Using Measurement and Metrics in the Hoshin Planning Process

Much has been written on the effectiveness of Hoshin Kanri (also known as Hoshin Planning or policy deployment), which is a method for ensuring that the strategic goals of a company drive progress and action at every level within that company, and the power of a shared strategic vision. This past March, Lisa Boisvert published an interesting new book -- Reflections on Hoshin Planning: Guidance for Leaders and Practitioners -- that examines Hoshin Planning through the ever-shifting and imperfect lens of daily life in organizations. I recently asked her: "How do C-suite and executive leaders currently use measurement and metrics in the Hoshin Planning process?" Here is her complete answer:

In Hoshin Planning, the purposes of measurement and metrics in executive discussions on the strategic plan are at least threefold. We measure to agree on an objective definition of a desired end state; build understanding around an area that is new to the organization—a breakthrough; and ensure that our strategic choices and related activities are meeting the organization’s business objectives. Including metrics as part of the dialogue in these three areas is essential to getting high quality consensus among the organization’s leaders, a consensus that gets results when the plan is implemented across the rest of the organization.

  • Building a shared, objective definition of a desired end state. The evidence of a consensus decision is that once it is made, everyone who participated in making the decision begins to behave consistent with the spirit of that decision. The results of a Hoshin plan are influenced by whether consensus is achieved along the course of its selection and implementation. One means for arriving at consensus is the dialogue that takes place to create an objective (measurable) definition of success.
  • Leaning out, learning how to measure what the organization hasn’t done before. If the Hoshin is a bona fide breakthrough, it’s likely to involve the application of designs and processes that are unprecedented for the organization. As a result, the organization’s ability to measure performance may be limited at first. Leadership focus, and openness to learning what monitoring metrics give the best indicator of business success as the Hoshin work advances, helps keep plans real and improves results.
  • Integrating Hoshin metrics with business fundamentals. Hoshin Planning aficionados sometimes take some teasing for being overly fond of fancy matrices, but some way of showing how all the measurable goals and activities of the organization are related is essential. Senior leaders need to create a visual that shows how their business, Hoshin, and operational goals impact and support each other.
Has Hoshin planning been successful in your organization? Has flexibility been a problem?


What is Operational Excellence in the Office?

Kevin Duggan, with Tim Healey, recently published an important new book that expands on, and transcends, the topic of value stream mapping titled Operational Excellence in Your Office: A Guide to Achieving Autonomous Value Stream Flow with Lean Techniques. I asked Kevin to specifically tell me: “What separates this book from all the others on value stream mapping?” Here is his complete answer:

Operational Excellence in Your Office is much different than previous value stream mapping books. The subject matter of this book is achieving true Operational Excellence in the office, and not ways to merely eliminate waste in the office. True Operational Excellence is defined as “when each and every employee can see the flow of value to the customer, and fix that flow when it breaks down.” This means we establish “self-healing value streams” that run autonomously day in and day out without management intervention.

The book provides a detailed overview of exactly what Operational Excellence is and how it applies in the office. The book does not teach how to create value stream maps, but it uses value stream maps to show how to design self-healing flow in the office. 

The word design here is key. In many value stream mapping techniques, we have been taught to make a current state map, look for waste, and think of an ideal state, or use brainstorming tools to try and develop a future state. However, in Operational Excellence, it’s different. In Operational Excellence, we create a current state; however, we then put it on the wall and just leave it there. The next step is to learn the nine guidelines of office flow. These guideline teach us how to handle high variation in customer demand (as the concept of traditional takt time just won’t work in the office), how to sequence work, where we can possibly do a one-piece processing cell, how to move work through the office using workflow cycles, how to move large amounts of information from one area of the company to another, where we can initialize work and at what points can we re-sequence work, how to tell if the office flows are on time, and what to do when the customer changes their demand or new demand comes in that exceeds what the value stream was designed to do. 

The key to these guidelines is that they provide a method to design what we will then consider to be normal flow. And by establishing normal flow, we have then established what abnormal flow is. 

Understanding and reacting to abnormal flow is a state that very few companies achieve. However, this is exactly the goal of Operational Excellence: seeing, understanding, and correcting abnormal flow without the need for any management intervention. Without the need for management to direct and control information flow in the office with status meetings, update meetings, or meetings to fix abnormal conditions, management can now spend their time on activities that grow the business, or offense activities. 

