Lean Product Development

This is another new frontier for lean thinking, not because lean efforts in engineering have only begun recently but because it wasn’t until the last few years that a systematic attempt to codify these techniques has been made. These techniques and ideas are loosely brought together under the concept of Lean Product and Process Development (LPPD).

At a time when innovation is the biggest factor behind the success or failure of an organization, finding ways to speed up the development of new products and to ensure these products correspond to actual customer needs is of the utmost importance.

At its core, Lean Product and Process Development aims to create the exact product that people want. And it is clear that developing better products reaching the market faster means profitability into the future. In general terms, lean product development achieves this by creating reusable knowledge that can be used in future iterations of a product and by deployment set-based concurrent engineering (which entails considering sets of designs at once to quickly eliminate inferior solutions, thus shortening development times). It is also useful to integrate the work of engineers with that of the manufacturing department, so that shop floor receives a well-researched, mistake-proof product that is ready for production without the need for extensive and expensive rework.

Interesting contamination exists here with improvement approaches like Lean Startup and Design for Manufacturing.