Skip to navigation, content

2 - D A Y  W O R K S H O P
Achieving Lean Product Development
Techniques, Economics & Implementation

 Dates & Location:
 March 3-4, 2009 / San Diego

Course Outline

Through experiential exercises, lectures and facilitated Q&A, you will learn how to:
  • Identify and eliminate hidden waste in product development

  • Achieve flow and ensure that your own development process does not undermine it

  • Increase quality levels and contain costs through the effective use of rapid feedback

  • Remove unnecessary variability, discover strategies that reduce its impact and manage risk

  • Develop a step-by-step implementation plan to incorporate lean principles into your own development process

Limited to 35 participants - Register Today!

I. Introduction

Most companies applying lean methods to product development fail to appreciate the critical differences between repetitive manufacturing processes and non-repetitive development processes. Such differences mean that waste is found in very different places. Until this is recognized, companies will only attack easily visible, but superficial forms of waste. This section will cover:

Key Learnings

  • An overview of how lean techniques improve product development speed, quality, and cost

  • An understanding of the critical differences between product development and manufacturing

  • An explanation of importance of Design-in-Process Inventory

II. Establishing an Economic Framework

Every product development process has multiple economic goals. To balance these goals we must express them in the same common denominator. For example, we must quantify the Cost of Delay do determine the economic cost of queues in our process. This section will cover:

Key Learnings

  • How to quantify the Cost of Delay

  • How to use information to improve decision-making

III. Understanding Variability

Variability is a greatly misunderstood concept in product development. Paradoxically, you cannot add value in product development without adding variability, but you can add variability without adding value. A product must be changed to add value, and this change creates uncertainty. This section will cover:

Key Learnings

  • How to distinguish between good and bad variability

  • How to eliminate unnecessary variability

  • How to reduce the economic impact of necessary variability

IV. Managing Capacity Utilization

Many developers still view product development deterministically, assuming that an excess capacity is waste. In reality, development processes need excess capacity to function optimally in the presence of necessary variability. Using queueing theory we can get strong insights on how to quantify the true cost of process queues. This section will cover:

Key Learnings

  • The 10 most important product development queues

  • The two fundamental causes of queues

  • How to quantify the economic tradeoff between queue size and excess capacity

  • How to measure and manage queues

V. Reducing Batch Size

In manufacturing batch size reduction is the single most important factor leading to order of magnitude reductions in cycle time. In contrast, batch size reduction is dramatically underutilized in product development. This section will cover:

Key Learnings

  • The importance of small batch size and how to achieve it

  • The ten most common batch size problems in product development

VI. Using Cadence and Synchronization

Most development processes move work products when deliverables are complete. This drives variability into the schedule. An alternative approach is to move work products on a regular cadence. Product developers using techniques like daily stand-up meetings have achieved large cycle time improvements. This section will cover:

Key Learnings

  • How a regular cadence reduces variance

  • How synchronization reduced queues

  • Examples of synchronized cadence in development processes

VII. Using WIP Constraints

Most product development processes "push" work to downstream processes. They try to schedule activities ingreat detail, at long time horizons. This detail inherently leads to much rescheduling and waste. In contrast, "pull"-based systems smooth flow by using WIP constraints. This section will cover:

Key Learnings

  • The science and economics of WIP contraints

  • Two practical ways to react to WIP explosions

  • The importance of "T-shaped" developers

VIII. Accelerating Feedback

Slow feedback loops cause enormous waste in product development. Yet, many developers do not measure feedback speed or try to improve it. Well-structured feedback loops actually create spectacular opportunities to smooth flow and improve quality. This section will cover:

Key Learnings

  • Why fast feedback is critical

  • How feedback reduces variability and improves flow

IX. Decentralizing Flow Control

Manufacturing uses simple methods like First-in-First-out (FIFO) flow control. Because development projects have different costs-of-delay developers need well-designed priority systems to reduce the total cost of queues. This section will cover:

Key Learnings

  • How dynamic flow control differs from detailed planning and scheduling

  • Using economically-grounded methods for setting
    task and project priorities

  • The mindset change needed to achieve decentralized control

X. Finding Waste

Because product development processes add value in different ways than manufacturing processes, waste is found in different places. Typically, waste shows up in predictable places in development processes. This section will cover:

Key Learnings

  • Ten common areas of product development waste

XI. Implementation

The final section will review factors that are likely to lead to successful implementation. Course participants will begin designing a plan for implementation. This section will cover:

Key Learnings

  • How to initiate pilot programs and scale them up

  • A group exercise to identify immediate next steps

Download Brochure

pdficon.gif (912 bytes) LeanPDworkshop.pdf

Course Info

Register Online

Register Today!
This workshop is limited to only 35 seats and sells out well in advance. Early reservation is strongly advised.

Book Bonus!

Attendees of this workshop will receive a complimentary copy of Don Reinertsen's book, Managing the Design Factory