What separates this book from other value stream mapping books is that we are not teaching value stream mapping in this book; we are teaching how to design value streams that achieve Operational Excellence in your office. Value streams designed using the guidelines in the book can then become self-healing, and deliver the service day in and day out autonomously, without the need for management intervention, freeing up time for management to spend on growing the business. 

Are there any readers familiar with "self-healing value streams"? If so, what have been your experiences?


The Toyota Production System and Job Shops

For this blog post, I’m turning the reigns over to Dr. Shahrukh Irani to explore how Lean initiatives can be successful in high-mix/low-volume environments and job shops. As an associate professor in the department of Integrated Systems Engineering at Ohio State University, his research at OSU produced JobshopLean.

Lean is Necessary for Every Manufacturer
The goal of any manufacturer is to reduce the total time that customers must wait from the time that they place their order to the time that they receive their order free of defects. The Seven Types of Waste are activities that add:
1. Delays to the time that customers must wait to receive their order.
2. Costs to the price that customers must pay to receive their order.

A High-Mix Low-Volume Manufacturer is not like Toyota 
Without question, the revolutionary Toyota Production System is the gold standard for how any business can pursue cost reduction through waste elimination without headcount reduction. But does a high-mix low-volume manufacturer implement Lean the same way as a low-mix high-volume manufacturer such as Toyota? No -- no Toyota facility makes refrigerators and bicycles on any of their automobile assembly lines. An assembly line that uses a conveyor to move a product (or product family) through a fixed sequence of work stations is inflexible. It could not make other products whose manufacturing routings, bills of materials, and processes used to make the final product are different from those used to make automobiles. Finally, every Toyota assembly line must be just flexible enough only to build a limited variety of automobiles whose annual demand provides sufficient return on investment to justify continued operation of that line.

How a Job Shop Differs from an Assembly Line 
An assembly line and a job shop are radically different manufacturing systems. An assembly line is a low-mix high-volume manufacturing system. A job shop is a high-mix low-volume manufacturing system. Some of the characteristics of a typical job shop that make its production system radically different from the Toyota Production System are:

  • It fulfills orders for a diverse mix of hundreds (sometimes thousands) of different products.
  • Manufacturing routings differ significantly in their equipment requirements, setup times, cycle times, and lot sizes.
  • The facility has a functional layout (i.e. the facility is organized into departments --“process villages”) such that each department carries equipment with identical/similar process capabilities.
  • Demand variability is high.
  • Production schedules are driven by due dates.
  • Due dates are subject to change.
  • Production bottlenecks can shift over time.
  • Finite capacity constraints limit how many orders can be completed on any given machine on any day. 
  • Order quantities can range from low to high.
  • Lead times quoted to customers must be adjusted based on knowledge of the production schedule.
  • The diverse mix of equipment from different manufacturers makes operator training and maintenance more challenging than for an assembly line.
  • It is a challenge to identify the part families in the product mix.
  • Customer loyalty is not guaranteed.
  • It is necessary to be able to serve different markets. In fact, a job shop must deal with the tendency for their product mix to alter as their customer base changes or they hire new sales and marketing staff who bring with them their past business contacts from new sectors of industry.
  • It could be a challenge to recruit and retain talented employees with a strong work ethic, a desire to learn on the job and get cross-trained to operate different machines.
  • There are limited resources for workforce training.
  • It is hard to control the delivery schedule and quality of suppliers.
  • It is hard to negotiate the due dates set by customers.
  • Production control and scheduling is more complex.
What Do You Think?
If you are a high-mix low-volume manufacturer and have customized the implementation of Lean in your facility or you would like to know how, please send us your questions and comments.  Let’s get a conversation going! 

Thank you,  
Dr. Shahrukh Irani


Traditional Accounting Systems -- They Don't Properly Value Time

Lean advocates have long been critical of the fact that traditional accounting systems motivate over-production and promote building inventory. In her book, The Monetary Value of Time: Why Traditional Accounting Systems Make Customers Wait, the author, Joyce Warnacut, discusses the fact that traditional accounting systems don’t properly value time. I asked her directly: "How is this different from the Lean perspective?" and here is her complete response:

Lean objections are based on the fact that absorption costing requires overhead allocation. The cost per unit is driven down by making more and spreading the cost over a larger number of units. H. Thomas Johnson (Professor of Business Administration, Portland State University) wrote the following in his article Work Lean to Control Costs: “Producing more and more output to reduce average unit costs is a time-honored pathway to excess, delay, and abnormal variation – prime drivers of higher total cost.”

