Lean Product Development

By Dora Smith

Last week at Siemens PLM Connection, there were several sessions that emphasized lean product development. I wanted to share some information from two I sat in on.

The first was a panel discussion on Lean Product Development. Several customers and Siemens PLM folks were on the panel.

Raj Khoshoo, vice president of Strategic Initiatives at our company, kicked things off with an overview of some of the latest lean research and provided this framework for lean PLM implementation:


Jon Jarrett, PLM World chair and senior manager of Engineering Systems at ATK, spoke about their product planning and the focus on improving traceability and configuration control for more streamline methods.

Chuck Grindstaff, our own CTO, shared how our R&D has focused on applying Taiichi Ohno’s seven areas of “muda” (meaning waste) to software product development:

  • Overproduction

  • Wait

  • Transport

  • Processing

  • Inventory

  • Motion

  • Defects

Although the genesis of these wastes comes from manufacturing, the principles directly apply to product development.

Laila Hirr, a VP at PRION as well as PLM World’s new management SIG chair and “PLM Savvy” blogger, shared how many companies have the technology they need but haven’t changed their processes. She sees benefit to unified applications like Teamcenter with integrations to Microsoft Office so engineers don’t have to jump in and out of applications. She also noted on the subject of internal change agents, that you need to have a long-term 3-5 year view.

Dave Shook, our senior VP/managing director in the Americas, also shared key lessons learned at companies his team works with. He particularly noted many are reducing complexity in their product development process so they can use that saved effort in their bid process. He highlighted several customers who presented at an executive event last fall. See related posts on: Timken, Honeywell, Andretti Green, Hubbell Lighting, Teradyne, Emerson.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at