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  1. Taking a Lean Approach to Product Development Project Management: An Interview with Ronald Mascitelli, PMP, CMC (Part Two of Two) Locked

    Research | Posted: 2004-06-25

    In the second part of this interview, Project Management expert Ronald Mascitelli, continues his application of Lean Thinking to the basic problems of Product Development. He discusses three definitions of time: calendar time, work time and value-added time. He defines value-added time as any activity or task that transforms the deliverables of the process in such a way that the external customer would be willing to pay for it and would be aware of the transformation. In this interview, Mascitelli also defines the limitations of “first-in-first-out queues.” He discusses the application of such concepts as “customer-defined deliverables,” “exception management” and “economies of scope.” Mascitelli concludes that a great deal within product development projects can be standardized – it’s a question of understanding what portions are common to many projects and what portions are unique. (4 pages)

  2. Lean Thinking and Product Development: A Conversation with James Womack (Part Two of Two) Locked

    Research | Posted: 2004-06-25

    In part one of this interview, James Womack, co-author of the 1990 classic The Machine That Changed the World, explained why he now prefers to talk about "Lean Thinking" rather than "Lean Production" because the latter tends to limit Lean to events that occur inside factory walls. In the second part of this interview, Womack discusses why it's important to preserve your R&D home base and delivers a warning about getting caught in what he terms “the variety trap.” Womack also explains why Lean Thinking is not mean thinking, extols the virtues of flexibility, and offers a heads up for companies stuck in a mass production mindset. (5 pages)

  3. Taking a Lean Approach to Product Development Project Management: An Interview with Ronald Mascitelli, PMP, CMC (Part One of Two) Locked

    Research | Posted: 2004-06-25

    Ronald Mascitelli, an expert in Project Management, has served as both Senior Scientist and Director of R&D for Hughes Electronics and the Santa Barbara Research Center. His experience includes managing advanced R&D programs for the U.S. Department of Defense, NASA and the Department of Energy, among others. In the first part of this interview, Ron applies Lean Thinking to some of the basic themes in product development such as Phases and Gates processes, co-location, and gathering customer requirements. He also presents Continuous Flow, a new model for product development that starts with the special nature of each design challenge, and then creates the optimal critical path that would enable a multi-functional team to achieve its goals. (5 pages)

  4. Promoting Kaizen in the Supply Chain: Rohr Immerses Itself in Lean Principles Locked

    Research | Posted: 2004-06-10

    Rohr, a global manufacturer of aircraft engine nacelles and pylons, achieved double-digit improvements in manufacturing operations through the application of Kaizen (continuous improvement). The key for Rohr was to involve suppliers in the drive toward the Lean Enterprise. Rohr’s experience suggests that improving the entire value stream is the key to rapid, sustainable improvements. (5 pages)

  5. Blending Six-Sigma with Lean Thinking: Lockheed Martin Astronautics Develops Rigorous Training Program for Process Improvement Locked

    Research | Posted: 2004-05-19

    Six-Sigma has its origins in the effort to achieve extremely low defect rates. Lean tools, meanwhile, focus on eliminating waste. Implementing one without the other risks the failure to optimize resources. Lockheed Martin Space Systems Astronautics Operations, working in conjunction with other Lockheed companies, minimized this risk by adopting its own high-octane blend of Six-Sigma methodologies and Lean concepts. The Company established a tiered training program that certifies “green belts” and “black belts” in a core set of process improvement practices at various levels of the organization. Through the evolution of its six-sigma and lean process program, Astronautics has laid a well-documented foundation for applying its experience to product design and development. (6 pages)

  6. Designing for LeanSigma Helps Hubbell Change the Game Locked

    Research | Posted: 2004-05-19

    Hubbell Premise Wiring, developers of an array of products in the telecommunications industry, created a game-changing new offering in a technology that has not changed in 80 years. Along the way, they also slashed their product development cycle from around 20 months to 11 months. They achieved this by applying Design for LeanSigma within a highly motivated team. This report, authored by participants in this effort, presents an overview of how Hubbell applied LeanSigma principles in three areas: Voice of the Customer, Design Kaizen and Production Preparation. (5 pages)

  7. We're Off to See the Wizard: Hi-Stat's "Wizard of WOW" (War on Waste) Conjures Lean Approach Locked

    Research | Posted: 2004-05-19

    Hi-Stat, a $116M manufacturer of switches, sensors and valves for automotive applications, has developed a robust waste reduction/continuous improvement program that saved the company as much as $10M over a five year period. A major factor in the success of Hi-Stat’s Lean approach has been an internal marketing campaign they called “War On Waste” or “WOW.” This program – involving a slogan and even an official mascot, "the Wizard of WOW" – combined accountability, employee recognition, and clear and highly visible symbols and messages, which yielded an extraordinary degree of employee buy-in and significant momentum toward Lean Thinking and continuous improvement. (7 pages)

  8. Integrating Design for Lean Six Sigma and High Performance Organizations: Addressing both the Technical and the Human Sides of Improvement Locked

    Research | Posted: 2004-05-19

    Tom Devane, a veteran of numerous implementations of Lean and Six-Sigma, observes that the results obtained with these tools are highly variable. According to Devane, the key to reducing this variability is to address the human as well as the technical side of process improvement. To this end, Devane advocates a blend of High Performance Organizations (HPOs) with the Lean Six Sigma tool set. Devane’s reports that many of the most successful and sustainable Six Sigma implementations employ a mix of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ approaches to continuous improvement. (6 pages)

  9. Process Design for Internal Customers: Powell Electrical Lean Initiative Aligns Functions, Improves Manufacturability and Reduces Cycle Time Locked

    Research | Posted: 2004-05-19

    Having a Lean organization is about much more than rationalizing processes or inventory reduction. When Lean becomes an integral part of an organization it can have a significant impact on manufacturability as an embedded product characteristic. Powell Electrical used Lean Thinking to design a process that created efficiencies in both the back and the front end of product development. Powell's Lean initiative also had an effect on customization and Design for Manufacturability.Powell’s experience suggests that an important aspect of Lean Product Development is learning the concerns of downstream customers – both internal and external. (7 pages)

  10. Cutting Costs This Year? How to Slice Expenses While Remaining On Schedule Locked

    Quick Insight | Posted: 2009-05-27

    More and more companies are being forced to take measures this year to reduce expenses. But is there a way to cut expenses and still keep product development projects on schedule? It is all in where, how, and when to wield the knife, says David W. Paulson, President of consultancy Accuer. Paulson suggests how to use tools from Lean Product Development and Theory of Constraints to cut expenses while keeping product development projects on track.

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