These concerns are valid, and yet the total impact of traditional accounting goes far beyond overhead allocation. The matching principle, one of the foundations of traditional accounting, requires matching of production cost to revenue. This means that if you spend $1,000 making a product this month, but don’t sell it until next month (or next year), the matching principle requires you to stash $1,000 away in inventory. This puts the $1,000 on your balance sheet as an asset and keeps $1,000 in production costs off your profit and loss. The $1,000 will be recorded as a cost of sales at the time the product sells (i.e., the cost will be “matched” to the revenue).

Note that the $1,000 cost – and the resulting profit from the transaction – is exactly the same whether the product sells today or several months from today. Is this true? Inventory costs (storage, handling, carrying costs, planning, expediting, moving, counting, potential obsolescence, etc.) are allocated in some fashion over production. The allocation may be as simple as units or hours (volume-based allocations are by far the most common) or a more complex allocation formula.

But no matter what formula is used, the cost recorded for that particular product is the same whether the product is sold immediately or held in inventory for months. Intuitively, most people would think that product sold directly off the production line contributes more to the bottom line than product that is carried on the books for a month or more. From an accounting perspective, however, this is generally not the case.

Resources that are invested in inventory are valued no differently than resources invested in product that can be converted to cash immediately. What if our accounting methods put a value on time? What if product cost increased for every day the product was held in inventory? What if our shop floor operations were evaluated based on how quickly they turn orders into cash? What different motivations might this create? What changes would be made in how we allocate resources?

Although accountants recognize the time value of money when comparing investment alternatives, the same principles are not applied in how we value inventory, how we allocate resources, nor in how we evaluate the profitability of our products. 

What do you think of Joyce Warnacut's perspective here? Does your organization function under a traditional accounting system? Have this system undercut the true value of your Lean initiative?


The Second Edition of “The Complete Lean Enterprise: Value Stream Mapping for Office and Services” -- Why Is It Needed?

It has been 10 years since the publication of the award-winning, best-selling book called The Complete Lean Enterprise: Value Stream Mapping for Office and Services. This book brought value stream mapping and Lean thinking out of the factory and into office and service environments in all industries. The authors, Beau Keyte and Drew Locher, have just published a second edition of this book, and I recently asked them: “Why is a second edition of this book needed?” Here is Drew Locher's complete response:

During this time, my co-author, Beau Keyte, and I have continued to deeply learn about the application of this powerful methodology in our work with a wide variety of organizations and industries, including financial institutions, healthcare, hospitality, the “back office” in manufacturers, and engineering firms. Beyond the “mechanics” of the use of the tool, we have come to better appreciate the “social” benefits of the approach to any organization. The second edition represents our collective experiences over during those 10 years and captures many key lessons.

The collaboration that the methodology ignites between departments and functions (that have traditionally not worked effectively together) is nothing short of stunning in most cases. Through the process, they learn from each other, develop a common vision going forward, and form a true team that is critical to the successful implementation of the "future state" that provides breakthrough results for their organization. In addition, we learned many other success factors. For example, it is not solely the objective to implement the tools and techniques envisioned in the future state that fundamentally change the way work is processed and flows -- a new way to manage the value stream is needed. Only then will sustainable change occur and continuous improvement be practiced beyond the first future state – the true objective of Lean Thinking.

The new content includes an entire chapter dedicated to the “management process,” and “learning your way to the future state.” In addition, during the past 10 years, we have observed many individuals and organizations practice their own use of the methodology, often with mixed results. Most commonly, we have seen current state maps without proper future state designs. Value stream mapping should result in radical improvement resulting in significant improvement in key metrics; greater than 50% reduction in lead time, up to 90% improvement in information or service quality, and the like. Very often, however, the projected results are modest and represent incremental improvement. Other times the future state is nothing more than the current state with up to 100 ideas for improvement noted. Long “to-do” lists are created and responsibilities and dates assigned. This represents a “waste war" or a ”drive-by kaizen” approach rather than the thoughtful redesign of the value stream based on the key principles of Lean that will achieve the aforementioned breakthrough results.

We have honed our messaging and teaching with regard to future state design in the second edition. The future state questions have been revised and applied to a new case study so the reader will find them easier to put into actual practice.

