Lean product development in practice: Insights from 4 companies
Editor: Udo Lindemann, Srinivasan V, Yong Se Kim, Sang Won Lee, John Clarkson, Gaetano Cascini
Author: Siyam, Ghadir I.; Kirner, Katharina; Wynn, David C.; Lindemann, Udo; Clarkson, P. John
Institution: 1: University of Cambridge, United Kingdom; 2: Technische Universität München, Germany
This paper aims to elucidate practitioners’ understanding and implementation of Lean in Product Development (LPD). We report on a workshop held in the UK during 2012. Managers and engineers from four organizations discussed their understanding of LPD and their ideas and practice regarding management and assessment of value and waste. The study resulted in a set of insights into current practice and lean thinking from the industry perspective. Building on this, the paper introduces a balanced value and waste model that can be used by practitioners as a checklist to identify issues that need to be considered when applying LPD. The main results indicate that organizations tend to focus on waste elimination rather than value enhancement in LPD. Moreover, the lean metrics that were discussed by the workshop participants do not link the strategic level with the operational one, and poorly reflect the value and waste generated in the process. Future directions for research are explored, and include the importance of a balanced approach considering both value and waste when applying LPD, and the need to link lean metrics with value and waste levels.