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Managing the Design Factory

The first book to put the principles of World Class Manufacturing to work in the development process, Managing the Design Factory combines the powerful analytical tools of queuing, information, and system theories with the proven ideas of organization design and risk management. The result: a methodical approach to consistently hit the "sweet spot" of quality, cost, and time in developing any product. Reinertsen illustrates these concepts with concrete examples drawn from his work with many leading companies across different industries. Unlike other books that promote rules and rituals based on benchmarking "best practices", this book focuses on practical tools that account for varied situations. He breaks new ground with a disciplined, quantitative approach for making decisions on critical issues: When should we use a sequential or concurrent process? Centralized or decentralized control? Functional or team organizations? Full of practical techniques, concrete examples, and solid general principles, this is a real toolkit for product developers.
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Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION Revolution in the Factory Into the Witch Doctor's Tent There Are No Best Practices Where Ideas Come From The Organization of This Book PART ONE: THE DESIGN FACTORY 1. INTO THE DESIGN FACTORY Our Goals Are Economic Products vs. Designs Design-in-Process Inventory Rising Cost of Change Late-Breaking News One-Time Processes Expanding Work Summary PART TWO: THINKING TOOLS 2. MAKING PROFITS NOT PRODUCTS Project Models Application Models Models of Process Economics Tactical vs. Strategic Decisions Some Practical Tips Summary 3.ENTERING THE LAND OF QUEUES An Introduction to Queueing Theory The Economics of Queues Depicting Queues Implications of Queuing Theory Dealing with Queues Increasing Capacity / Managing Demand / Reducing Variability / Using Control Systems The Location of Batch Queues Little's Law Typical Queues Summary 4. IT'S ALL ABOUT INFORMATION Information Theory Efficient Generation of Information Maximizing Information: The Magic Number 50 Percent Information Differs in Value Timing: Earlier Is Better / Batch Size Affects Timing / Iterations Generate Early Information / The Potential Profit Impact Do It Right the First Time? Communicating Failures Protecting Against Failure Task Sequencing Monitoring Summary 5. JUST ADD FEEDBACK Systems Theory Systems with Feedback Properties of Systems with Feedback Difficulty in Troubleshooting / Instability and Chaos / Accuracy and Feedback / Variability Within a System More Complex Control Systems Summary PART THREE: ACTION TOOLS 6. CHOOSE THE RIGHT ORGANIZATION The Organization as a System Assessing Organizational Forms Efficiency: The Functional Organization Speed: The Autonomous Team Performance and Cost: Hybrid Organizations Dividing Responsibilities Communications Old Communications Tools / New Communications Technologies Colocation Summary 7. DESIGN THE DESIGN PROCESS Combining Structure and Freedom One-Time Processes / Modular Processes / A Pattern Language Designing Process Stages Input Subprocesses / Technology vs. Product Development / Controlling Queues / Subprocess Design / Output Processes Key Design Principles Sequential vs. Concurrent Processes / Managing Information Profiles / Decentralizing Control and Feedback / Location of Batch Queues Specific Process Implementations Evolving the Process Summary 8. PRODUCT ARCHITECTURE: THE INVISIBLE DESIGN Underlying Principles Modularity Segregating Variability/ Interface Management Specific Architectural Implementations Low-Expense Architectures / Low-Cost Architectures / High-Performance Architectures / Fast-Development Architectures Who Does It? Summary 9. GET THE PRODUCT SPECIFICATION RIGHT It Starts with Strategy Selecting the Customer Understanding the Customer Customer Interviews / Meticulous Observation / Focus Groups Creating a Good Specification The Minimalist Specification / A Product Mission / The Specification Process Using the Specification Specific Implementations Summary 10. USE THE RIGHT TOOLS The Use of Technology Accelerated Information Flow / Improved Productivity / Reduced Delays Implementation Principles Technology Changes Process / Pay Attention to Economics Technologies Design Automation / Prototyping and Testing / Communications / Information Storage and Retrieval Summary 11. MEASURE THE RIGHT THINGS General Principles Drive Metrics from Economics / The Control Triangle / Decentralizing Control / Selecting Metrics Project-Level Controls Expense-Focused Controls / Cost-Focused Controls / Performance-Focused Controls / Speed-Focused Controls Business Level Controls Expense-Focused Controls / Cost-Focused Controls / Performance-Focused Controls / Speed-Focused Controls Summary 12. MANAGE UNCERTAINTY AND RISK Market and Technical Risk Managing Market Risk Use a Substitute Product / Simulate the Risky Attribute / Make the Design Flexible / Move Fast Managing Technical Risk Controlling Subsystem Risk / Controlling System Integration Risk / Back-up Plans World-Class Testing Cheap Testing / Low Unit Cost Impact/Maximizing Performance / Fast Testing / Continuous Improvement Summary PART FOUR: NEXT STEPS 13. NOW WHAT DO I DO? Do Your Math Use Decision Rules Pay Attention to Capacity Utilization Pay Attention to Batch Size Respect Variability Think Clearly About Risk Think Systems Respect the People Design the Process Thoughtfully Pay Attention to Architecture Deeply Understand the Customer Eliminate Useless Controls Get to the Front Lines Avoid Slogans Selected Bibliography Index About the Author

About the Author

Donald G. Reinertsen is head of Reinertsen & Associates, a firm that specializes in new product development. He also teaches at the California Institute of Technology and has attracted a worldwide following among managers, designers, and engineers. He holds an engineering degree from Cornell and an MBA from Harvard. He and his family live in Redondo Beach, California.


Dr. Paul Borrill Chief Scientist, Sun Microsystems A brilliant and unique perspective on the economic and business dimensions of product design. Reinertsen's insights into the human and economic dimensions of product design are outstanding. Robert T. Franzo Manager, Messaging and Digital Mobile Radio, Wireless Communications Products, IC Group, Lucent Technologies A compelling new model for profitable product development. Don Reinertsen reveals some of the best kept secrets to running a decision and profit based development process. This book will be a key resource for organizations using product development to compete in the competitive dynamic market we all encounter. Kevin Sharer President and COO, Amgen Provides real world, usable advice and challenges managers to think about issues of enduring importance. Art Lane General Manager, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Storage Solutions Division At Hewlett-Packard we continuously strive to improve our product development methods, but too often only look internally for ideas. I would recommend this book because it impresses me as a source of sound, practical advice from Don's broad industry experience. Neil Hagglund Corporate Vice President and Director of Corporate Technology Planning, Motorola, Inc. A valuable and much needed view of the product development process. Engrossing and stimulating reading flill of excellent tools and firmly anchored on the basic reality of why we do product development -- to make a profit! Warren S. Nix President and CEO, Lumonics Corporation This book is absolutely essential reading for product team leaders who must "do" rather than debate. I will require that all senior executives at Lumonics read this book.

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