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product development on the Lean Post
Lean Principles Apply to Fuzzy R&D Too
Lean principles work not only for incremental innovation and repetitive R&D work but for the “fuzzy” or disruptive part of developing new products and services, where the biggest benefits reside. Here are some tips for venturing into the fuzzy side of innovation from Norbert Majerus, a former lean champion in research and development at Goodyear.… More »
How Do You Know What Your Product or Service Needs to Be?
What does it take to know what your product or service needs to be? The obvious answer, it would seem, is whatever the customer wants. Katrina Appell explains why there's more to it than that.… More »
Better Design Reviews, Better Products
"Design reviews are a common process in product and process development," writes Katrina Appell. And they're common for good reason. Read more to learn why these processes are so critical to successful product and process development, as well as the impact they've had through a real-life story that Katrina shares.… More »
How Obeya Improved Our Product Development Efforts
As a followup to John Drogosz's piece on the stages of obeya from last week, Andy Houk, a client of John's at TechnipFMC, discusses how an obeya room that John helped them set up affects their work today.… More »
Developing Your Obeya, Stage-by-Stage
In his years as a LPPD coach, John Drogosz has seen that "most teams do go through several stages of evolution before obeya becomes an embedded ritual." Find out what they are.… More »
The Concept Paper for a New Product: The Kickstart of a LPPD Project
Lean product and process development is not an easy undertaking, neither to understand nor execute. Luckily, there is a tool that can help remedy this ever-common problem: the Concept Paper.… More »
Enabling Fast and Innovative Product Development at Bose
Bringing products to market as quickly as possible is a key cornerstone of lean product and process development. With this in mind, Massachusetts-based audio-equipment maker Bose Corporation created a Rapid Prototype Development Center to improve collaboration, creativity, engagement, and ideation-to-market times. LPPD coach Katrina Appell now shares the secrets of the RPDC in this new case study… More »
What are the key traits I should look for in a potential Chief Engineer? A Q&A with Katrina Appell
The Chief Engineer is a key cornerstone of lean product and process development. Katrina Appell has been asked many times what traits a potential CE should have in order to ensure the best chance of success. Her answer may surprise you - read more and find out what you should really ask yourself before accepting applications.… More »
What's a good "small step" to start off my LPPD transformation? A Q&A with Katrina Appell
A lean product and process development transformation may seem daunting, but all you really need to get started is a series of simple yet effective "small steps." Here's Katrina Appell on her favorite.… More »
Innovative Companies Continue to Learn from Each Other: Fall 2016 LPPD Learning Group Event
Find out what learnings took place at the Fall 2016 LPPD Partners' Meeting in Davis, California.… More »
When Lean Gets Personal
Lean is not simply about making things better; Jim Morgan shares how his experience with lean healthcare taught him how lean helps make people better.… More »
How Do You REALLY Put Yourself in Your Customers’ Shoes? A Q&A with Eric Ethington
The customer is king in lean. That's why it's critical to know their values, needs, interests, etc. in order to ensure your product has its niche. Some companies go further than others on this, often spending tens of millions of dollars to learn about their customers. Eric Ethington has a simpler way of getting to the root of your customer experience, and best of all, it doesn't have to break the bank.… More »
Green from the Start
LEI faculty member Jim Morgan shares his insights with Kelly Singer, managing editor of the Lean Green Institute, on how companies can increase their environmental stewardship with a truly green value stream.… More »
Focus Your Operating System To Bring Your Strategy to Life
A strategy can just turn into wallpaper if you don't have the right systems in place to support it. Jim Morgan has seen this happen many times, and now explains how to avoid the problem, based on his experiences working with Alan Mulally at Ford Motor Company during the Great Recession.… More »
Orchestrating Your Product Development Process with Milestones
"Effective milestones are an important part of a company’s development process, especially in today’s era of team-based sprints and stand-ups," writes Jim Morgan. "Yet many companies struggle to successfully create and employ milestones; and some don’t even understand their relevance beyond updating senior leadership." Read more.… More »
What Do I Tell My Leaders When Experiments Fail?
