“LEANPD lets us improve our efficiency and time-to-market by working on the right projects and doing projects right the first time.” —Jeff Brent, manager of engineering project and portfolio management systems
Lean product development process improves engineering efficiency and cuts time-to-market
In a global company with several business units and more than 500,000 products, a comprehensive view of product development projects prevents duplication of effort and reduces time–to-market.
To achieve this visibility, TE Connectivity (formerly known as Tyco Electronics) in 2008 hired PRTM, a management consultant, to craft a plan to transition to a common product development process that would be used worldwide to make it easier for personnel to share product data. Known as Lean Enterprise Accelerated New Product Development (LEANPD), the process standardizes development execution and improves portfolio, pipeline, and resource management.
The process also reports engineering KPIs, allowing the maker of fiber optics, relays, and other electronic components to track their progress, and sets up a global product development governance structure with project approval committees and portfolio management teams. The committees continually review new and existing projects to determine if they can be properly supported. This formal governance structure and gate review process allow TE Connectivity to manage resources, ensuring that projects with the highest potential value move forward and duds are quickly identified and eliminated.
To manage the process, handle the large amounts of data collected by the business units, and enable sharing of information, the company deployed a LEANPD-compliant, customized version of Dassault Systèmes’ ENOVIA Program Central PLM system in December 2009. Sopheon’s Accolade application was added in June 2010 to support portfolio/pipeline management.
Although requirement management and integrated road maps aren’t yet fully implemented, TE Connectivity is already reporting positive results. From December 2009, overall engineering efficiency improved by 8%, and time–to-market accelerated by 14%. In addition, four of the project’s five goals have been achieved: Do the Right Projects (portfolio management); Do the Project Right (standardize development execution); Level-Load the Organization; and Better Understand the Customer. The fifth goal, Plan the Future, should be completed in 2011. It involves the integrated project road maps now being implemented.
“In TE Connectivity’s journey of continuous excellence,” says Jeff Brent, manager of engineering project and portfolio management systems, “LEANPD is enabling us to improve our engineering efficiency and time-to-market by working on the right projects and doing projects right the first time.”