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On Structuring and Practical Use of the Lean Product Development Concept: Based on Case Studies of Industrial Product Development Organizations
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering (EES), Electric power and energy systems. (Management of Technology)
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

All companies are dependent on having customers that choose to buy their products. These products are the result of the complex New Product Development process (NPD). This process involves many different functions and people with different backgrounds cooperating with each other. Most end customers will not know or care about how the development process was carried out. They will only see the quality, price and functionality of the final product. In other words, the overall result of the development process.

This thesis studies quality management in product development from an overall perspective and contributes to prior knowledge in three main areas. Firstly, by investigating which challenges successful product development organizations experience in their everyday work. This was done by case studies performed at the product development organizations of ABB, Volvo Cars, IKEA Components and Scania. As a result of the case studies, 14 themes within all 59 organizational needs were identified.

Secondly, a literature review of the quality management concept Lean Product Development (LPD) concept was conducted. Based on the literature, a new LPD framework was developed, as the LPD research field has not yet agreed on a definition of the concept. This study proposes the following definition for Lean Product Development: 

Lean Product Development is a companywide strategy for product development aiming to (i) increase value, (ii) decrease waste, (iii) increase flow, (iv) decrease sub-optimizations, and (v) build knowledge.

The third contribution was done by making a comparison between the organizational needs of the case study companies and Lean Product Development principles, to find out how LPD can support product developing organizations. LPD was found to give good and/or partial support to 43 out of the 59 organizational needs identified in the case studies. This means that Lean Product Development is an important concept for organizations that wish to improve their product development process.

Abstract [sv]

Alla företag är beroende av kunder som köper deras produkter. Dessa produkter är resultatet av en komplex utvecklingsprocess där olika funktioner och människor med olika bakgrund samverkar med varandra. De flesta kunder bryr sig mindre om hur produktutvecklingsprocessen såg ut, än om slutproduktens egenskaper: kvalitet, pris och funktionalitet. Med andra ord: de bryr sig om resultatet av produktutvecklingsprocessen som en helhet.

Den här avhandlingen gör huvudsakligen tre bidrag till tidigare forskning. Dels genom att undersöka vilka utmaningar framgångsrika produktutvecklingsföretag upplever i sitt dagliga arbete. Denna del av forskningen baseras på fallstudier av produktutvecklingsorganisationerna på ABB, Volvo Cars, IKEA Components och Scania. Resultaten från fallstudien sammanfattas genom 59 organisatoriska behov fördelade på fjorton teman.

Det andra huvudbidraget är en litteraturstudie av verksamhetsutvecklingskonceptet Lean Produktutveckling. Tidigare forskning har inte kunnat enas om en enhetlig definition av konceptet eller vad det innehåller. Den här avhandlingen tar fram ett sammanfattande ramverk som beskriver konceptet och föreslår följande definition konceptet Lean Produktutveckling:

Lean Produktutveckling är en företagsövergripande produktutvecklingsstrategi som syftar till att (i) öka värde, (ii) minska slöseri, (iii) öka flöde, (iv) minska suboptimeringar, samt (v) bygga kunskap.

Slutligen bidrar den här avhandlingen till tidigare forskning genom att jämföra de organisatoriska behoven med principerna för Lean Produktutveckling, för att undersöka hur och i vilken utsträckning konceptet Lean Produktutveckling kan stödja produktutvecklande företag. Konceptet visade sig ge helt eller delvist stöd till 43 av de 59 behov som identifierades i fallstudien.  Det betyder att Lean Produktutveckling är ett viktigt koncept för industriföretag som vill förbättra sin utvecklingsprocess. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. , 273 p.
Series
TRITA-EE, ISSN 1653-5146 ; 183
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Industrial Information and Control Systems
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-196363ISBN: 978-91-7729-188-6OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-196363DiVA: diva2:1046485
Public defence
2016-12-07, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20161114

Available from: 2016-11-14 Created: 2016-11-14 Last updated: 2016-11-14Bibliographically approved

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