Kane Alward is General Manager of Product Development at Fisher & Paykel Appliances; a company that designs, develops and produces premium home appliances for kitchen and laundry. Being responsible for over 350 product development professionals, Kane has years of hands-on experience from product and technology strategy to lean leadership and implementation for a global business with revenue over $1 Billion.
Fisher & Paykel Appliances completely changed from stage-gate to a lean “Learning-First” Product Development philosophy and system in 2006. Since then, the company’s 350 designers, engineers, and scientists have driven significant improvements in Product Development productivity and quality from a lean focus on the knowledge required to deliver value to the customer.
At the Lean Innovation Forum 2016 Kane described how Fisher & Paykel implemented Learning-First Product Development and how company’s product development employees apply its practices in their daily work. Through his presentation Kane touched the following four sets of mutually supporting capabilities all focused on delivering value to the customer:
- Responsibility Based Planning & Control and how it is carried out in Fisher & Paykel
- Expert Engineering Workforce together with its system for creating, capturing, sharing and reusing engineering knowledge
- Entrepreneurial Chief Engineer, its key characteristics and the role it plays within the company
- Set-Based Concurrent Engineering; the approach to the concurrent development of multiple alternative design solutions with delayed convergence to the optimum targeted solution
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