Product development process: Using real options for assessments and to support the decision-making at decision gates
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Enterprises need continuous product development activities to remain competitive in the marketplace. Their product development process (PDP) must manage stakeholders' needs - technical, financial, legal, and environmental aspects, customer requirements, Corporate strategy, etc. -, being a multidisciplinary and strategic issue. An approach to use real option to support the decision-making process at PDP phases in taken. The real option valuation method is often presented as an alternative to the conventional net present value (NPV) approach. It is based on the same principals of financial options: the right to buy or sell financial values (mostly stocks) at a predetermined price, with no obligation to do so. In PDP, a multi-period approach that takes into account the flexibility of, for instance, being able to postpone prototyping and design decisions, waiting for more information about technologies, customer acceptance, funding, etc. In the present article, the state of the art of real options theory is prospected and a model to use the real options in PDP is proposed, so that financial aspects can be properly considered at each project phase of the product development. Conclusion is that such model can provide more robustness to the decisions processes within PDP.