When considering a business process improvement (or some other) initiative, we also want to communicate to motivate the right behaviors. However, initiatives often seem to use buzzwords or use titles familiar to employees that have seen such initiatives come and go (the key word being “go”).
In previous articles we covered design for six sigma and design for lean. Now let’s take a look at Design for Assembly. We’ll do this by following the Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) thought process, and add design for assembly (DFA) subtopics as follows:
When it comes to ensuring a task or deliverable is accomplished, we often see the word “owner” used. Perhaps surprisingly, there really is no true ‘owner’ of anything in the context of program or project management.
We can begin explaining this with two adjectives: responsible and accountable.
In this article series, we covered several topics in the area of product development and project management. We will now begin to explore process improvement with the topic “Design for Lean”. While design for lean may be a subtopic within product development, it helps us understand operational risks, operational costs, enables operational planning and process improvement.
Previous articles have covered product development tools and methodologies such as lean product development, agile, design for six sigma, product life cycle (PLC) and project management processes.
In this article, lets consider “the product” being developed any hardware product, software, IT system, service or new business process. We’ll use the acronym “PSSBP” (Product, Service, Software, Business Process) as an all-encompassing placeholder and to illustrate critical thinking on the topic as follows:
In a previous article, we defined design for six sigma (DFSS) as a thought process focused on maximizing customer value and minimizing cost.
More specifically, DFSS is used to reduce variability in product performance (thereby increasing value), using analytical models and our knowledge of manufacturing variability to enable specification limits on difficult-to-manufacture tolerances to be increased (thereby reducing cost).
For the majority of organizations, long-term success is tied directly to the new product development process. Tomorrow’s revenue and growth are tightly bound to how successful you are at launching new products.
Offering genuinely valuable, high quality products is, more than ever, the best way to capture market share. Also, more investment up-front minimizes overall expense.
…fewer design iterations to achieve the same goals (reduced time to market), more efficient production and delivery processes (reduced operating costs), fewer defects & warranty costs during the entire product life cycle (increased customer satisfaction).
In my last article, we reviewed a proposed Product Life Cycle process, which starts with a “Define” phase. In the “Define” phase, we are defining the project as well as the product.
We previously discussed the ‘technical leg’ of this process with the market analysis, identifying customer needs, product requirements, verification and validation, etc. [Read more…]
In my previous article we covered the advantages of a phase and gate structure for new product development. Now we can discuss some proposed phase names for a new product development or product life cycle (PLC) process.
An organization may have an existing PLC process ‘baked-in’ to their culture and process documentation. Accordingly, there’s a wide range of PLC phase names, all of which are likely acceptable and based on solid reasoning.
In my last article the high level goal of lean product development was established as follows:
Develop products that maximize customer value and minimize product cost, in the least amount of time, and at the least amount of product development cost.
Let’s analyze this goal statement and establish some high-level objectives. [Read more…]
Significant savings in product development costs can be realized with robust validation processes, starting with requirements validation. Validation confirms the product meets customer needs for the products intended use, and answers the question “are we designing the right product?” The “right product” therefore starts with the “right” product requirements. Even a product designed with detailed requirements, but incorrect specification limits, can be considered the “wrong product” (since the product would be rejected by the customer.) [Read more…]
Use an Integrated Approach in the Product Life Cycle Process to Enable Customer Value
Given our primary goal of developing a profitable product, our objective in the design process is to maximize customer value and minimize cost. From a financial analysis standpoint: we pursue products with the highest possible margins (ie. charge the customer “as much” as possible, and make the product for “as little” as possible). Of course we also want to sell “as many” as possible. [Read more…]