Lean Product Development: Making Waste Transparent
Lean manufacturing developed by Toyota is a production philosophy that focuses on streamlining of value added activities and eliminating waste within the process with the goal to better meet customer demand. It constitutes a production system that enables highest quality at minimal costs and reduced lead times. The reason for the high performance of the Toyota Production System (TPS) can primarily be seen in the underlying principles, rules and tools established, and how those work together. It is supposed that lean principles like focusing on value, eliminating waste, making processes flow, and continuous improvement facilitated by high levels of transparency, also apply to product development in anticipation of the same positive impacts known from manufacturing. This may not be that easy since product development is different from manufacturing.