Lean innovation: product development in the next decade

How to make a quantum leap in development efficiency
Do you know that throughput time in virtually any ‘Value Adding’ process can be dramatically improved? Research shows that 25% time saving in adding value can be structurally achieved. Throughput time can be reduced by one third and output errors can be reduced by 90%. That means waste, introduced due to a variety of reasons, can be significantly reduced.

Lean innovation in product development helps achieve crucial deadlines and establishes top-notch reliability in development processes. It takes away unexpected delays, unforeseen disappointments and keeps budgets under control. This must sound like heaven in your ears. All too well-known is the case of the world’s largest motor company, generating twice the number of new car-models with half the development staff compared to its previous industry peers.

How can Lean innovation achieve this?
Lean in product development establishes a well-structured and professionally-scheduled approach. This creates sustainability of processes and shares collective knowhow to your entire development community. It helps, for example, avoiding unnecessary duplications. Re-inventing the wheel, and its associated quality risks, is a tremendous source of time and budget waste. But how can you take advantage of the lessons learned by other organizations that have created an effective and sustainable Lean innovation structure? Our approach is based upon eight areas of improvement as shown in figure 1.


Figure 1: eight areas of improvement for Lean innovation

Five-phase process to success and sustainability

At Philips Innovation Services we build upon a decade-long experience of Lean practice in manufacturing, as well as office and innovation spaces. Industry consulting specialists are pivotal for introducing Lean innovation at Philips on a global scale. This service is also available to third party clients.

How does this work? In order to find the most efficient structure and process we run a program that consists of five phases. Only when a particular phase has been fully integrated and assessed, the next one can start. The five phases comprise:

  1. Creating awareness, involving leadership, checking readiness, acceptance and ownership of the new way of working; Finalization is done by way of readiness check before entering the next phase.
  2. Carrying out a small-scale, easily measurable and controllable test phase in a part of the organization. When finished successfully and Lean demonstrably adds value, the next phase can start.
  3. Rollout and integration of more departments until the entire organization is involved and operational. When successful, start phase 4.
  4. This phase is expanding and deepening the lean organization. On the one hand it focusses on end-to-end processes as well as integrating suppliers and co-developers. On the other hand, new elements are being introduced, like multi-project balancing and knowledge base development, with the objective of moving to a world class organization. When successful move to phase 5.
  5. The last phase focusses on creating sustainability of the Lean structure and bonding it in the entire organization and culture. This includes embedding into management and reporting structures, eradicating inefficiencies caused by departmentalization and its consequential sub-optimization for the total organization.

Related article: Value stream mapping: boosting innovation productivity

More about our service Development productivity of our area of Industry consulting expertise.

Do you think that your product development organization could benefit from a Lean innovation approach? Contact Wil van Mil for a free introductory consult

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