The field of new product development has a number of difficult challenges with which it must contend: shortened production time, greater market share demand, and geographically dispersed teams. Several software systems have been developed to ease these challenges. A representative cross-section of work in the fields of document management, project management, product lifecycle management, and conceptual and family design is examined, including past and current academic work and commercially available software. The scope and features of these projects are examined and compared on a software taxonomy. The potential application of these systems to product families is discussed throughout.

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