Flexible Product Development
Unlike traditional product development processes that resist change, Flexible Product Development (FPD) embraces mid-project change to support innovation and market dexterity at minimal cost.
Why be Flexible?
The common approach to product development holds that mid-project change is wasteful, and that extensive upfront planning can eliminate the need for change. Not in today's business environment.
Processes that resist change are toxic to innovation and cripple market dexterity. In a recent IBM report, CEOs around the globe say they are focused on improving their firms' dexterity to respond in a complex and fast moving economy.
Today, according to the report, "Organizations unprepared to act immediately on new opportunities may watch them slip away from their grasp almost as quickly as they emerge." Processes such as phase-gate, developed in yesterday's business environment, are no longer competitive.
What is Flexible Product Development?
Pioneered by Preston Smith, FPD is a new approach to developing products that embraces mid-project change, rather than resisting it. By rejecting the pretense that upfront planning can eliminate change, designers are free to anticipate and plan for uncertainties, greatly reducing their impact on cost and schedule.
FPD is a set of tools and methods that cope effectively with mid-project changes. Based on ideas and experience from a variety of sources, including the agile software development movement, FPD reduces the cost of midstream changes and balances the benefits of change against the risk of ballooning budgets and slippery schedules.
FPD principles include:
- Keeping important design options open until the last responsible moment.
- Using effective experimentation and front loaded prototyping to promote innovation, discovery, and learning.
- Specifying requirements in a way that keeps the development focused yet encourages in-process customer feedback.
- Reducing the cost of change throughout the development process.
- Building teams that are comfortable with ongoing change.
- Balancing the advantages of flexibility with the benefits of structured processes.
MechoTech provides product development experience and expertise to quickly and cost-effectively launch your next product.
Call MechoTech at (949) 215-7270, or visit
for more information.
"Your persistence really paid off. Instead of settling for the first or second proposal, you happily re-tooled the design until we ended up with a truly novel solution that met all of our needs and clearly exceeded our expectations."
Western Digital Technologies
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Founded in 2002, MechoTech is a product development and engineering services company based in southern California. We manage full product development cycles from concept to design and production. MechoTech provides complete support for all steps in product innovation and process to supplement each client's internal resources on an as needed bases, on time and on budget.
With over 25 years of experience in the data storage and computer industry, I bring a wealth of knowledge in product design and development in consumer electronics and medical devices. I hold a
Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering from USC, an Engineering Degree from UC Irvine and achieved a Management Program Certification from Stanford University.
To discuss how MechoTech can assist you in your next project, please contact Moe Sarraf, CEO /President, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (949) 215-7270.
What is "lean" about product development?
An overview of Lean Product Development
In 1990, the researchers of the MIT International Motor Vehicle Program (IMVP) published The Machine that Changed the World: The Story of Lean Production. John Krafcik coined the term "Lean Production" to describe an approach that used less of everything - less manufacturing space, tooling, raw materials, inventory, and labor - and did it significantly faster and cheaper than traditional mass-production techniques. Since then, "lean" has leapt into the corporate lexicon, especially as it relates to product development. Some of the "lean" ideas can help any team develop more products more effectively.
The following are 13 principles of Lean Product Development:
- Establish customer-defined value to separate value-added from waste.
- Front-load the product development process to explore thoroughly alternative solutions while there is maximum design space.
- Create a level product development process flow.
- Utilize rigorous standardization to reduce variation, and create flexibility and predictable outcomes.
- Develop a chief engineer system to integrate development from start to finish.
- Organize to balance functional expertise and cross-functional integration.
- Develop towering competence in all engineers.
- Fully integrate suppliers into the product development system.
- Build in learning and continuous improvement.
- Build a culture to support excellence and relentless improvement.
- Adapt technologies to fit your people and process.
- Align your organization through simple visual communication.
- Use powerful tools for standardization and organizational learning.
Creating Value in Lean Product Development
"Value" in the lean world is "a capability provided to a customer at the right time at an appropriate price, as defined in each case by the customer." This definition forces a business first to understand customer value deeply and second to focus relentlessly on delivering that value.
The lean enterprise differentiates between waste that is completely unnecessary (such as rework to fix a mistake) and waste that is necessary (such as regulatory requirements and some management activities). All unnecessary waste should be eliminated and the necessary waste should be minimized.
MechoTech creates more value in product development by doing things better, faster, and/or cheaper than others have been able to do things in the past. In other words, we shorten time-to-market, we decrease product costs over the entire life cycle of a product, we better align your product's feature set with the things your customer's value, and we help you produce a higher quality product.
Faster time-to-market gets innovation into the hands of your customers more quickly - and it increases your sales and market leadership. Delivering a product with lower costs directly benefits your bottom line while it makes products less expensive to purchase. As your organization improves, you eventually gain the ability to deliver products better, faster and cheaper than your competitors. Once you achieve that level of mastery, it will be very difficult for your competitors to catch up with you.
MechoTech is a leader in the design and product development of innovative technology, automation and testing equipment and medical device products. Contact MechoTech at (949) 215-7270, by email at Sales@MechoTech.com or visit www.MechoTech.com for more information.
FREE Consultation on Product Assessment and Bill of Materials PLUS Receive a FREE Product Design Requirement
MechoTech, LLC, the leader in product design and development of consumer electronics, computer peripherals, instrumentation, medical device and automation products is offering a valuable set of services at no charge for a limited period of time.
Our customers include Broadcom, Quartics, Western Digital and many others and we can provide the same benefits to you.
Contact MechoTech to qualify for a Free Consultation meeting at your office, and receive a FREE Product Assessment with a Bill of Materials PLUS a FREE Product Design Requirements Documents (up to 4 hours at no charge).
Contact Moe Sarraf, CEO/President at MechoTech, LLC (949) 215-7270, by email at msarraf@MechoTech.com
, or visit us at www.MechoTech.com
Offer valid through 8/31/11.
"We Find a Better Way by Using Innovation and Creativity"
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