Example 4: New Product Development

A new product development group coordinates the creation of products or services by working at the functional interface with sales, marketing, external customers, and operations. Figure 6.6 shows a simple view of a new product development process. The goal of this process is to translate customer needs and requirements accurately and efficiently into design specifications including aesthetic features. A failure to use proper design practices to simplify and standardize design features will result in a longer time to market and higher unit cost. Issues could also occur if design is not easily manufactured or, for services, easy to use by customers. Therefore, new products and services are developed jointly with interdisciplinary teams.

Improvement teams are also very effective at functional interfaces to help identify the root causes of issues and solutions. Building, testing, and evaluating alternative designs using prototypes are another function of these teams. Common issues occur when not using statistically based analytical methods or testing scenarios that do not correlate to the conditions of actual product use. There could also be bill of material (BOM) or service instruction errors. Finally, once released to production and sold,


Example 4: New Product Development additional issues can occur. These include external concessions, e.g., warranty, returned goods, customer complaints, and internal issues related to production scrap, rework, and low operational efficiencies. New product development teams have a critical responsibility for preventing and eliminating design-related issues.

The design process is complicated and there are numerous ways in which failures occur. One type of project could be focused on reducing the time to market new products and services. A different project might focus on optimization of several outputs using a statistical model based on careful experimentation. Design process related improvement projects are classified loosely as focused on process simplification, standardization, mistake-proofing, and others requiring models and experimentation to reduce the time to market.

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