Bringing New Products to Market faster & more efficiently is even more critical as product life-cycles shrink so here are 10 tips for faster, leaner New Product Development:-
1) Nail the spec early – the sooner the product spec is finalised the smoother & faster the development will be. Less time & effort will be wasted debating the minutiae if the spec is closed early.
2) 5s the area – Apply the Lean principles of 5s (see earlier post) to remove unnecessary distraction and promote “clear thoughts”
3) Promote re-use in Design – to reduce design effort and make best use of proven and qualified technology.
4) Parallel Planning & Design – Design is normally the longest phase in New Product Development so why wait until the end of Planning to start Design. Start Design in parallel and adapt the plan when more is known about the length of the design phase.
5) Arrange Regular Reviews – during the Design phase and break the task into smaller “chunks”. Design is one of those tasks which has a tendency to expand to fill the time allowed for it.
6) Structure the Innovation process – ensure that Innovation board reviews are scheduled well in advance and board members have suitably qualified deputies so that stage gate reviews suffer no delays due to the absence of key personnel. The Innovation process should become Institutionalized.
7) Dedicated multifunctional Teams – are more effective than matrix teams If resource allows.
8) Design for Manufacture – manufacturing & production engineers need to be involved in the product development process to ensure a smooth transition from development to manufacture.
9) Minimize interruptions & noise – in the product development area.
10) Promote a democratic involving Management style – to increase free discussion and mutual respect.