The global markets for complex products continue to be increasingly competitive as product lifecycles decrease and customer demand for variety increases. In order to meet the demands of their environments, many product development (PD) organizations are focusing efforts on reducing the time it takes to develop a new product from concept to market introduction, i.e. PD lead time. Recent studies related to concurrent engineering and lean product development advocate front-end loading the development process in order to reduce lead time and improve overall effectiveness. These studies assume that by qloadingq the qfrontq, or beginning, of a development project with work, firms can not only reduce lead time but improve other aspects of PD performance such as quality and productivity. However, while this assumption is generally accepted and considered reasonable there is little support from the extant literature that explains how a firm can measure front-loading efforts.The 2005 Avalon development team was largely based out of the Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. ... The interviews were constrained by the availability of the interviewee which was limited to one and a half hour time blocks. Thus ... In addition to verbal responses the interviewee frequently referenced examples from a aquot;reflectionaquot; manual that summarized the entire 2005 Avalon program.
|Title||:||Unwrapping front-loading: Explaining problem-solving performance in complex product development|
|Author||:||Philippe E. Gouel, University of Michigan|