One of many lean tools employed by Goodyear in its innovation process is visual planning. Every release and every learning cycle is planned on a visual planning board, identified by a sticky note. The planning is done according to available capacity and at a weekly cadence. Any deviation from the plan is shown visibly, and all problems are resolved in regular short huddles (stand-up meetings) with all the stakeholders. Pictured here, left to right, are Goodyear associates Rachel Graves, development engineer; Juan Fernandez, senior development engineer; and John Paul Pinciotti, development engineer.
In his new book, Lean-Driven Innovation: Powering Product Development at The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Norbert Majerus presents a brief history of product development at the global tire company. It includes this passage: "In Goodyear R&D, we had no criteria for accepting new work. A project could start as a result of a meeting with marketing, a request for new raw material approval by a supplier, or a function deciding to develop new technology. Virtually everything was ...
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