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Items filtered by date: November 2014
by Larry Pendergrass, Principal

Every new product development leader needs to stay abreast of the latest ideas on product development principles, processes, tools and organizations; and methodologies such as Agile, Lean, Flow and Critical Chain are some of the latest ideas. But should any one of these philosophies be applied directly per the textbooks, and without modification to your unique business problems? To do so may invite disaster!

I have seen such a situation, when a newly-hired manufacturing expert applied lean principles directly according to the theoretical ideals, to a high-tech, high-mix, low-volume operation. The result was a near shut-down of the manufacturing operation for three months while “save-the-company” modifications to processes and tools were made. Thankfully, when the dust settled we had a balance of lean and other manufacturing philosophies that was more appropriate to the business. The same could happen to a product development processes if care is not taken. These roll-outs need to be done carefully, with skill, respecting the past, the company culture, the needs of the customers, and the market and industry, balancing various philosophies to create the best optimization for your business.

Published in Product Creation

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Dr. Scott S. Elliott
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