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Accoding to Thomke a team organize a project for rapid iteration in order to exploit early information through “front-loaded” innovation porcesses, and experimenting frequently without overloading the organization.

Virtual experimentation and simulation enable new ways of working in R&D, in part by allowing, faster and more through experimentation and testing, minimizing physical product tes failure, enabling co-creation with customers, and supporting cross-discipline integration.

Virtual experimentation and simulation are not only about emerging technologies. Implementing these tolos effectively requires attention to a host of management issues, from decisions about investment and development to attention to processes and organizational resources to support them, to thinking about how they affect the approach to R&D.

The Virtual Experimentation & Simulation project is one o the groups working under the aegis of IRI´s research platform Digitilization and its implications for R&D Management. Designed to explore a broad range of issues relevant to digitalization and its likely effects on R&D organizations today and in the future, the platform incorporates three research groups:

  • Big Data: this tea mis focused on understanding how big data will inform, enable, and disrupt R&D, by examining it through the lenses of R&D strategy, human capital, technology, and process integration.
  • Collaboration: is comparing virutal and physical collaboration spaces with the object of identifying how collaboration may become boundaryless over time.
  • Virtual Experimentation & Simulation: is looking at the principles surrounding virtual spaces and their uses with an eye toward indetifying principles and best practices for determining when a virtual environment should be employed.

This potential for new kinds of exploration of the design space allows developers to learn about their designs in new ways, while at the same time continuosly improving their models to better represent reality.


Aductive Thinking Process

The abductive thinking process: the impact of virtual simulation tools on problem-solving and new product development organization. A paradigm will occur when simulation not only replaces physical tests and human thinking processes, but also enables new combinations o experiments and new ways of approaching and understanding phenomena.

Experimentation, a form of problem-solving, is a fundamental innovation activity and accounts for a significant part of total innovation cost and time. In many fields, the economics of experimentation are being radically affected by the use of new and greatly improved versions of methods such as computer simulation, mass screening, and rapid prototyping.

Employees working under high risk-taking climates tend to believe that their organization will defend them against risky external environments and tend to feel safeguarded from interpersonal and career risks, such that they do not fear material or reputational harm.

Management science and engineering management research have attempted to answer questions related to how often, when, and at what level o fidelity prototypes should be created and tested base don an organization´s schedule and budget.

Stefan H. Thomke, an authority on the management of innovation, is the William Barclay Harding Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School.

He is a widely published autor with more than one hundred articles, cases and notes published in books an leading journal. He is also autor of the books: “Experimentation Matters: Unlocking the Potential of New Technologies for Innovation” and “Managing Product and Service Development




  • Anita Friis Sommer & Steven Moskowitz, “Leveraging Virtual Experimentation and Simulation in R&d”, Online, 2016
  • Becker, M.C., Salvatore,P., and Zirpoli, F. “The impact of virtual simulation tolos on problema-solving and new product development organization”. Research Policy. 2005
  • S.H. Thomke, “Managing experimentation in the design of new products”, Researcher. 1998
  • S.H. Thomke, “Experimentation Matters: Unlocking the Potential of New Technologies for Innovation”, Harvard Business School Press. 2003
  • S.H. Thomke, “Managing Product and Service Development”, McGraw-Hill/Irwin. 2006



Links relationated:

  • Harvard Business Experimentation

  • Stephan Thomke from Harvard Business Schooll

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