Improving the NPD Process by Applying Lean Principles: A Case Study Academic Article uri icon


  • This article extends the new product development (NPD) literature by presenting a case study of a lean product development (LPD) transformation framework implemented at a U.S. based manufacturing firm. In a departure from typical LPD methods, in this article the design structure matrix and the cause and effect matrix are integrated into the lean transformation framework, allowing analysis of the underlying complexity of a product development (PD) system, and thus facilitating determination of the root causes of wasteful reworks. Several strategies to transform the current PD process into a lean process are discussed. Besides the two-phase improvement plan, a new organizational structure roadmap and a human resources plan are also suggested to support the recommended changes in the NPD process. The results of the first phase show a 32% reduction in PD cycle time due to the proposed NPD process. The article concludes with lessons learned and implications for engineering managers based on the case study. © 2011 by the American Society for Engineering Management.

author list (cited authors)

  • Nepal, B. P., Yadav, O. P., & Solanki, R.

citation count

  • 18

publication date

  • September 2011