In the Product Development Process there are Eight forms of Waste. Thus, Lean Product Development (LPD) is lean approach to avoid and reduce these wastes, in order to lower lifecycle cost and improve project efficiency.
Waste 1. Extra Features
Having a clear outline of the project and its needs will cut down on unnecessary work. Team members should be well aware of the target audience and what they require. By prioritizing parts of a project, team members can focus of what is truly necessary.
Waste 2. Delays
Every task is dependent on the tasks before and after it. By balancing your workflow correctly, you can maximize your productivity. Delays can also be avoided by minimizing the number of handoffs, and making sure your team has all the necessary information upfront. Identifying strengths and weaknesses in employees will allow for better placement in the work flow as well.
Waste 3. Handoffs
Unfortunately, sometimes handoffs are necessary because tasks must be performed by various members of a team. Having a cross-trained team may reduce handoffs, and allow team members to stand in for one another. Keeping a clear flow chart of production lines will streamline the process as well.
Waste 4. Extra Processes/Relearning
Having a well-educated team is crucial to the product development process. A lack of understanding can slow down processes and create inferior work. The team should be continuously learning and sharing information among themselves. It is both the employer’s and employee’s responsibility to make sure learning resources are kept up to date and accessible. Employees should not have to ‘invent the wheel’ again.
Waste 5. Partially Done Work
An incomplete understanding of a project can lead to a number of problems, including partially done work. Teams should have a detailed outline of the project, and a list of possible complications that may arise. Addressing another waste of task switching, will also help eliminate partially done work.
Waste 6. Task Switching
Team members moving from one task to another can cause inferior work quality and impact work flow. Task switching may be a result of an overburdened department, or a lack of understanding of the project. You can avoid task switching by having tasks well outlined and identify any external dependencies.
Waste 7. Defects
Defects result in lost time or product, both which cost money. Defects can be caused by human error, machine malfunction, or a combination of the two. Defected materials can result unhappy customers and low morale from employees. By having a well-trained team, and constant upkeep of machines, defects can be avoided.
Waste 8. Unused Employee Creativity
Uneven work flow may result in underutilization in some team members, and overburdening of others. Ideas can be generated by all members of the team which will eliminate other wastes, and boosts morale. Nurturing creativity and improvement possibilities will speed up processes and help the business to continuously adapt.
Lean Product Development (LPD) Meets the CHALLENGES of Product Development, notably:
- Need for more innovative solutions
- Long development cycle times
- Many redevelopment cycles
- High development costs
- Long production cycle times
- High production costs