Parry, G., Graves, A. and James-Moore, M.
Lean new product introduction: a UK aerospace perspective.
In: Rajmanohar, T., ed.
Lean Product Development - Concept & Models.
Icfai University Press.
ISBN EAN: 9788131415269
Available from: http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/10986
- Published Version
Purpose: Lean thinking has revolutionised the approach to manufacturing and there are indications that it can do the same for New Product Introduction [NPI] processes. This paper explores the question “Is the application of Lean principles to NPI sufficient for best/good practice and has this been proven by the work of the UK Lean Aerospace Initiative [UK LAI]?” Focussing on the eight years of research into Lean and NPI in UK aerospace by researchers of the UK LAI the work also looks more broadly and asks if the application of the Lean principles to NPI is sufficient for good/leading practice?
Methodology / Approach: A case-based methodology is chosen by considering the form of research questions and the exploratory nature of the investigation (Yin, 2003). Primary data was collected from industry and forty four UK based aerospace companies have contributed towards the research over the eight years of the research programme of the UK LAI.
Findings: The examination of the case study material from the research has revealed that many practices for achieving good/leading practice do not derive from the Lean principles. This study has however demonstrated that Lean is necessary but not sufficient for achieving good/leading practice. It concludes that lean thinking is necessary for the effective implementation of NPI processes, in particular in the role of coordinating at a high level the existing change initiatives.
Originality: The work is able to present a unique overview of a long running research programme, focused on UK aerospace, but with findings broadly applicable to other sectors.
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