When experiments fail, it's natural for a leadership team to get nervous. But in the context of lean, they shouldn't be - it's just a matter of managing their expectations and helping them understand that a "failure" is actually a blessing in disguise. John Drogosz explains how to do this.… More »
The Crucible of Innovation
Innovation is key to a successful successful development project, we always read. But innovation is a fickle term that gets tossed around like a coin. Jim Morgan prefers putting his faith in design reviews to serve as his projects' heartbeat - read more to learn about design reviews and what you can do to get the most value out of them.… More »
Put the 'i' Before the Apple
Apple is a company with a reputation for keeping its customers' needs at the forefront of its product development decisions. But according to Boaz Tamir of Israel Lean Enterprise, that reputation is starting to slip away after some poor recent moves. Read more.… More »
Take Your Product Testing to the Extreme
Many of the principles of lean product and process development can seem counterproductive at first glance. For example, what if someone told you that the best way to see if a product will truly work...is to break it? That's exactly what Professor Larry Navarre of Kettering University tells his students, as part of his unlikely yet invaluable "Extreme Testing" concept. Read more.… More »
More than a New Product – A New Way of Thinking
"Successful entrepreneurs, whether they are lone figures toiling in garages or supporting new work at major companies, are rightly celebrated for creating hit products," says Jim Morgan. "But what if there were something better, much better than creating a product in isolation?" Read more.… More »
How do I keep visual management from becoming “wallpaper?" A Q&A with John Drogosz
"Many managers try to convince everyone (including themselves) that they are visually managing their projects or departments," writes John Drogosz, "but during the gemba walk we see static, outdated displays. Are we just communicating information or really working with what is in front of us?" Read more.… More »
Generating Multiple Alternatives is Not Necessarily Waste
"I was once asked: 'How is set-based design lean? Isn’t designing multiple alternatives creating waste and the opposite of lean?'” writes Katrina Appell. It's true that generating multiple alternatives can seem like waste, especially since only one alternative will be used. But the reality is much different - read more.… More »
The Importance of Embracing Development Conflict
Conflict is something almost all professionals have been told to avoid at all costs. Jim Morgan begs to differ. "Whenever I encounter someone using this limiting form of binary thinking," he writes, "I remind them that those who can embrace conflict find it to be a huge source of opportunity." Read more.… More »
Seeing and Understanding the Work in Product and Process Development
"The role of most lean tools is to enable problems to be identified or to enable problems to be solved," writes Katrina Appell. "An important part of being able to identify problems is being able to see them. But what do you do when the work being done is typically only visible on a computer?" Read more to find out the answer,… More »
Value Stream Mapping in a Product Development Context: A Q&A with John Drogosz
Lean Product and Process Development Senior Coach John Drogosz answers countless questions about LPPD every day. Now, in his first piece for the Lean Post, he answers one of his most-asked questions: about how to create a value stream map for a PD environment. Read more.… More »
Interoperability: The Human Dimension of Design Excellence
Did you know only 51 percent of new product development efforts are meeting schedules, and a mere 56 percent meet profit objectives? And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Read more.… More »
Put Your People at The Center of Your Development System
"It is your people that provide the skills, energy and creativity," writes Jim Morgan. "They are the single most important element of great product development systems. They drive the system." Read more.… More »
Goodyear's Great Year: An LPPD Success Story
Lean product and process development (LPPD) successes can be found at companies of every size and industry - such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Watch this video to hear new author Norbert Majerus describe the situation at Goodyear that prompted this transformation, plus the results that stemmed from it.… More »
Ford’s Focus: Lean Lessons from the Recession's Greatest Success Story
After listening to Jim Morgan talk about Ford Motor Company's lean turnaround strategy during the Great Recession, Cam Ford (no relation) muses on how it could hold an important lesson for companies today, regardless of size or industry.… More »
Three Core Capabilities in Any Lean Product and Process Development System
"Good development leaders work in earnest to create a 'safe culture' for people to share issues. Working to [drive out fear] is both important and necessary," writes Jim Morgan. "But it is not nearly sufficient for identifying and eliminating technical issues at the optimal time in a development program." Read more.… More »
