Lean Product Development

Lean product development (LPD) practices address planning, organization, business process, techniques, and tools. The implementation of this type of broad initiative must be effectively planned and managed. DRM Associates has the LPD experience and offers a proven approach to conducting training and guiding the implementation of lean product developments practices. The key practices of lean product development are described in Lean Product Development Practices. We can help by:

  1. Review and Assessment  We would conduct our structured Product Development Assessment and use gap analysis to identify high priority opportunities for improvement with lean product development practices that would provide the greatest impact. The assessment would cover the organization’s products, development process, organization, tools, and LPD objectives. This would be done through a series of interviews with various people in organization. This information would enable us to provide more focused and relevant consulting and training and provide feedback on issues, the organization’s readiness for LPD, and implementation priorities. As an alternative, we can provide the organization with our Product Development Best Practices and Assessment Software to perform a self-assessment as a basis for planning improvements.
  2. Executive Commitment  We would then conduct a one-day executive management workshop on Lean Product Development for Management, focusing on organizational issues, business strategy and implementation issues. The objective of this session is to develop executive management commitment, an understanding of the elements of LPD, and agreement on management’s role in implementation.
  3. Implementation Planning and Consulting  We would assist with implementation planning and provide follow-up consulting . We would meet with the management to discuss priorities, plans, and issues, to gain agreement on LPD objectives and plans, and resolve the approach for improving the product development process based on lean product development practices. We would also help establish a steering committee and an implementation team to guide the implementation.
  4. Practices, Methods and Tools Implementation  Based on priorities, we can assist with the planning and implementation of lean practices, methods and tools. This includes steps to manage the development pipeline and avoid build-up of excess work-in-process, Understanding what is of value to customers through voice of the customer and requirements definition, lean design practices, practices to streamline the development process, enabling improved coordination and communication with cross-functional teams, and practices to learn and improve.
  5. Portfolio & Pipeline Management  In addition to executing projects in a lean manner, its important to undertake the best projects for the organization. We would work with the management team to establish a portfolio management process to select the optimum projects and a pipeline management process to manage the product pipeline and avoid overloading resources. To the extent that a company strategy needed to be defined as a basis for portfolio planning, we can facilitate the product strategy development.
  6. Training  We would customize our training courses to the company’s business environment, products, processes, customers, team organization and LPD approach and then conduct LPD workshop(s) for development personnel, managers, other personnel based on the implementation plans and priorities.
  7. Team Launch  If the organization doesn’t have effective cross-functional teams in place, We would conduct our Team Launch Workshop for team members at the start of a new project. We would provide guidance to the teams, assist in applying lessons learned, and serve as a facilitator. We can also assist in re-designing policies, procedures and systems related to planning, budgeting, accounting, performance measurement, and compensation to facilitate the effective operation of the teams.
  8. Facilitation and Support  We can assist individual teams or programs apply LPD practices. This may involve help in define customer customer needs with voice of the customer (VOC), translate these needs into requirements with lean approaches to requirements definition or quality function deployment (QFD), plan development projects, and apply target costing, design to cost, and design for manufacturability/assembly (DFM/A).
  9. Monitoring and Guidance  We would spend several days each month, typically for a period of six months, to provide guidance and monitor efforts to implement LPD. We would participate in periodic steering committee meetings to review and report on progress and identify and resolve impediments or issues. We would guide and assist functional and program management with implementation.

For further information, contact Kenneth Crow at DRM Associates
Email: k.crow@npd-solutions.com