In Don Reinertsen’s latest book, The Principles of Product Development: FLOW, the author provides details to the aspects of new product development processes that make it a unique and challenging environment. Unlike in his previous books (Managing the Design Factory and Developing Products in Half the Time), FLOW goes deeper into a set of methods that businesses can begin to implement to help them achieve more satisfactory results from their New Product Development investments.
More than ever, introducing new valuable products in time to make the most of a market opportunity is paramount to a businesses success. However, of all the processes within a manufacturing business, New Product Development is the least understood. As a result, the ways that companies attempt to manage this process have led to a very poor track record. Cost overruns, poor functionality or to late to market are typical outcomes from this misunderstood process.
Don’s insights regarding the inherent uncertainty of any NPD process and the need to implement a process that embraces a very dynamic environment are vital. A compelling case to begin your investigation is made in Flow. As significant as Lean principles were to the competitiveness of manufacturing operations, so are these concepts to NPD and as in Lean, Don counsels businesses to wait to implement them at their own peril…start slow, but start now.