James M. Morgan and Jeffrey K. Liker, authors of The Toyota Product Development System, Integrating People, Process and Technology (2006, Productivity Press), offer the following product development guidelines practiced by lean manufacturing pioneer Toyota:
- Establish customer-defined value to separate value-added from waste.
- Front-load the product development process to explore thoroughly alternative solutions while there is maximum design space.
- Create a level product development process flow.
- Utilize rigorous standardization to reduce variation, and create flexibility and predictable outcomes.
- Develop a chief engineer system to integrate development from start to finish.
Organize to balance functional expertise and cross-functional integration.
Toyota's Real Secret: Hint, It's Not TPS
The Toyota Branding System?
- Develop towering competence in all engineers.
- Fully integrate suppliers into the product development system.
- Build in learning and continuous improvement.
- Build a culture to support excellence and relentless improvement.
- Adapt technologies to fit your people and process.
- Align your organization through simple visual communication.
- Use powerful tools for standardization and organizational learning.