Lean assessment and transformation strategies in product development: a longitudinal study

DS 87-2 Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 17) Vol 2: Design Processes, Design Organisation and Management, Vancouver, Canada, 21-25.08.2017

Year: 2017
Editor: Anja Maier, Stanko Škec, Harrison Kim, Michael Kokkolaras, Josef Oehmen, Georges Fadel, Filippo Salustri, Mike Van der Loos
Author: Welo, Torgeir; Ringen, Geir
Series: ICED
Institution: Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
Section: Design Processes, Design Organisation and Management
Page(s): 377-386


Maintaining simultaneous focus on efficiency and effectiveness is a difficult yet necessary strategy to deliver commercially viable products in today’s global world of competition. As a result, manufacturing companies aim to shift from a modus of operandi dominated by removing waste at the factory floor to leveraging value creation in all direct or indirect activities within the product value stream. One of the most popular strategies in this regard is to apply the Lean concept in product development (PD). This paper researches to which degree PD practices in a Scandinavian design and manufacturing company comply with Lean in its own context. A capability maturity tool has been developed, piloted and followed-up in the case company to identify gaps and improvement potentials. A capability maturity assessment has been conducted twice, with a time span of seven years. This longitudinal study shows that the PD team rate their performance surprisingly identical from 2009 to 2016, reflecting that an increased Lean PD awareness has brought new challenges to the surface - ones that were hidden by more obvious issues in the past.

Keywords: New product development, Design management, Risk management


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