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Peer Review

What is Product Life Cycle Management?

by James Martin


Overall Numeric Rating:

3.25 stars
Content Quality: 4 stars
Effectiveness: 3.25 stars
Ease of Use: 2.75 stars
Reviewed: Jan 22, 2014 by Business Editorial Board
Overview: “What is Product Life Cycle Management” is a tutorial that explains this management concept and others related such as the learning curves. It has different chapters including articles related, product and process life cycle and questions (discussion and multiple choice) to test if the user understand the lessons to be learned. The chapter about the articles provides the content required to understand most of the topic. The majority of the content is based on articles from different authors. The links include a bibliograhy, discussion questions, and multiple choice questions.
Type of Material: Tutorial
Recommended Uses: It is recommended to be used as a complementary content of a class. Some of the discussion questions presented could be discussed in class. It is an in-depth study of the subject (Product and Process Life Cycle Management). The chapter about the learning curve could be left out from the initial analysis and could be used later if the class is going to be more focused on process cycle or operations management.
Technical Requirements: Browser used: Google Chrome
Identify Major Learning Goals: • Understand the concept of Product Life Cycle Management. • Learn different concepts related to Product and Process Life Cycle Management such as the stages and components of product life cycle, learning curve, life cycle cost, life cycle strategies, among others. • Learn how to estimate life cycle costs. • Understand why companies are reluctant to use the Product Life Cycle Management model. • Understand the concept of Learning curve (experience curve), two models behind this concept: original model (Wright's Model) and the Incremental Unit Time Model (Crawford's Model).
Target Student Population: Undergraduate or graduate students studying marketing, management, or a related discipline.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Users should have a basic knowledge of marketing concepts and product life cycle management to get the most out of this site.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: Good content. The use and presentation of the information sources give the content a high level of thoroughness (Most of the content is based on articles from different authors). In the chapter about the learning curve, it is positive to have the formulas, the example given and the explanation of the two models as well. It is also well received to have the concluding comment. The chapter called “Combined Summaries of some Product Life Cycle Management Articles” is very complete. It is good to have a wide bibliography about and It is updated to this year. The explanation on the process life cycle is clear and easy to follow, presenting the matrix is very positive to see where the companies locate their processes and products and also to get a conclusion of the relationship between high volume of products with standardization of the process. However, perhaps the concept of mass customization could be mentioned in this part.
Concerns: There is no introduction to the topic on the landing page. The bibliography is long and listed in alphabetical order. Annotation or separation by subcategory would make this a more useful resource. The article summaries would be difficult for students new to this topic to digest. More graphs and even examples could be welcome in the process life cycle chapter to a better understanding and application of the concept.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 3.25 stars
Strengths: It gives links which are interesting when studying this subject: Related topics. However it was a bit strange to find these links on the top of the page as the user will find them even before starting to see the proper content. To end the learning material with discussion questions (that the user can answer and are allowed to contrast their answers with the content given) and with multiple choice questions is very positive. However it would be better if the user could check these multiple choice questions receiving feedback and see if they have learned all the lessons. The supplemental material is very good.
Concerns: - The multiple choice questions should have the possibility to be checked by the user and to receive feedback when they fail. - It would be difficult to use the information contained in this site without background knowledge of the topic. It would be best used by an instructor in preparing for classroom discussion.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 2.75 stars
Strengths: The content is easy to read in terms of font size and color contrast. All of the links are logical and appear to be functioning.
Concerns: Very low interactivity, no video or audio, low number of graphs, no exercises to practice, no exercises with feedback. Minimum level of graphic design; just text and charts. The fact of having advertising on the web could be a distractive element. The size of the ad images were the same as the theme itself but the ads were more colorful (in this case for shoes and boots). Some navigational features could be improved, for instance once you start reading any chapter you scroll down but if you want to change chapter or topic you have to scroll up which in cases could take some seconds due to the length of the pages.

Comments from Author: There is a link at the bottom of the MC questions to a solution page. I don't provide specific answers to the discussion questions but there are links to where answers can be developed.