Lean Product Development at Cathedral Hill Hospital
Read Baris Lostuvali's case study on bringing LPPD to the Cathedral Hill Hospital in San Francisco.… More »
The Joy of Lean Innovation: A Case Study of Menlo Innovations
Richard Sheridan and James Goebel of Menlo Innovations set out to create a joyful enterprise, one that they, their team, and their customers would love. Nevertheless, Menlo Innovations’ practices are grounded in the central principles of product and process development. Read more.… More »
Value Stream Mapping and Obeya: Key Enablers for Better Product Development
For an organization to be continually relevant and profitable, it needs to develop products and processes that consistently create value. But how exactly do you create the required organizational capabilities and supporting leadership behaviors? Read more.… More »
Lean, Agile, Joy
Rich Sheridan, CEO of Menlo Innovations, shares his thoughts on why the lean software and lean manufacturing communities need each other.… More »
Lean Product and Process Development – Stories from the Field
Jim Morgan shares stories of his field work and research for LPPD at LEI.… More »
Lean is About Building Organizations that Learn to Learn
In April, LEI's John Shook spoke at the LeanUX NYC conference about how the lean movement has changed (and not changed) over time and what any community (user design or otherwise) needs to focus on in terms of leadership behaviors in order to build strong organizations that solve problems. Watch the video and read excerpts from his keynote.… More »
Let the Work Define the Process
We’re all short on time, but think for a moment with your team about the real work to be done in any process you’re working on or design you’re creating. Are you building from past experience or actual customer needs? Are you building from past experience or building to solve problems?… More »
Why Toyota is Still My North Star
"In the past five years the local lean engineering community has gained a deeper hands-on appreciation of how intermeshed product and processes are," writes Michael Ballé. "Product innovation often comes from progress in process innovation. We also understand better the truly outstanding feats of engineering that Toyota’s new drive represents."… More »
TPS 2.0?
Jim Morgan and Jeffrey Liker chime in on Toyota's announcement of their TNGA program (Toyota New Global Architecture). "The impetus for TNGA is not the recall crisis," they say, "but rather Toyota’s history, with a push added by the Great Recession... Toyota is constantly working on the next generation of fundamental product and process innovations and occasionally we get a snapshot." Read more.… More »
From Victim to Partner: The Evolution of a Manufacturing Development System
"Excellence in product development is not 'an engineering thing'; it is an enterprise thing," writes Jim Morgan. And it's helpful to think about manufacturing’s role in PD as something that evolves over time through four general stages until manufacturing becomes a fully participating partner. "Few companies evolve through all stages on their own... " Read more.… More »
Building as Product
"A building project, although it has many different moving parts and players, is a product. It’s a uniquely different product than a car, airplane, or toaster... But it’s a product," writes Baris Lostuvali. "And it’s a product that desperately needs a better process and sociotechnical system and process for coming to be."… More »
Pi-Day, Robots, and the Joy of Making Things
"Pi is a symbol that is easily recognized and fun to celebrate once a year when it falls on its calendar equivalent of 3/14," writes Jim and Mary Morgan. "Wouldn’t it be wonderful if a company could be recognized as a symbol of lean product and process development excellence and celebrated for its existence at least once per year as well?"… More »
Innovation at Smartphone Speed
Ever wonder what it takes to make those smartphone chips? Learn how IBM continuously improves smartphone technology using lean thinking (whether or not they ever call it lean).… More »
Jim Morgan on What It Takes to Transform An Organization's Product Development System
Jim Morgan, Senior Advisor for Product and Process Development at LEI, shares his view of what's required for organizations to rethink and revitalize their product development systems in his most recent interview with Planet Lean.… More »
Frontloading Product Development
Anyone in product development is familiar with the agony of late-stage changes, sometimes called loopbacks. The common advice to head off this problem is to “frontload” the product development process. But what does frontload mean? Durward Sobek explains.… More »
John Shook on Where Lean Thinking and Practice is Headed Today
LEI's John Shook shares his view of how and where lean thinking can be used most effectively today. Insights on everything from how to apply lean to your own unique work situation and organizational context to how lean can help solve social problems to staying innovative for the long haul.… More »
Framing Art and Science: What Lean Knowledge Are We Going to Create Together?
