In a mix of seminars and workshops, participants and presenters shared experience and knowledge on the application of the Lean Product and Process Development (LPPD) principles to research and development. The meeting attracted R&D workers from diverse areas such as service, automotive and pharmaceutical industries. Whereas Lean thinking has been applied with great success to the production part of an organization, LPPD applies the Lean philosophy to the R&D part of the organization. In doing so, LPPD provides a path to accomplish a reduction in product costs, shortened time-to market, improved schedule, cost predictability and product innovation, reduced defects in released products and enables you to overcome errors and setbacks in R&D more quickly.

Fundamental to the LPPD approach is the notion that the value created by R&D is twofold:
On the one hand, R&D produces a new product and the accompanying production process. On the other hand, R&D creates value by generating reusable knowledge. In order to reach this, LPPD turns some of our traditional paradigms of how we do R&D upside down. For starters by radically leaving the linear waterfall method that divides the R&D process in gated stages.
In several talks the different aspects of LPPD were elucidated. In Norbert Majerus’ (Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company) workshop a deeper understanding was created of how the Lean Product Development principles improve innovation. Jamie Flinchbaugh enlightened us on the value of building a fragile development process. A fragile development process is easily disturbed and therefore problems become visible at an early stage. A fragile process also forces a reaction, problems need fixing, hence learning. Suzanne van Egmond (Philips Lighting) reported her research (in collaboration with Prof. E. Rietzschel, University of Groningen) about the positive effects of standardization on innovation in R&D. Their work also showed that giving procedural instructions enhances innovative creativity whereas outcome instructions hamper creativity. Dough Reid (Douglas Reid ass.) and Bella Englebach (Senior director strategic business improvement, Johnson & Johnson) held an enlightening workshop on why it is we often fail to innovate. It was shown that preconceptions we have, often prevent us from seeing the true value of a creative idea. Instead of our default criticism, we should approach new ideas following four questions: 1. Tell me what you like about the idea? 2. Can you give me some secondary benefits I may have overlooked? 3. Can you indicate the weaknesses and related questions that need to be answered? 4. Can you give suggestions for further improvement on what is on the table right now?
The talk by PAASP’s collaborator Arnoud Herremans (Y47) addressed the psychology involved in making the behavioral change towards a Lean Product & Process Development strategy. In his talk, Arnoud emphasized that although all the tools of LPPD are readily available, for LPPD to become a reality a change in behavior of all employees needs to be achieved. In order to make that behavioral change we take 4 basic psychological principles (motivation, stress control, conditioning and cognitive dissonance) into account. During an interactive session Arnoud explained these principles and how Lean thinking provides opportunities to apply these principles to every day practice of changing behavior towards a Lean R&D culture. These 4 ‘brain rules’ have proofed to be instrumental in accomplishing the changes needed to develop a Lean Product and Process Development organization.
In 2017, the next LPPD-exchange is held from April 23th – 26th in Paris (

 Y47 | Arnoud Herremans
Consultant & Trainer Innovation Excellence
Parklaan 34, 3404 WH IJsselstein, The Netherlands
Phone: +31(0)6 40 208 731