Achieving a Fit for Purpose Lean NPD Process: Silver Pail

With shorter life cycles, increasing demands for greater product variety, opportunities and issues around raw materials and compliance, our New Product Development (NPD) team is continually challenged to improve the development and introduction of new products. Contending with issues around voice of the customer, project control, process integration etc we participated in the IRDG 4-day Lean Product Development (LPD) programme to bring greater structure and discipline to our NPD process.

In getting to the ideal NPD process, we drew on the LPD approach and tools to support our own planning and execution processes. The business brief has now been adopted. This gathers all cross functional information required to understand opportunities and ensures ownership and accountability is clearly understood. These are reviewed at monthly management meetings with only approved projects moving to the execution phase. We’ve also implemented an agile approach to managing projects. An Excel standard checklist is used for smaller projects and project boards for larger ones. This hybrid model is a tailored, lean approach adopted as a best fit for the business.

The business has seen the benefits of these changes. Better commercial decisions are being made earlier in the product development process, allowing resources to be targeted at more strategic or higher yielding projects. Our employees too have embraced the changes with enhanced communication and cooperation across all functions.

The IRDG LPD programme has provided a foundation for Silver Pail to transform itself into a high- performance company, ensuring we stay ahead of our competitors and continue to add value to our customers’ expectations. We would strongly recommend IRDG members to explore the benefits of LPD.

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