Everybody in Product Development has heard about The Toyota Way – It consists of two important areas: continuous improvement, and respect for people. Lean Product Development- which is continuous improvement – can be addressed in a lot of different ways, one of them is to look/review at the product development process flow and then optimize the process (get rid of the ‘noise’ in the process and get more focussed on what brings value to the process). The optimal goal is to build in a learning and continuous improvement process and at the same time align you organization through simple visual communication.
There are lots of techniques you can use, but sometimes one step at a time is what you need for your organizations and then you can build one each success story and then change the organization step by step. Personally I have had a lot of success by using the A3’s as a reporting tool. A3 is a simple one page (11×17 inch paper) it general consists of the following pattern:
- Current Condition
- Unresolved items
- Follow up
This report is used to standardized and simplify report writing. The A3 is providing the team and organization an easy overview of the projects, timeline, challenges – this makes the project as visual & transparent as possible and will help the organization to look at the project from the same angle. Below you can see examples of A3’s