We feel that even seasoned practitioners will benefit from the second edition if they are open to honing their skills in the powerful value stream mapping methodology. And for those who are new to the subject, here is the opportunity to learn the current thinking from the original leaders on the application of value stream mapping and Lean to office and services. 

What do readers of this book think? Do you feel the second edition of this book is a welcome addition to the Lean literature currently available?


The Lean IT Transformation -- Is There a Roadmap?

During the past few years, many books have been published addressing the advantages of deploying Lean continuous improvement in IT operations. In addition, there are many books on DevOps, Agile software development, Lean project management, Lean startup, continuous deployment, and IT Service Management. In fact, in 2010 Productivity Press published Lean IT: Enabling and Sustaining Your Lean Transformation (authored by Steven Bell and Mike Orzen), which has been called the most comprehensive and definitive resource on Lean IT.

Recently, Mike released a new book with coauthor, Tom Paider titled The Lean IT Field Guide: A Roadmap for Your Transformation, and I had the chance to sit down with the authors and ask them why they wrote this book and why it is different from the myriad of books recently released on Lean IT and related topics. Here are the highlights from that conversation:

What inspired you to write this book?

The first book, Lean IT, was well received by the Lean and IT community, but many of the people we spoke with consistently said the same thing: “Great book, but how do we do it?” The first book thoroughly explores the “what” of Lean IT by providing definitions, examples, models, and case studies. We have always been uneasy with the idea of prescribing the “how” of Lean IT because I learned it through many years of trial and discovery. Our coaches and sensei always emphasized the need to experience one’s own discoveries and made it rather painful by not providing a roadmap. They used open-ended questions to develop our thinking, but it was up to us to figure to the direction we were going to take. Similar to the approach used in the first book, these teachers explained the goal and targets and helped us to envision a future-state, but they did not tell us how to get there. They seemed to intentionally avoid providing us with a roadmap, so we would discover our own way. We had to find our path forward through an endless series of experiments, reflection, and more experiments until the route ahead began to come into focus.

Is it possible to provide a roadmap to Lean transformation without being prescriptive and creating a implementation?

That is the very question we struggled with before committing to write this book! On the one hand, we had received many requests to share the “how to” mechanics of Lean IT transformation. In the final analysis, we realized we could share the key elements of building a Lean management system that effectively drives transformation without violating the necessary learning and discovery that is required to develop and engage people to become Lean practitioners. In a Lean transformation, particularly in IT, the actual steps and adjustments we will need to take will become apparent as we progress -- they cannot be known at the outset. We were very careful to stress the need for personal experimentation -- trial and discovery, using PDCA and refection -– to position the reader to successfully launch and deliver on a Lean transformation without approaching it like an implementation. An implementation presupposes that we know all the steps needed to reach the goal.

A Lean transformation can take years of hard work, in your opinion what is the hardest step in the journey?

In our experience, by far the hardest step is the first one – actually beginning your first set of routine team-based lean activities. In the book, we call the the first step "day zero" and provide details of the elements and preparations required of leaders, managers, and associates to success launch the transformation effort. During the years, we have found that sequence is just as important as content. What we mean by that is: you can do all the right things, but if they are done out of sequence, the impact and lasting effects just don’t take place. The sequences we share are based on years of trial, error, discovery, and success!

Are any readers currently involved in a Lean initiative focusing on aligning the IT function? If so, what were your biggest obstacles?


Can Design of Experiments (DOE) Be Simplified?

Mark J. Anderson and Patrick J. Whitcomb just published the the third edition of their innovative book, DOE Simplified: Practical Tools for Effective Experimentation, and I had the chance to speak with Mark about its content. I asked him: "Nothing could be simpler than the traditional scientific method so why abandon this old-school approach for experimentation?" Here is Mark's complete answer:

It is true that that the scientific methods we all learned in school could not be any easier -- simply hold everything in your system constant other than changing only one factor at a time (OFAT). For example, It works very well for demonstrating scientific principles in a chemistry class. For the following two reasons, however, the OFAT method falls flat for real-world experiments:

1. It cannot detect interactions of factors (e.g., the combination of time and temperature burning the food you cook in your kitchen).
2. It is very inefficient.

I explain why in this very brief two-part primer -- Trimming the FAT out of Experimental Methods and No-FAT Multifactor Design of Experiments.

