This study adopts the modelling approach described by Kusaka and co-authors in previous papers. It aims at specifying two fundamental approaches for product development (PD) in order to gain long-range and short-range competitive advantages and to create decision support information. The long-range approach introduces product functions and technologies over successive generations of products, as and when they become appropriate; the short-range approach enables the latest information, based on present market needs and current technological advances, to be flexibly and quickly introduced into PD decision-making. Thus, the study builds a PD model that optimally selects product functions and technologies for successive generations. The system builds on previous research by introducing a time factor. A graphic information tool, which we call a generalised cost performance curve, enables decision-makers to see changing PD patterns for successive generations. It also clarifies product evolutionary patterns and their characteristics under planned roadmaps.
Keywords: product development, PD, modular type, successive generations, roadmap, R&D management, technology management, tacit knowledge, AHP, generalised cost performance curve, GCPC, modelling approach, 0–1 integer programming, optimal decision, graphic information, scenario analyses