In this thesis I investigate how customers and developers interact through different forms of constellations in product development processes. This thesis is part of the KP-Lab project, more precisely part of the KIKK research project. We used a qualitative approach during the data gathering that spanned over a one and a half year time period. In the KIKK project we looked into how a software company contains different knowledge practices. My research project focused on the evolution of a mutual development between customers, developers and products. The theoretical foundation in this thesis is made up by a conceptual framework consisting of different product development theories which highlight inclusion of customers in the development process in slightly different ways. More precisely, my conceptual framework consists of the following theories: Knowledge intensive firms, Meta-design, Modding and Co-configuration.I have identified a form of product development at The Company which I define “Adaptive product development”. Adaptive product development contains two components: Firstly, the professional developers can perform regular, purely in-house development, which I have defined as “inner loop product development”. Secondly, the customers and developers can interact and collaborate in product development processes, which I refer to as “outer loop product development processes”. Going even more into depth about Adaptive Product Development I have identified five different stages or forms of product development apparent at the Company: Generalization, Adaptation, Improvement Request, Specialization and Tailoring. In sum, I will then say that the result of this thesis is that I have investigated how customers are important in the Adaptive Product Development as they are the initiators of further development of the products at the Company. These different forms of product development can be seen as a new form of work or production that includes the customers. In addition the process of Adaptive Product Development points at an interesting learning aspect between the interacting organisations. To shed light on this learning aspect of Adaptive Product Development I have used the theory of knotworking. However, this was not analysed and discussed thoroughly since it was partially outside the scope of my thesis, but it can be direction for further work.
Keywords: Adaptive Product Development, Co-configuration, Modding, Meta-design and Knowledge intensive firms, Inner loop product development, Outer loop product development, Generalization, Adaptation, Specialization, Improvement Request, Tailoring and Knotworking.