Release management is the process by which a firm decides how to construct, sequence, and time new releases of its products. Given that it takes time to develop new functionality, release managers must weigh the benefits of adding features to the product against the necessary increase in development time. A prolonged development cycle postpones the time at which the manager's firm begins to extract revenues from the new release, and magnifies the risk that rival firms will preempt the manager's release by issuing products of their own. In this work, we study the release management problem from an operational perspective that accounts for ambient market intensity.
After a brief introduction in Chapter 1, we present a mixed-integer non-linear program (MINLP) formulation of the release management problem developed in collaboration with managers at a large software firm (LSF) in Chapter 2. The MINLP model accounts for market intensity through a modified discount factor, and we focus on the specification, viability, and consequences of this approach to modeling market intensity in Chapter 3. We reformulate the release management problem as a semi-Markov decision process (SMDP), and provide conditions under which there exists a modified discount factor that accurately reflects the impact of market intensity. This modified discount factor depends only on the statistical properties of the market intensity process, and can emerge naturally in a multi-firm equilibrium. In Chapter 4, we examine the methodological foundations of our approach to modeling market intensity, showing that our results extend well-beyond the confines of release management. We summarize our results and comment on further research in Chapter 5.
To our knowledge, this work is the first to study the release management problem from a combinatorial perspective that accounts for market intensity. Our results extend to any setting in which managers must make operational decisions and simultaneously cope with the aggregate market intensity of the manager's industry.
|Commitee:||Ata, Baris, Caldentey, Rene, Kumar, Sunil, Ryan, Christopher|
|School:||The University of Chicago|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||DAI-A 77/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Dynamic programming, Product development, Release management, Scheduling, Semi-markov|
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