One table, 3 main parameters, are the root for adopting the method in lean product development.
Lean Product Development – LPD
Either by using the expertise of a software development company or developing in-house, it is essential to build the foundations for the development process using the strategy best suited for your project first and only then for your product.
The strategy for the development process and operational methodology have a significant impact on the success of the project and the quality of the final result.
This impact will be more prominent as we move forward with the project life cycle
"Lean culture" & Startups
The “Lean” methodology was successfully implemented in different sectors and industries. It is compatible with essentially every organization and especially for start-up companies where efficiency and maximal values are at the core function.
The challenge in implementing the “Lean start-up” mindset in start-up companies is the lack of tools and human resources combined with the various price ranges.
Back to the Roots of the Lean method
The origins of the method can be traced to Japanese automotive manufacturing. Taiichi Ohno, Japanese industrial engineer. While working in Toyota Ohno used management tactics and converted them into measurable actions, implemented on the factory production system. In 1988 the Ohno's methods were further researched by John Krafcik which claimed the term “Lean” and then were defined more elaborately by James Womack and Daniel Jones in 1996.
The definition according to the Japanese - MUDA, MURA, MURI
The main objectives are to design out overburden (Muri) and inconsistency (Mura) and to eliminate waste (Muda).
o MUDA – all actions that require resources (including time) but don’t create value for the client.
o MURA - Unevenness in an operation. The goal is to level out the workload between all development parties.
o MURI - Overburdening equipment or operators by requiring them to run at a higher or harder pace with more effort for a longer period of time.
The tactical improvements of waste reduction or the elimination of "Muda" are very valuable. By designing "mura" (inconsistency) to achieve the required results smoothly. Ensure that the process is as flexible as necessary without "muri" (overburden) since this generates "Muda" (waste).
5 key guidance of lean method:
1) Value identification – specify and define the value for the optimal client (the product main Feature ).
2) Value stream mapping – analyzing the current state and designing the future state for the series of events that takes the product from the early stages until delivery to the client. identify all actions that contribute and support the client’s value – actions that don’t add value to the client are considered a waste of resources (we will create a precise characterization of the product based on these values).
3) Setting “value making” development stages – these stages are defined by the required value they provide (building defined development\milestones plan, SOWs, etc.).
4) Precise inventory system – supply and manufacturing systems specially suited to the required time frames and production volume (defining specific objectives for completion of the project, expected demand preparation, etc.).
5) The pursuit of perfection – continually strives towards the reduction of wasted time, space, costs, and errors.
The method adapts us to a “lean” state of mindset and to take action accordingly. This list provides the guidelines for making more with less – using minimal resources and capital to attain maximal value for the client.
“Lean Product Development” – LPD
LPD is a management methodology that can be used in your technological development process, based on methods and tools that evolved from the manufacturing to the product development environment.
LPD focuses on information flow, synchronization, and coordination between all development parties. This methodology allows stimulating healthy communication norms that provide a platform for troubleshooting, sharing insights, and constant improvements.
The goal is not the product, but the value to the consumer in a productive and fast way.
LPD principles diagram present to counter the challenges of product development.
Solutions - Use of existing solutions (APIs), sometimes further research is required.
Time - Defining the time cycle required for development, including aftermarket/product testing, and additional development.
Redevelopment - Defining possible future "pivot".
Costs – Including the expected changes.
LPD – the preliminary stage in product development
First, as we all know documentation is the most important part, Product Requirements Document (PRD) is a document containing all the requirements for a certain product. Written to allow people to understand all the requirements to get the product done.
The definition of the product in this document is the basis for the value we wish to deliver to the end client. Highly recommended that the “Lean” mindset and methods should be implemented in the organization before completing the PRD.
LPD Features table:
LPD Features table helps examination 3 parameters, in short, medium, and long time frames that provide a broad perspective on the project.
The following table is presented in the development process. There are 3 parameters to consider:
- Necessary – the features must be included in the project.
- Wanted – the features you want to include to provide added value to the users.
- Wished – the features you would like to insert yet depend on budget restrictions, time frames, etc.
* There are different professionals specialized in “Lean” processes and know-how to adjust and assimilate them according to their client’s needs.
* successful “Lean” development results depend on the company’s\ entrepreneur’s ability to solidify this process in their operation, rely on trustworthy suppliers and advisors, and develop in-house managers with the preferred mindset.
In conclusion, it is a method of thinking and changing small and simple actions.
Our job as entrepreneurs/managers is to see the big picture but our big challenge is to see it in high resolution and in small parts.
“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” – Vincent Van Gogh
Thank you for reading and good luck!
CEO of B-Solution company