Lean product and process development

A business system aimed at eliminating waste within product and process development by generating and applying actionable knowledge. It is founded on four core concepts: 

  1. Build teams of responsible experts. Organize them around product and process technologies that are central to the organization's competitive advantage. These teams develop actionable knowledge about their respective areas of expertise and produce people who can apply that knowledge, generate new knowledge, and communicate that knowledge effectively to multidisciplinary team members. See also: actionable knowledge.
  2. Support entrepreneur system designers. Put the leadership of development projects in the hands of technically capable and visionary people with an entrepreneurial spirit. They provide integrative knowledge that, combined with the knowledge of expert teams, can lead to innovation of new products and production processes. See also: chief engineer.
  3. Work with set-based concurrent engineering. Avoid choosing a design solution too early by (a) examining several alternatives at once, (b) proactively evaluating the alternatives by jettisoning weak ideas and improving the weak aspects of otherwise strong ideas, (c) applying knowledge from trade-off curves and design guidelines, and (d) not actually choosing a solution or solution path until it is proven feasible.
  4. Ensure cadence, flow and pull: apply principles of Lean production for even introduction of new projects into the development organization, to eliminate waste in information flows and to initiate development activities that meet the needs of specific projects. (Based on Ward and Sobek 2014.) 
lean product and process development

Lean Lexicon

Explanation of key Lean terms online
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