Applicability of Lean Product Development to a company in the marine sector
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How can a marine company best combine people, process and technology to optimize its Product Innovation system for advanced, complex products produced at low volumes? This paper discusses the possibility of using the Lean concept to improve the company’s product development system. The operational context of the case company is analyzed up against the framework of Morgan and Liker’s 13 Lean Product Development (LPD) principles. Our hypothesis is that although the business context of the case company is radically different from Toyota, several principles and practices will still be applicable once ‘contextualized’. A workshop was held with a multidisciplinary product team to assess the practices of the company relative to LPD. The team evaluated current company practices and desired future practices. The results are summarized and discussed herein. It is concluded that the original LPD principles have a varying degree of applicability to the context of the case company.