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Application of Lean Methods in Product Development Testing: A Case Study from the Manufacturing Industry
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.), Industrial Management.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 80 credits / 120 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

A broad research foundation exists on Lean management in the manufacturing context. Furthermore, the implementation of Lean in product development is discussed by an increasing number of publications. Yet, little documentation of the specific application in product development testing has been published. This master thesis provides insights into the specific environment of product development testing and the application of Lean methods.


Utilizing a systematic literature research, the beginning of this work elaborates principles of case study research, the context of testing as part of product development and the Lean management framework. The findings are synthesized into a priori construct for the case research. Main pillar for this construct is the value stream mapping method. It combines the analysis of the current state, the development of the future state and a strategy for the implementation of improvements.


Central part of this thesis is the in-depth case study of a global operating manufacturing company in the off-highway machinery market. Three product development testing sites were visited by the author in order to apply the previously defined case study framework. Through cross case analysis common process characteristics of the current state are derived. From a micro level perspective the relations within and across the testing process are shown.


Needs, values, wastes, interruptions and other process parameters are systematically analyzed; improvements are elaborated and prioritized to develop a common future state for the testing process. A partial takt time driven test process could be developed. To visualize the process task boards were introduced and the value stream map was digitalized and connected to a management information system.

The systematic understanding of information needs is a major part of the future state. A possible implementation strategy is presented in this thesis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 153 p.
Keyword [en]
Lean, Product Development, Testing, Agile, Product Validation, Case Study
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-124631OAI: diva2:638016
Subject / course
Industrial Economics and Management
Educational program
Master of Science - Industrial Engineering and Management
2013-06-27, Como - Italy, 11:18 (English)
Available from: 2013-08-23 Created: 2013-07-22 Last updated: 2013-08-23Bibliographically approved

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