UPDATE (04/04/13): Since publishing this blog post, we’ve received input from many on how to improve this presentation and will be publishing a revised version in the near future. Please post any additional feedback you may have in the comments section.
Over the years, there have been many different attempts to translate the Toyota Production System (TPS) into the world of product development. Toyota’s recent struggles in the last few years have tempered some of that, but most still agree that TPS’s “Lean” methods are solid and contain a lot of appropriate logic that R&D can take from their shop floor brethren.
As expected, many of the first attempts at lean product development were a bit shallow, merely offering superficial translations of lean methods and often focusing only on the small and simplistic tools of “waste elimination.” Many books have been published ranging from the “orthodox lean” (that which tries to stay as close to Toyota’s specific methods as possible), through “reformed lean” (that which blends lean principles with similar processes such as “Agile” software development) and finally what we call “hybrid lean” (attempts to graft lean tools onto existing methods). What’s clear from examining these trends is that Lean Product Development can mean many different things depending on who you learn from.
Although it is a few years old now, I created the presentation below, “The Genetics of Lean Product Development” to try and clarify the history of all things claiming the “Lean Product Development” label. Starting with a brief history of lean manufacturing, the presentation goes on to flesh out all the steps that took lean out of the shop floor and a listing of all the major players involved. Today we bring you this presentation through the magic of slideshare.
The biggest mistake made in lean product development is made by those who simply try to copy TPS tools into R&D with no consideration that these two entities operate on different clockspeeds and on a completely incompatible set of economics. It is for this reason that we gravitate closely to the work of Don Reinertsen, whose approach to LPD is finely tuned to the engineering and R&D environment and is grounded in what makes the most sense in terms of cycle time and profitability.
- 2-Day Workshop: Second Generation Lean Product Development with Don Reinertsen – July 16-17, 2013 in San Diego – Register by May 3, 2013 and SAVE $300