"What is the purpose of lean product development? Where are its limits? Who plays, and what is 'out of bounds?' Such an identity 'crisis' is thrilling to see. It is the hallmark of an emerging science," writes Terry Barnhart. Read Terry's thoughts on the challenge ahead for the lean community in terms of sharing lean product and process development concepts with the world.… More »
Lean Product Development is About Thinking Horizontally in a Vertical World
Check out the blog from Day 2 of the Lean Product and Process Development Exchange (North America) conference in Durham, North Carolina. Excerpts from Jim Womack's keynote and more.… More »
The Designer's Dilemma
Durward Sobek unpacks the "designer’s dilemma"—the situation wherein you have the MOST freedom to make decisions when you know the LEAST about the problem. Learn how set-based innovation and trade off curves can help.… More »
Ron Pereira and Jim Morgan Discuss the Power of Lean Product and Process Development
Check out excerpts from Gemba Academy's podcast with Jim Morgan on core lean product and process development concepts, what makes "LPPD" different from traditional product development, and what the lean idea of "respect for people" really means.… More »
Leave Your Ego at the Door
Jim Morgan reflects on what he's learned from Alan Mulally (CEO of Ford Motor Company 2006-2014)--lessons like the importance of providing people with context, always working on a better plan, and the “magic” of working together. Read more.… More »
Real Concurrent Engineering: Developing Engineers and Products Simultaneously
Jim Morgan and Durward Sobek compare and contrast Lean with traditional product and process development.… More »
Are You Making Enough Mistakes?
How comfortable are you making mistakes? Do you make it safe for your team members to make mistakes? Boaz Tamir, Founder of Israel Lean Enterprise Institute, reflects on these questions and more after learning about Menlo Innovations' unique organizational culture.… More »
Using Lean To Fundamentally Rethink How We Develop Products and Services
Jim Morgan (former Global Engineering Director at Ford Motor Company) and Durward Sobek (Professor of Industrial Engineering at Montana State University) discuss the 2nd edition of Lean Product and Process Development.… More »
The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection
"I began to notice that there was a sharp contrast between well-made, crafted products and poorly made ones, and an even greater distinction between the people who made them," writes Jim Morgan. "I immediately and instinctively knew which one I wanted to make, and be."… More »
Dr. Allen Ward on Lean Product and Process Development
In this classic video, the late Dr. Allen Ward, a lean product and process development (LPPD) pioneer, gives a talk on the remarkable benefits of LPPD.… More »
John Drogosz on Product Development
John Drogosz gives a talk on lean product development from the University of Michigan.… More »
Throw Out Your Assumptions About Your Customer
LEI intern Francesco Possio reflects on his Lean Startup Machine workshop experience at the Cambridge Innovation Center.… More »
Product Focus = Customer Focus
"Customer-defined value creation is the first principle of lean thinking... But how do you know your hard work will deliver a product your customer actually values and will buy?" Jim Morgan, former product/process development executive at Ford (and co-author of The Toyota Product Development System) tells us how to build "insanely good products."… More »
Where Lean Meets Innovation
"Many people see Lean purely as an improvement method, not a total enterprise solution or a new way of doing business," writes José Ferro. "In reality, it's a new method of production and a new way to organize the whole enterprise."… More »
The Faster We Go, the Behind-er We Get
Speed to market is not just about doing things faster. It’s about taking the time to do things more intentionally. Jim Morgan, former product/process development executive at Ford (and co-author of The Toyota Product Development System), shares the key questions you need to ask yourself if you're truly interested in shortening your product development lead times.… More »
Your Product Isn't Everything, It's the Only Thing
Jim Morgan, former product/process development executive at Ford (and co-author of The Toyota Product Development System), reflects on what should really matter to you and your business and why.… More »
Managing the Wisdom of the Many
"Lean organizations that depend on the qualities of rare individuals face multi-dimensional risks," writes Boaz Tamir, President of Israel Lean Institute. In his first piece for the Post, Tamir calls for the integration of individual capabilities and team synergy as we seek to build successful 21st century businesses.… More »
product development on Lean.org
Leadership Q&A: Dr. Jack Billi, associate dean and associate vice president for medical affairs
From the LEI senior executive series on lean leadership: Jack Billi, M.D., associate dean for clinical affairs, University of Michigan Medical School, professor of Internal Medicine and Medical Educa… More »
The Value Stream Manager
Read about and discuss the role of this cross-functional manager.… More »
The Beginner’s Guide To Lean
Dan Jones, chairman of the Lean Enterprise Academy and coauthor of Lean Thinking, explains that the challenge of lean is to advance beyond eliminating waste in broken processes to creating brilliant p… More »
Leadership Q&A: Dan Ariens, CEO of Ariens Co.