Now that you understand why OFAT must be abandoned, you are ready to take the next step (i.e., mastering the multifactor test methods of design of experiments -- DOE -- by reading our book). We start you off easy with several chapters with some basic statistics and simple comparative experiments. Then in Chapters 3 through 5, we explain how to use the primary tool for DOE: two-level factorials. These designs are excellent for screening many factors to identify the vital few. They often reveal interactions that would never be found through OFAT methods. Furthermore, two-level factorials are incredibly efficient, producing maximum information with a minimum of runs. Most important, these designs often produce breakthrough improvements in product quality and process efficiency.

Continuing on from there, the book fills in all the gaps remaining for getting an effective grasp on the powerful tools for multifactor testing. We cap it all off with a new chapter written especially for 3rd Edition -- It reveals a middle way, called “split plot,” between OFAT and DOE when experimenters are confronted with factors that are very hard to change.

By the way, this new edition vaults the book into a format amenable to electronic users as it's available in many eBook formats. Now, web-connected experimenters around the globe can read DOE Simplified. Furthermore, mainly from the hard work of my colleagues at Stat-Ease, we accomplished a re-launch of the “Launch Pad” -- a series of interactive web-based lectures that cover the first several chapters of the book. The Launch Pad e-learning class provides momentum that propels readers through the DOE Simplified text. Contact workshops@statease.com for more information about the Launch Pad. 

Have any readers here used the new edition of DOE Simplified: Practical Tools for Effective Experimentation? Has it been helpful? Do you agree with Mark Anderson's points? 


So Why Did Pascal Dennis Update a Classic Book?

I spoke with Pascal Dennis this past week and had the chance to ask him a few questions about the recent publication of his new book Lean Production Simplified, Third Edition: A Plain-Language Guide to the World's Most Powerful Production System.The two previous editions of this book have been very successful with Lean practitioners at all levels within organizations, and these books have proven to be the best introductory texts to Lean methodology on the market. Here are a few of the questions I asked him and his answers follow.

What motivated you to originally write the book Lean Production Simplified?
I wrote the first edition of Lean Production Simplified hoping to share what I’d learned at Toyota. It had been my blind luck to work with patient senseis. I felt that if I could explain things simply, then perhaps I had gained a certain level of understanding. During the past 20 years, I’ve been the sensei helping companies apply the Toyota system or Lean. My practice has taken me far from the Toyota shop floor – into hospitals, power plants, container terminals, and research laboratories.  I’m certain that I learn as much as I teach. And the more I learn, the more I think of Socrates -- "The more I know, the more I realize I don’t know."

Why did you write the 3rd edition? 
We must learn the Toyota system – and not just in manufacturing.  Hospitals, banks, universities, software developers, government agencies and other service providers are also hungry for Lean thinking and methods. Customers will no longer accept substandard safety, quality, delivery, or cost performance. 

Who composes the audience for this book?

Leaders and learners at all levels in manufacturing and in the ‘undiscovered countries’ – healthcare, financial services, the process industries, software development, construction, universities and the public service.

What’s different about the 3rd edition?

I’ve added many more examples from outside the factory (e.g. design, engineering, administration, etc.) and from the industry sectors I previously mentioned. I’ve also included study questions at the end of each chapter.  My hope is that this third edition will be a working book, and that I’ll continue to find in the gemba, filled with highlights and notes in the margin. My study of aikido had prepared me for the Toyota “way.” I understood that it was a "do" or path, and that the Toyota shop floor was a dojo -- a place where you practiced a profound art or worked on your technique and on yourself.  Indeed, before stepping on to the shop floor, I felt like bowing -- a sign of respect for my team, organization, and the art of management. I still feel that way.  

What are your thoughts on Pascal's book Lean Production Simplified? Did it help you understand the objectives of a Lean initiative and enhance a successful journey?


Painting the Factory Green with Lean Thinking

Last month, a book titled The Green Factory: Creating Lean and Sustainable Manufacturing authored by Andrea Pampanelli, Neil Trivedi, and Pauline Found was published. This book proposes a new model, the Lean and Green Business Model (L&GBM), where the environmental aspect of sustainability is integrated with Lean thinking to create a way of thinking that contributes to and balances the three sustainability dimensions of people, profit, and planet. 

