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  1. "Are We Working on the Right Projects?" Value Stream Mapping at Altec Industries, Inc. Locked

    Quick Insight | Posted: 2009-01-09

    By 2007, Altec, a provider of equipment for the electric utility, telecommunications and contracting industries found that its product engineering teams were struggling with heavy backlogs of projects. Teams had little way of knowing either the full extent of the backlog or whether they were “working on the right things.” Requests for work continually poured in, often displacing earlier requests; workflow might be dictated by the perceived urgency of a particular problem, without regard for what was waiting further back in the queue. At a recent conference, Judd Clark, a principal engineer with St. Joseph, MO-based Altec Industries, Inc., described how his firm used value stream mapping to help to manage its pipeline of engineering projects.

  2. From Ignition to Wildfire: Lean Product Development at Pfizer Locked

    Quick Insight | Posted: 2008-11-28

    Participants at an October 2008 conference on Lean Product Development (Profiting From Lean Product Development: Toyota Methods and Beyond, Chicago, IL) heard a broad cross-section of speakers assessing the lean landscape for product development today – and tomorrow. The conference demonstrated that for all the insight and knowledge accumulated thus far, lean product development is still in its infancy. However, with budgets facing growing pressure and new constraints daily, lean practice offers an expanding set of opportunities for leveraging thin resources. It also points the way toward more effective decision-making that can reduce risk. In a case study presented at the conference, Dr. Terence Barnhart, Senior Director for Strategic Management at Pfizer Global Research and Development, reported that lean methods had contributed toward both leveraging resources and reduced risk in the form of a substantial cut in product development lead times. This article is available to registered users of FastTrack. Please note that becoming a registered user of Fast Track is free, and every month we make exclusive, member-only, Fast Track articles available to our registered users. Join Today!

  3. Changes in Management Philosophy, Small, Cumulative Steps Lead Lean Transformation Locked

    Quick Insight | Posted: 2008-07-18

    James Luckman, a keynote speaker at the upcoming Management Roundtable Lean event in October, is a partner in the Lean Transformation Group. Jim also worked in the auto industry for 34 years at Delphi Automotive where he led the Lean effort at the Technical Center, Rochester, NY. In a prior presentation, Jim recounted his experience establishing Lean at this facility, calling it “probably the most rewarding thing and the most humbling and frustrating thing I’ve ever been through in my life.” The Lean initiative produced measurable results at Delphi’s Technical Center. The number of products increased by a factor of three, while average cycle times were sliced in half. With about a five-to-ten-percent reduction in headcount every year, the Center improved customer satisfaction from 42 to 67 percent. In this piece, Jim Luckman describes the management and waste-eliminating changes that produced these results.

  4. Relieving Bottlenecks: Lean Tips for Resource Management in Product Development Locked

    Quick Insight | Posted: 2008-07-11

    Too many tasks, not enough resources. Everyone in every field has experienced this challenge and its corollary: queues and resource bottlenecks. In his book The Lean Product Development Guidebook [Technology Perspectives, 2007], lean expert Ron Mascitelli identifies resource management as one of the leading challenges in product development. Writes Mascitelli, “Even the most advanced development process cannot function without adequate resources and skills being available to provide the impetus that drives a project forward. In fact, sub-optimal resource management is prevalent in almost every firm that I have observed… Resource management is the last frontier of lean product development; if you can conquer this challenge, your design process will be in a league of its own.” Mascitelli offers several suggestions for conquering this “last frontier.”

  5. Variability,Yes; Inventory, No, in Lean Product Development Locked

    Quick Insight | Posted: 2006-06-29

    Lean product development, while conceptuallysimilar tolean manufacturing, clearly has differences - mostly due to the intangible nature of knowledge work. One of the foremost experts inlean product developmentis Don Reinertsen,president of Reinertsen& Associates and author ofManaging the Design Factory and Developing Products in Half the Time. According to Reinertsen,the differences between leanproduct developmentand lean manufacturing arenoteworthy in two key areas: 1) inventory and 2)variability.

  6. Stand-Up Meetings for Lean Product Development Locked

    Quick Insight | Posted: 2006-06-29

    One of the more effective and innovative tools introduced into its lean product development process by Boston Scientific Corporation is the daily "stand-up" meeting of product development teams. The idea generated much interest among participants at Management Roundtable's Lean Product Development Implementation Summit held June 13-14, 2006 in Chicago. Presented by Philip Ebeling, director, program management, LEAN Product Development at Boston Scientific,stand-up meetings are no longer than ten minutes every day (literally no chairs or sitting allowed). Co-located cross-functional product development teams each hold a stand-up meeting in their own bullpen area to review and discuss the status of their projects. “While stand-up meetings may be more common to operations, in our case it is a very new concept for product development,” says Ebeling.

  7. Expert Panel: Lean Product Development Locked

    Quick Insight | Posted: 2005-09-20

    A Panel Discussion on Lean Product Development Download Summary of key points Download complete Transcript Expert panelists included: Anthony Carter - Motorola Kent Harmon - Targeted Convergence Corporation Bob Wenning - TBM Consulting

  8. Additional Resources for Lean PD Locked

    Quick Insight | Posted: 2005-09-09

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