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An adaptive approach in product development will help companies to better meet customer needs

“The main goal of my research is to support more efficient and effective product development systems. To achieve that I will investigate how manufacturing companies apply the agile approach and how it fits within or replaces other product development approaches.”

– Published 16 September 2021

Portrait of Silvia Orejuela against a blurred background. Photo.
Silvia Orejuela is a PhD Student in Innovation Engineering at Product Development, Design Sciences, Lund University. Photo: Private

The words are Silvia Orejuela’s, a PhD Student in Innovation Engineering at Product Development, Lund University. She describes efficient product development as a process that operates correctly and ends up with the right product as a result.

– The right product is a product that satisfies different customer needs, says Silvia Orejuela, and lists machines, phones, headphones, tablets, scientific instruments, household appliances, cars and airplanes as examples of products.

More flexible approach

To achieve efficiency and effectiveness in product development, Silvia Orejuela states that it is important to take an adaptive and flexible approach to them.

– Nowadays companies operate in a fast-paced environment, which brings uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity to product development.

When Silvia Orejuela looks ahead, she sees trends and changes that will affect the product development area. Some examples are increased mobility of the world population, higher customer demands for more sustainable and innovative products as well as the maturation of technologies – such as Big Data, AI, additive manufacturing and simulation.

– These trends will change the way companies are organized, operate and how they develop products, says Silvia Orejuela.

With a passion for engineered products

Before coming to Lund, Silvia Orejuela graduated with a M.Sc. in Industrial Management and Innovation at Uppsala University. Her interest in production and product development increased when she worked with consultancy and public organizations after studying Industrial Engineering in Los Andes University in Colombia.

– My passion for innovation and engineered products is growing even more now that I continue exploring this area as a doctoral student. I hope my research can contribute to more sustainable product development in the future, says Silvia Orejuela.

Besides doing research, Silvia Orejuela is also a keen traveler. She likes to experience new countries and cities, explore different cultures and try new food.

– I try to keep the equilibrium between my spiritual, mental and physical health – as Swedes say, lagom är bäst*. It suits me, says Silvia Orejuela.

*Approximate meaning: not too much, not too little – just right, is the way to go


Silvia Orejuela’s research will support companies in having product development systems that

  • adopt new technologies and tools that allow the creation of more sustainable products
  • facilitate the integration of different customer needs
  • adapt to different ways of work and integrate different disciplines, bringing better products to the markets
  • can adapt easily to different social, technological and economic changes


Silvia Orejuela is a PhD Student in Innovation Engineering at Product Development, Design Sciences, Lund University since November 2020. Her main supervisor is Professor Glenn Johansson and her co-supervisor is Senior Lecturer Damien Motte.

Do you want to know more about the research, contact Silvia Orejuela