?
3. Why has Dell’s senior management introduced the new 18-month development process?
What are they trying to change or improve?
4. Which battery option should Holliday’s team select? Stay with the proven NiHi battery
technology? Or go with the new LiOn battery technology under development at Sony? Or should they defer the decision until the qualification phase review?