This article explains the Seven Wastes of Lean Product Development, as explained by our guest author, Tim McMahon.
Pete’s Note: I’m happy to present this guest post on The Seven1 Wastes of Lean Product Development by Tim McMahon. You can learn more about Tim McMahon2 after his post on The 7 Wastes of New Product Development3.
The first step in eliminating waste from New Product Development (NPD), and thus improving the process, is to learn to identify the eight wastes. By closely examining the entire NPD process from a Lean perspective, the opportunities to drive out waste and increase value will become obvious.
Defects are the result of executed processes that did not produce value.
- Improper information on drawing
- Missing views on drawing
- Incomplete information
- Product flaws resulting in missing customer expectations
- Reworking product or processes
Waste from producing product that is not currently needed or product that is not needed at all.
- Unnecessary documentation
- Cost overruns due to excessive project time charging
- Overlap of strategic and non-strategic projects competing for limited resources
No value is added while people wait for product to process or product waits for people or machines.
- Unbalanced workflow within the team
- Time spent getting approvals
- Dependant on the number of hand offs and task dependencies
The waste of underutilized intelligence and intellect commonly referred to as behavioral waste.
- Underutilizing people’s knowledge and creativity
- Uneven work flow resulting with some team members overburdened while other underutilized
While the product is moving, no value is added to it.
- Carrying, mailing, or even e-mailing documents stops the process
- In an electronic system look at the number of hand offs where we pass something to someone else
Inventory is the collection of unprocessed documents, data objects, and transactions queued-up between people and processes.
- Drawings and specification – we invest time to make them, update them, and manage them
- Collections of unprocessed information and data
Excess movement by people or equipment only consumes time and resources without producing value.
- Efficiency of software number of mouse clicks, number of routines, number of transactions
- Frequently searching for drawings and other information on remote shared services like servers or printers
Doing more than what is necessary to generate satisfactory value as defined by the customer.
- Using software that has a function beyond what is needed
- Product designs or processes that are too complex
- Unnecessary steps in design process
- Excessive number of iterations
- Over-designed or over-engineered product
The acronym I prefer for remembering the eight wastes is DOWNTIME since it symbolizes lost opportunity. Another one that works well for NPD is TOWISDOM where S is skills. NPD is one essential element in the growth strategy that is so critical in all companies practicing Lean Thinking.
In Shmula fashion, it’s your turn. What examples of waste have you seen in your NPD process? How do you address the concerns, fears, uncertainties and misconceptions regarding Lean as it applies to NPD?
Have you heard any of these myths before?
- Lean only applies to the factory. It won’t work in my area.
- We can’t apply Lean to NPD because what we do is not repetitive.
- Product Design is creative, based on discovery and innovation; Lean will remove all creativity by forcing us to work to standards.
- Lean works well only on linear processes. Product Development is project-based and has multiple parallel processes and task dependencies. Lean is simplistic
- Every task is executed differently on every project; you can’t implement standardized work on projects.
- There is no Gemba’ (visible production area) in product development because design teams are not co-located and much of the work is subcontracted.
- Customer demand and Takt time are not relevant because there is no customer; we work to the project deadline.
- Tim McMahon presents 8 Wastes, but for the sake of consistency, I have titled his post as Seven Wastes. ↩
- You can connect with Tim McMahon on linkedin, twitter, and his blog – A Lean Journey ↩
- Tim McMahon is the Founder and Contributor of A Lean Journey Blog. This site is dedicated to sharing lessons and experiences along the Lean Journey in the Quest for True North. The blog also serves as the source for learning and reflection which are critical elements in Lean Thinking.
Tim is a lean practitioner with more than 10 years of Lean manufacturing experience. He currently leads continuous improvement efforts for a high tech manufacturer. Tim teaches problem solving skills, lean countermeasures, and how to see opportunities for improvement by actively learning, thinking and being engaged.
Tim McMahon has been supporting the AME Northeast Region Board of Directors as the Social Media Lead. His role is to identify how to best leverage social media tools for increasing networking within AME’s Northeast Region. Social media tools include LinkedIn, Twitter, Slideshare, YouTube, Facebook, etc. Tim also works together with others on AME’s Social Media Council to build AMEConnect, a members-only online networking site, and presence and content on the other Social Media sites. ↩
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