Applying lean in product development - enabler or inhibitor of creativity?
2015 (English)In: International Journal of Technology Management, ISSN 0267-5730, E-ISSN 1741-5276, Vol. 68, no 1-2, 49-69 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Lean has become increasingly popular as a process management approach outside its original application in manufacturing, and it is frequently used as a means to increase efficiency in research and development (R&D) processes. Previous research suggests that lean can be used to increase R&D efficiency, but there is disagreement on whether or not this comes at the expense of creativity. In this article, the effects of lean product development on creativity are studied by means of case studies in the R&D departments of five companies. The empirical observations highlighted a number of important aspects when applying lean in product development. The data suggested that a primary focus of lean in product development was flow, rather than waste reduction, and that significant focus was given to the reduction of disturbances. Another finding was the need for a long-term perspective in R&D to safeguard creativity and that the reduction of slack time following the implementation of lean clearly limited the opportunities to undertake unsanctioned innovation projects, often referred to as 'skunk work'. Finally, the importance of management support and employee training to aid the implementation of lean was emphasised.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 68, no 1-2, 49-69 p.
lean, process management, LPD, lean product development, product development, creativity, efficiency, productivity, operations
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics Work Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-160627DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2015.068774ISI: 000352858100003ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84928042419OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-160627DiVA: diva2:790579
QC 20150507. Updated from accepted to published.2015-02-252015-02-252015-05-07Bibliographically approved