On Structuring and Practical Use of the Lean Product Development Concept : Based on Case Studies of Industrial Product Development Organizations

Sammanfattning: All companies are dependent on having customers that choose to buy their products. These products are the result of the complex New Product Development process (NPD). This process involves many different functions and people with different backgrounds cooperating with each other. Most end customers will not know or care about how the development process was carried out. They will only see the quality, price and functionality of the final product. In other words, the overall result of the development process.This thesis studies quality management in product development from an overall perspective and contributes to prior knowledge in three main areas. Firstly, by investigating which challenges successful product development organizations experience in their everyday work. This was done by case studies performed at the product development organizations of ABB, Volvo Cars, IKEA Components and Scania. As a result of the case studies, 14 themes within all 59 organizational needs were identified.Secondly, a literature review of the quality management concept Lean Product Development (LPD) concept was conducted. Based on the literature, a new LPD framework was developed, as the LPD research field has not yet agreed on a definition of the concept. This study proposes the following definition for Lean Product Development: Lean Product Development is a companywide strategy for product development aiming to (i) increase value, (ii) decrease waste, (iii) increase flow, (iv) decrease sub-optimizations, and (v) build knowledge.The third contribution was done by making a comparison between the organizational needs of the case study companies and Lean Product Development principles, to find out how LPD can support product developing organizations. LPD was found to give good and/or partial support to 43 out of the 59 organizational needs identified in the case studies. This means that Lean Product Development is an important concept for organizations that wish to improve their product development process.