The product development process of Apple has been a mystery to many. Adam Lashinsky seeks to demystify Apple in his book, Inside Apple: How America’s most admired and secretive company really works. All Apple’s products are developed using this process: a) Design of the Product Each product at Apple is developed first and foremost from its design. The company lays a lot of emphasis on the designs of its product and the designers assigned to work on the design of each product must conform to the company’s vision. The designers at Apple are highly regarded by the company’s management because the firm is highly critical to the design of the products it brings to the market (Lashinsky, 2012). This is in contrast to other rival companies who leave the design aspect of their products to the manufacturing departments. For Apple, there is no limit as to the number of resources that its designers can use. the designers have no contact with the finance departments and have unlimited resources at their disposal. The company’s design studio, where all Apple products are first generated, is only accessible to a handful of employees so as to keep the new product designs in secret. b) Formation of Start-up If the company decides to go forward with a product, it organizes a team that is separated from the rest of the company using secrecy agreements or even physical barriers. The teams working on specifically sensitive new products are segregated in their own section of the building that is locked to limit the entry of unauthorized personnel (Lashinsky, 2012). The formation of this start-up is to ensure the focus of the team only in the development of the product and taking it to market. The team is only responsible for the executive arm of the company so that it is freed from the laid down the organizational structure. c) New Product Process After the onset of the design development process, Apple structures the whole development process in a document that outlines the steps that will be undertaken in detail (Lashinsky, 2012). The blueprint of the development of the product is laid down including those responsible for each stage of the process, who will work on what stage and the estimated time of completion of the whole process. d) Product Review At any given time Apple has very few products that it has in production, this is to ensure that the company focusses on the development of high-quality products. The executive team keeps tabs on the development process of each product by reviewing the progress of each team. The reviews are conducted every Monday and in case a product does not get a review, it is pushed to the next Monday for a review (Lashinsky, 2012). This ensures that no product stays for more than two weeks before a key decision is made on its development process. e) Bringing to Fruition Apple assigns two people to ensure that the product is brought to fruition once its production commences. the EPM and the GSM i.e. engineering program manager and global supply manager respectively. The program manager is very powerful and is nicknamed the ‘EPM Mafia’ due to the total control possessed in the product development process (Lashinsky, 2012). The company produces its products in China due to the lower overhead costs incurred in relation to America. Both the EPM and GSM are positions held by executives who are mostly in China to oversee the production process and to make key decisions that are best for the company’s products.
Formation of Apple Startup