Recommended Reading: Implementing Toyota’s Product Development System

October 31, 2007 — Posted by Jim Trott

Michael Kennedy is a leading expert on Lean and Product Development. He is the author of Product Development for the Lean Enterprise: Why Toyota's System Is Four Times More Productive and How You Can Implement It, a book you definitely want on your bookshelf if you are interested in Lean Product Development.

Appliance Magazine carried a guest editorial by Mr. Kennedy entitled Implementing Toyota's Product Development System which helps explain Concurrent Engineering. It is worth a scan. Some excerpts:

Toyota engineers take a different approach. Their overarching goal is to generate a constant flow of new products, so instead of assigning a team to focus on developing one in particular, work is concentrated at the subsystem level. The idea is that subsystems can be mixed and matched to create a whole host of possible new products, fostering creative possibilities.

Even acknowledging that something won't work is good because it identifies a path for engineers to avoid in the future. You might say, then, that the Toyota System is "knowledge-based" as contrasted with the usual western system, which is perhaps more aptly labeled "process-based."

Perhaps one of the most appealing aspects of the Toyota system is that it lowers the risk of failure

Take a read and then get a copy of Implementing Toyota's Product Development System.

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About the author | Jim Trott

Jim Trott is a senior consultant for Net Objectives. He has used object-oriented and pattern-based analysis techniques throughout his 20 year career in knowledge management and knowledge engineering. He is the co-author of Design Patterns Explained: A New Perspective on Object-Oriented Design, Lean-Agile Software Development: Achieving Enterprise Agility, and the Lean-Agile Pocket Guide for Scrum Teams.


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