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The Principles of Product Development FLOW with Don Reinertsen - Mar. 27-28, 2017

Detailed Agenda

Day 1 AM (08:30 to 12:00)

Module 1 :  Introduction to Lean Product Development (1.0 hour)

Lean techniques are important to manufacturers because they simultaneously improve cycle time, quality, and efficiency. They have the same promise for product developers, but must be applied in a very different way. For example, in manufacturing all variability is bad. In product development we have both bad variability and the necessary variability associated with trying new ideas. This section will cover:

An overview of how lean techniques improve product development speed, quality, and cost

An understanding of the critical differences between product development and manufacturing

Module 2 : Developing an Economic Framework (2.0 hours)

Decisions in product development must balance their impact on schedule, quality, and cost. An effective economic framework helps us understand tradeoffs between these objectives. This section will cover:

How to develop an economic framework to assess waste, calculate cost-of-delay, and analyze queues.

How to use economic decision rules to improve decision making.

Case problem on project economic model

Day 1 PM (13:00 to 17:00)

Module 3 : Managing Queues (1.5 hours)

Many developers still view product development deterministically, assuming that any excess capacity is waste. In reality, development processes need excess capacity to function optimally in the presence of necessary variability. Using queueing theory we can get strong insights on how to quantify the true cost of process queues. This section will cover:

How to measure queues and quantify their economic impact

Case problem on analyzing queues

Tools for managing queues

Module 4 : Understanding Variability (1.0 hour)

Variability is a greatly misunderstood concept in product development. Paradoxically, you cannot add value in product development without adding variability, but you can add variability without adding value. A product must be changed to add value, and this involves taking rational risks. This section will cover:

Understanding the economics of variability

How to reduce unnecessary variability

How to reduce the economic cost of necessary variability

Module 5 : Reducing Batch Size (1.5 hours)

In manufacturing batch size reduction is the single most important factor leading to order of magnitude reductions in cycle time. In contrast, batch size reduction is dramatically underutilized in product development. In this section we will cover: 

The importance of small batch size and how to achieve it

The ten most common batch size problems in product development

Case problem on batch size.

Day 2 AM (08:30 to 12:00)

Module 6 : Applying WIP Constraints (1.0 hour)

Queues can form in processes with small batch sizes due to the accumulation of random variances.  One of the most practical methods for controlling such queues is the use of WIP constraints.  Such constraints require setting control limits and deciding what to do when the limit is breached. This section will cover:

How WIP constraints smooth flow in manufacturing

The economic logic behind WIP constraints

Methods of WIP control

Module 7 : Controlling Flow  (Part I): Congestion and Cadence (1.0 hour)

Cadence can be used to smooth and synchronize flows in a product development process. Yet, few product developers use this approach. Instead, they pace their processes with lists of deliverables, and schedules unravel when any of these deliverables are delayed. This section will cover:

The effects of congestion and how to manage it

How a regular cadence reduces variance

Using cadence in product development processes

Module 8: Controlling Flow (Part II): Synchronization and Sequencing  (1.5 hour)

Synchronization can offer a means to prevent the accumulation of variance and to gain scale economies without large batch sizes. The cost of queues depends on what is being delaying in the queue and how long it is delayed. By sequencing work based on economics we can to reduce the cost of queues without reducing the size of queues. 

How synchronization reduces product development queues

Why non-homogeneous flows need different sequencing strategies

How to base sequencing on economics

Adopting a network-based view of product development

Day 2 PM (13:00 to 16:30)

Module 9: Using Fast Feedback (1.0 hour)

Many product developers strive to create a development process that does not require feedback. Yet, fast feedback loops actually create spectacular opportunities to smooth flow and attain quality levels that far exceed those of processes that try to “do it right the first time.” This section will cover: 

Why fast feedback is critical 

How feedback permits development processes to reduce variability

Metrics for lean product development

Module 10 : Decentralizing Control  (1.0 hour)

Fast responses to random variation require decentralized control. However, decentralized control can lead to misalignment.  Some of the most advanced methods for achieving aligned decentralized control are found in the military. This section will cover:

Why decentralized control is so critical

Decentralization lessons learned in the military

Module 11 : Finding and Reducing Waste (0.5 hours)

Because product development processes add value in different ways than manufacturing processes waste is found in different places. Typically, waste shows up in predictable places in development processes. This section will cover: 

Ten common areas of product development waste

An general approach for eliminating waste

Case problem examining sources of waste

Module 12 : Planning Implementation and Q&A (1.0  hours)

The final section will review factors that are likely to lead to successful implementation. Course  participants will begin designing a plan for implementation. This section will cover: 

How to initiate pilot programs and scale them up

Developing a plan for immediate next steps.

Final questions and answers.