I spoke with Andrea Pampanelli about the book and asked her: "How does combining your Lean business model with a green initiative actually result in environmental benefits and higher profits?" Here is his answer: 

We know that walls, or organizational structure, cannot stop the flow of ideas but it does not mean that they are able to flow through quickly and easily. Lean and green thinking are rooted in differently, have different meanings, and occupy different spaces inside the business world. The environmental benefits and cost savings discussed in the book come from the integration of both by taking the powerful Lean culture already implemented in one organization and using it, not merely for eliminating the seven classic wastes (transportation, inventory, motion, waiting, over-processing, over-production, and defects) but in this case, for increasing the performance of the manufacturing mass and energy flows -- the important supporting flows for production. These two different ways of thinking will meet during the crucial Kaizen events and Lean thinking will dramatically increase environmental benefits and profits. 

What are your thoughts in regarding to combining Lean and green initiatives? Do you have experience
deploying Lean and Green in a manner that resulted in environmental and cost benefits?


Lean Drives Innovation at Goodyear

I often hear the fear from right-brained functions, staff, and executives that Lean kills creativity. In the watershed book titled Lean-Driven Innovation: Powering Product Development at The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, author Norbert Majerus proves it doesn’t need to be that way. Norbert’s book describes how Lean expanded innovation capabilities and capacity at Goodyear, and, more important, led to competitive advantages and powerful business results. I asked Norbert, an engineer by trade and Goodyear’s Lean champion, “What are the keys to Goodyear’s success with Lean research and development (R&D), and are they replicable by others in innovation?” Here is his response:

An important first step within Goodyear R&D was that we didn’t view Lean as a way to reduce product development costs. That may sound counter-intuitive to those in manufacturing, where major savings can be gained from Lean and the removal of production wastes, but it doesn’t work that way in R&D. Unlike manufacturing, R&D is a small direct cost to the business and there is only so much to gain from cost-cutting — but R&D casts an enormous shadow over the products and activities of a company. Design decisions can affect the product’s performance (price), cost, manufacturability, complexity, and even distribution. Design processes also assure that the right product is available at the right time. We chose to focus Lean on how R&D designs product, the powerful ways it can increase value for customers, and its impact on the profitability of the value streams. Leveraging that shadow with lean thinking has a return that is an order of magnitude greater than direct cost savings in R&D.

We also recognized that Lean could enhance many of Goodyear’s already existing R&D strengths — knowledge management, advanced computer modeling, people engagement, matrix organizational structure etc. We weren’t looking to apply a whole cloth version of Toyota’s Lean or a Lean template promoted by another company or consultant, but a Lean that could work within Goodyear. That sounds simple, but it required a fundamental commitment that every Lean innovation transformation requires: that is, we took the time and effort to learn, understand, and validate Lean principles that would work in our organization.

When I was selected to get Goodyear’s Lean R&D effort underway, I had little knowledge of Lean. I read everything I could get my hands on and attended Lean conferences and seminars. It was all fairly confusing. Eventually I started to see the science that underpins Lean, which, as an engineer, convinced me of Lean’s potential in product development. (Too often I see individuals trying to apply Lean tools without understanding the principles of how and why it really works.) I began to teach these Lean principles to our R&D experts. I coached and encouraged them to leverage the principles, and they made the changes we needed to be more competitive. We changed our innovation culture from the inside out, and even developed some new Lean principles along the way — Lean R&D principles are the backbone of  Lean-Driven Innovation.

We repeatedly applied these principles and tools to continuously improve safety and quality (already industry-leading at Goodyear), service (e.g., on-time delivery), and efficiency (e.g., innovation cycle time). As R&D improved its ability to serve the business, it also freed resources for more knowledge development (innovation capability) and more product development projects (innovation capacity). And all of this was done without additional investment in R&D.

Many other things contributed to our Lean R&D initiative and business success, particularly the unwavering support of our Lean initiative by Goodyear leadership, which grew as we showed how the results affected the bottom line. It wasn’t an easy journey, with many challenges — and challengers — met along the way. I write about both the good and the bad moments in Lean-Driven Innovation. In doing so, I hope I can help others avoid some of the problems we encountered and overcome their own Lean R&D challenges as they arise.

Norbert has written a powerful and engaging story about Lean innovation within Goodyear, and their journey and outcomes will surprise you. Clearly, Lean innovation thrives at Goodyear. Let me know what you think of Norbert’s Lean R&D principles, especially if you are in product development and striving to create, sustain, or enhance innovation capability in your organization.