From the LEI senior executive series on lean leadership: In the late 1990s, Ariens Co.faced a blizzard of problems. The iconic maker of snow blowers, mowers, and string trimmers faced a cash-flow cri… More »
Value-Stream Mapping in a Make-to-Order Environment
Tips from LEI author Mike Rother on applying value-stream mapping and continuous flow in high-variety, custom manufacturing environments.… More »
Lean Transformational Leadership Webinar - Follow-up Q & A and Reading List
During the Transformational Leadership webinar, many of you asked for the list of related books and articles that presenter Jim Luckman cited. He has provided the list as a chart at the end of his ans… More »
Follow-up Q & A to the Webinar “Getting to Everyday Improvement: How to Connect the Science and Culture of Problem Solving”
 The Lean Enterprise Institute's webinar on Getting to Everyday Improvement drew thousands of Lean Thinkers from around the world and hundreds of questions that we didn’t have time to answer during th… More »
Online - Introduction to Lean Thinking and Practice
This online course serves as an introduction to the key concepts, philosophies, and tools associated with lean thinking and practice. Designed through a joint effort between the Lean Enterprise Instit… More »
Continuous Improvement Using Personal Kanban
A simple, effective management system for digging out of work -- and staying dug out -- to achieve higher quality, better productivity, greater job satisfaction, and peace of mind.… More »
Gemba Walks, 2nd Edition (audiobook)
A collection of essays read aloud by author Jim Womack, based on the many gemba walks he has taken around the world. The 2nd edition contains 12 new essays, including thoughts on lean in healthcare an… More »
Gemba Walks, 2nd Edition (eBook)
A collection of essays by Jim Womack based on the many gemba walks he has taken around the world. The 2nd edition contains 12 new essays in sectors such as healthcare and government.… More »
Gold Mine, The (audiobook)
An unabridged audio version of The Gold Mine: A Novel of Lean Turnaround, a Shingo Research Prize recipient in 2006.  … More »
TPS 2.0?
Jim Morgan and Jeffrey Liker chime in on Toyota's announcement of their TNGA program (Toyota New Global Architecture). "The impetus for TNGA is not the recall crisis," they say, "but rather Toyota’s history, with a push added by the Great Recession... Toyota is constantly working on the next generation of fundamental product and process innovations and occasionally we get a snapshot." Read more.… More »
From Victim to Partner: The Evolution of a Manufacturing Development System
"Excellence in product development is not 'an engineering thing'; it is an enterprise thing," writes Jim Morgan. And it's helpful to think about manufacturing’s role in PD as something that evolves over time through four general stages until manufacturing becomes a fully participating partner. "Few companies evolve through all stages on their own... " Read more.… More »
Building as Product
"A building project, although it has many different moving parts and players, is a product. It’s a uniquely different product than a car, airplane, or toaster... But it’s a product," writes Baris Lostuvali. "And it’s a product that desperately needs a better process and sociotechnical system and process for coming to be."… More »
Pi-Day, Robots, and the Joy of Making Things
"Pi is a symbol that is easily recognized and fun to celebrate once a year when it falls on its calendar equivalent of 3/14," writes Jim and Mary Morgan. "Wouldn’t it be wonderful if a company could be recognized as a symbol of lean product and process development excellence and celebrated for its existence at least once per year as well?"… More »
Innovation at Smartphone Speed
Ever wonder what it takes to make those smartphone chips? Learn how IBM continuously improves smartphone technology using lean thinking (whether or not they ever call it lean).… More »
Jim Morgan on What It Takes to Transform An Organization's Product Development System
Jim Morgan, Senior Advisor for Product and Process Development at LEI, shares his view of what's required for organizations to rethink and revitalize their product development systems in his most recent interview with Planet Lean.… More »
Frontloading Product Development
Anyone in product development is familiar with the agony of late-stage changes, sometimes called loopbacks. The common advice to head off this problem is to “frontload” the product development process. But what does frontload mean? Durward Sobek explains.… More »
John Shook on Where Lean Thinking and Practice is Headed Today
LEI's John Shook shares his view of how and where lean thinking can be used most effectively today. Insights on everything from how to apply lean to your own unique work situation and organizational context to how lean can help solve social problems to staying innovative for the long haul.… More »
Framing Art and Science: What Lean Knowledge Are We Going to Create Together?
