Welcome again. Here is what I picked for this month's review:
Michael N. Kennedy
Product Development for the Lean Enterprise: Why Toyota's system is four times more productive and how you can implement it.
I first learned about Toyota production and product development around 5 years ago. Their numbers are truly impressive:
- Toyota is consistently named at the top in owner satisfaction surveys
- Toyota's milestone dates are never missed
- Toyota's engineers and managers achieve incredible 80% of value-added productivity (vs. 20% auto industry average in the US)
What does Toyota do differently from everybody else? How can we apply their principles to IT? Product Development is substantially different from Manufacturing. Which one is a better fit for an IT organization?
While there is plenty of information on wildly admired Toyota Production System (Lean Manufacturing), there is considerably less data on Lean Product Development (Knowledge-Based Development). In order to better understand how these two systems are different, take a look at the table below:
||Lean Product Development
||Short (minutes, hours)
||Long (days, weeks)
||Knowledge and information
||Larger, more diverse
||Focus is on executing predefined tasks and automation
||Focus is on defining new solutions and building knowledge and expertise
In his book, Michael Kennedy introduces the principles of and key elements behind Lean Product Development:
- Set-Based Concurrent Engineering
- System Design Leadership
- Responsibility-Based Planning and Control
- Expert Engineering Workforce
In an engaging and humorous manner, he explains how these principles can be adapted and implemented in your organization. The book is thought-provoking, sophisticated, and extremely fun to read. It appeals to my sense of humor and has a plot and engaging characters that no reader will forget. It will keep you occupied until early morning hours... ;-)
Principles of Lean Manufacturing work well for IT maintenance and support. Lean Product Development fits well IT software development teams. If you are a technical or functional leader in an IT organization, this is a must-read book for you! I am sure you will enjoy it.