Today development projects, in particular the development of complex products, are in many cases no task of a single company anymore. They usually require the active involvement of suppliers and sometimes even of customers. Since all involved partners have to invest time and money in the development activities it has to be ensured that the new product generates concrete value for the potential customers so that there is an adequate return on investment. One challenge is to assess the potential value generation in the early development phases when only a few basic specifications are available. This challenge becomes even bigger when contributions of different partners and customers are required. In this paper the assessment of potential value generation is regarded as a collaborative process and it is analyzed which collaboration capabilities are required in this process. The objective of the paper is to suggest an approach for a collaborative assessment of potential value generation in early development phases that considers the requirements upon collaboration capabilities of the different involved partners. In research and development projects this should provide input for the question if the project activities are on the right path to a positive return on investment. The suggested approach was tested in a research project on intelligent cargo solutions with different pilot scenarios.
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