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How to Apply Lean to Product and Process Development

Due to the fact that for most products, 65-75% of the total cost of the product is determined before it even gets to the factory, it makes sense to use lean techniques in the product development phase.

Due to the fact that for most products, 65-75% of the total cost of the product is determined before it even gets to the factory, it makes sense to use lean techniques in the product development phase.

The Liker Leadership Institute points out that Lean product development is about eliminating waste not just in development processes but across the enterprise. If the principles of Lean PD are applied well, they can also help in adding more value to products for the customer, increasing the competitiveness of the firm.

 Some of the key principles of Lean Product Development include:

  • Clearly defining customer value to ensure it is delivered while striving to eliminate waste in all other parts of the product and process and keeping these requirements constantly in front of the development team.
  • Front-loading the PD process to thoroughly explore the design space using methods such as set-based design.
  • Creating leveled flow in the development process.
  • Using standardization to drive flexibility by reusing knowledge—best practices, modularity, component reuse, standard processes.
  • A Chief Engineer System that has a strong system integrator who can connect understanding customer requirements to product delivery in the market.
  • Developing towering technical competency in all our associates.
  • Creating a culture that drives learning and continuous improvement.
  • Using simple, effective visual management tools in a big room (Obeya) to manage projects.
  • Using A3 thinking to proactively solve problems.

Read more about Lean Leadership Ways on IndustryWeek.

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