"What is the purpose of lean product development? Where are its limits? Who plays, and what is 'out of bounds?' Such an identity 'crisis' is thrilling to see. It is the hallmark of an emerging science," writes Terry Barnhart. Read Terry's thoughts on the challenge ahead for the lean community in terms of sharing lean product and process development concepts with the world.… More »
Lean Product Development is About Thinking Horizontally in a Vertical World
Check out the blog from Day 2 of the Lean Product and Process Development Exchange (North America) conference in Durham, North Carolina. Excerpts from Jim Womack's keynote and more.… More »
The Designer's Dilemma
Durward Sobek unpacks the "designer’s dilemma"—the situation wherein you have the MOST freedom to make decisions when you know the LEAST about the problem. Learn how set-based innovation and trade off curves can help.… More »
Ron Pereira and Jim Morgan Discuss the Power of Lean Product and Process Development
Check out excerpts from Gemba Academy's podcast with Jim Morgan on core lean product and process development concepts, what makes "LPPD" different from traditional product development, and what the lean idea of "respect for people" really means.… More »
Leave Your Ego at the Door
Jim Morgan reflects on what he's learned from Alan Mulally (CEO of Ford Motor Company 2006-2014)--lessons like the importance of providing people with context, always working on a better plan, and the “magic” of working together. Read more.… More »
Real Concurrent Engineering: Developing Engineers and Products Simultaneously
Jim Morgan and Durward Sobek compare and contrast Lean with traditional product and process development.… More »
Are You Making Enough Mistakes?
How comfortable are you making mistakes? Do you make it safe for your team members to make mistakes? Boaz Tamir, Founder of Israel Lean Enterprise Institute, reflects on these questions and more after learning about Menlo Innovations' unique organizational culture.… More »
Using Lean To Fundamentally Rethink How We Develop Products and Services
Jim Morgan (former Global Engineering Director at Ford Motor Company) and Durward Sobek (Professor of Industrial Engineering at Montana State University) discuss the 2nd edition of Lean Product and Process Development.… More »
The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection
"I began to notice that there was a sharp contrast between well-made, crafted products and poorly made ones, and an even greater distinction between the people who made them," writes Jim Morgan. "I immediately and instinctively knew which one I wanted to make, and be."… More »
Dr. Allen Ward on Lean Product and Process Development
In this classic video, the late Dr. Allen Ward, a lean product and process development (LPPD) pioneer, gives a talk on the remarkable benefits of LPPD.… More »
John Drogosz on Product Development
John Drogosz gives a talk on lean product development from the University of Michigan.… More »
Throw Out Your Assumptions About Your Customer
LEI intern Francesco Possio reflects on his Lean Startup Machine workshop experience at the Cambridge Innovation Center.… More »
Product Focus = Customer Focus
"Customer-defined value creation is the first principle of lean thinking... But how do you know your hard work will deliver a product your customer actually values and will buy?" Jim Morgan, former product/process development executive at Ford (and co-author of The Toyota Product Development System) tells us how to build "insanely good products."… More »
Where Lean Meets Innovation
"Many people see Lean purely as an improvement method, not a total enterprise solution or a new way of doing business," writes José Ferro. "In reality, it's a new method of production and a new way to organize the whole enterprise."… More »
The Faster We Go, the Behind-er We Get
Speed to market is not just about doing things faster. It’s about taking the time to do things more intentionally. Jim Morgan, former product/process development executive at Ford (and co-author of The Toyota Product Development System), shares the key questions you need to ask yourself if you're truly interested in shortening your product development lead times.… More »
Your Product Isn't Everything, It's the Only Thing
Jim Morgan, former product/process development executive at Ford (and co-author of The Toyota Product Development System), reflects on what should really matter to you and your business and why.… More »
Managing the Wisdom of the Many
"Lean organizations that depend on the qualities of rare individuals face multi-dimensional risks," writes Boaz Tamir, President of Israel Lean Institute. In his first piece for the Post, Tamir calls for the integration of individual capabilities and team synergy as we seek to build successful 21st century businesses.… More »