Lean Product Development Case StudyImproving time-to-market for a major product

For one Large industrial company needed to develop a new product to meet an unmet need in the marketplace. The concern was that their competition was also working on a similar product.


The consensus among the management team was that the company needed to:

–reduce its time to market to get to market before its competitors

–Improve the performance and quality of the product

–Improve collaboration between departments and suppliers

–Improve the launch of the product in the factory and marketplace


Involved all stakeholders on the new project

  • Conducted a Value Stream Mapping Workshop of the entire project

–Created Current State Map (past project)

–Analyzed Map for wastes/opportunities

–Defined Future State Map for the new project

–Created Action plan and list of kaizens

  • Implemented Obeya
  • Facilitated selected kaizens to achieve project goals
  • Provided on-going coaching to project team and leadership


  • Reduced project lead time by 26%
  • Met product performance and quality goals
  • All departments beat or met their budget stretch goals
  • Improved collaboration between departments and key suppl
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“LEAN and the Toyota Way is less about tools, as it is a Mindset of Continuous Improvement and Rapid Learning…Involve the people closest to the work, use simple metrics, trust that the best solutions will be revealed and tremendous engagement will result”

Mike Fitzpatrick
Director, Solar Turbines - a Caterpillar Company

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