What is Lean Product and Process Development?
[pullquote align=”full” cite=”Peter Drucker ” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”[/pullquote]
Creating the future is exactly what product development is all about. Every time your organization develops a new product or core service you have the unique opportunity to create a better future for your organization and your customers.
LPPD is powerful system for developing new products, proven effective in companies large and small across diverse industries. More than just a strategy for developing a single product, it is what enables you to create a sustainable system for consistently delivering great products and profitable value streams. That is, all of the activities required to deliver the unique value of your product to your customer.
Core LPPD Principles
Whatever your industry, the following four overarching tenets are key:
- Deeply understand what your product must be. Providing customer value is the first principle of Lean. Because product and process development is about creating new value, there are a number of unique methods that contribute to understanding and aligning on each products unique value potential. A few method examples include: Chief Engineer Immersion – go to the source to deeply understand. High Tech Anthropologists who study products within specific context. Set-based experimentation – look broadly at potential solutions. Align the organization around a vision for the new product. The Chief Engineer Concept paper.
- Create flow and eliminate waste for speed to market. Once you understand what your team or organization’s product will be, deliver it to your customer with speed and precision. Manage the development process with simple, visible tools that engage people and do so with an effective cadence mechanism. Understand, manage, and continually improve both capacity and capability. Synchronize activities across teams and organizations for effective simultaneous activities. Focus on compatibility before completion of individual elements. Underpin these activities with a powerful system of standards.
- Learning is what creates new value: Creating new knowledge is a fundamental to lean product and process development. The ability to learn effectively and then apply what you know to the creation of new value is core to an LPPD system. Rapid learning cycles; the scientific method/experimentation; structured, built-in reflection; design reviews; going to the source; a continually improving system of standards – all of these are examples of learning tools and methods. More than anything, an LPPD system is about recognizing and capturing the knowledge that is created with each product.
- LPPD is all about people: People provide the energy, imagination, and creative potential of the LPPD system. They are the beating heart of a sustainable system. This principle includes the extended enterprise – not only all internal organizations, but also key suppliers and other outside stakeholders. Organize to most effectively develop people’s capabilities and leverage their knowledge, drive, and creativity. Understand the role and power of the chief engineer or “entrepreneurial system designer” who works across highly skilled functions to deliver product excellence. Strive to create a culture in pursuit of perfection. And at the organizational level, develop leaders who embody these principles.
Who is LPPD for ?
The ideas, methods, and tools of LPPD have been successfully applied to a wide variety of organizations, from software to medical devices to appliances to pharmaceuticals to aircraft to cars. We recommend you get started by reading Lean Product and Process Development, 2nd Ed. by Allan C. Ward and Durward K. Sobek II. Nearly any organization engaged in developing new products or services can benefit from these ideas.
Through partnerships, events, LEI’s annual Lean Transformation Summit, research, and writing—we’re excited about the ways we’re beginning to connect and make visible the LPPD community, at LEI and beyond. We would love to have you join us on our LPPD journey. If you still have questions contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.