Yamaha: The WX-7 Wind MIDI Controller Executive Summary Case StudyBy Roxanne Guilhamet, Research Fellow, Design Management Institute;
Karen J. Freeze, Senior Research Fellow, Design Management Institute
Yamaha had always been proud of its ability to find new ways to apply its technical expertise. It had mastered the necessary technology to create a digital musical wind instrument, but lacked a striking form to embody this technology. A major competitor was running neck-and-neck with Yamaha to be the first on the market, so the solution had to be developed quickly. A four-person cross-functional team developed a radical proposal that proved difficult to implement, prompting them to work with engineering on a solution. Issues include managing the interface between designers and users, establishing trust and cooperation in cross-functional teams, and maintaining an overall concept while accommodating engineering realities.
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