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Managing the Design Factory

Managing the Design Factory

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The man who launched a revolution in product development with his bestselling Developing Products in Half the Time is back with a new book that's also certain to be a classic. In Managing the Design Factory Donald G. Reinertsen presents concepts and practical tools that will be invaluable for anyone trying to get products out of the pipeline and into the market.
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.
Fresh and thought-provoking, the book challenges many of the conventional approaches to product development. "There are no best practices," Reinertsen writes, "the idea of best practices is a seductive but dangerous trap." 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. Moreover, it is written with the clarity, precision, and humor that are Reinertsen's trademarks. He promises to challenge the thinking of anyone involved in product development.
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  • Free Press | 
  • 288 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780684839912 | 
  • October 1997
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Into the Design Factory

Imagine that own a business with a large bank account that pays no interest. You would be unhappy. Now imagine that this bank account loses half its capital value every year. You would be outraged. Yet this is exactly the situation that most companies find themselves in as they try to manage their product development process. They have high levels of investment in partially completed designs, but these investments earn them nothing until the products are introduced. These investments are at risk, because a competitor's product introduction can make a partially completed project worthless... see more

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