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The Mastery of Innovation: A Field Guide to Lean Product Development


When companies say that they use Lean ideas in product development, what are they doing? What practices and tools have they adopted? How has their product development process changed from their efforts? What results have they seen? In 2010, Katherine Radeka launched the Lean Product Development Benchmarking Study to answer these questions. All of the 69 companies who responded were eager to share what they had learned in a series of telephone interviews. In 2011, Katherine visited more than two dozen of these companies in a series of benchmarking visits. Although Eric Rebentisch of MIT, Durward Sobek (Shingo prize winner) and Goran Gustafsson of Chalmers University advised Katherine as she designed the study, it was never intended to be an academic research project. Instead, Katherine's observations and conclusions were meant to provide ideas and inspiration by sharing stories of success with Lean Product Development. The Mastery of Innovation shares Katherine's conclusions from these observations. The focus of the book is the set of nineteen case studies describing the many ways that companies have used Lean Product Development and the improvements they have seen in their product development performance. In order to be a case study, the company had to have evidence of sustained results. The contributor companies include Ford, Scania, Novo Nordisk, DJO, Irwin Seating, Philips Electronics, Steelcase and smaller companies that have seen great results from their work with lean. The case studies reflect the breadth of the lean community, with industry representation, geographic location, company structure and size. The main message from these case studies is that there is no one best way to implement Lean in product development. Each successful implementation of lean product development was significantly different. Some chose to focus on Value Stream Mapping and others on Knowledge Creation and Reuse to eliminate the waste of reinvention. Some used A3 Reports and Visual Planning Boards- others used electronic tools. Every company had adapted Lean to fit. These companies serve as exemplars and inspiration for people considering Lean Product Development. They demonstrate that the Lean Product Development theory works in practice, giving product development leaders the confidence to bring Lean into the lab. In the rest of the book, Katherine shares some basic information about lean in product development and the consolidated observations from all 69 companies. The final chapter lays out a framework for the phases of a Lean Product Development Transformation.
About the Shingo Institute

Housed at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University, the Shingo Institute is named after Japanese industrial engineer Shigeo Shingo. Shingo distinguished himself as one of the world's thought leaders in concepts, management systems and improvement techniques that have become known as the Toyota Business System. Drawing from Shingo's teachings and years of experience working with organizations throughout the world, the Shingo Institute has developed the Shingo Model™ which is the basis for several educational offerings including workshops, study tours and conferences. It also awards and recognizes organizations that demonstrate an exceptional culture that continually strives for improvement and progress. Those interested in more information or in registering to attend the 30th International Shingo Conference may visit