Evidence of lean product development and lean process development is growing each day. Lean process and product development is a way of achieving waste-free operations for your business. The process is simple - simplify all of your activities and continuously improve. Each process should respect employees and the environment.
Lean development values, process flow, simplicity, business partnerships, and visualization of your work.
Using lean development businesses are able to rely less on inventory and more so on just in time production.
The keys to lean development include:
Value stream mapping
Just in time inventory
These tools are used to identify value added and non-value added activities that best meet the customers’ requirements. Lean product development incorporates intellectual activity into the reiterative process of development which includes defining, analyzing, testing, comparing, choosing, specifying, and documenting.
This intellectual activity is applied by a full review of processes, tools, and employees. Here are some steps you can use in lean product development.
Establish customer value and determine value added activities as well as those that cause waste
Determine alternative solutions which maximize your space.
Establish a leveled product development process flow.
Reduce variation through standardization.
Adapt technology to fit your employees and your process.
Engage in organizational learning.
Develop cross functional expertise.
Build a culture of excellence and improvement.
To further improve on these there are a number of methodologies you can use in your product development including:
Design of experiments
Quality function deployment
Most importantly, value your people and your process to continuously improve.