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Decision Mapping at Pratt & Whitney


A world leader in the design, manufacture, and service of aircraft engines and auxiliary power units, Pratt & Whitney is headquartered in East Hartford, Connecticut, USA.

Excellence is one of seven Pratt & Whitney’s (P&W) core values. To continuously achieve excellence, knowing what the organization needs to learn and close the knowledge gaps quickly is an important advantage. Decision mapping is a technique that helps to visualize knowledge gaps.  Pratt & Whitney has started to see an increased pull for decision mapping events after the initial implementations.

Pratt & Whitney (part of United Technologies Corporation – UTC) is a world leader in the design, manufacture, and service of aircraft engines and auxiliary power units headquartered in East Hartford, Connecticut, USA.

The company was founded in 1925 by Frederick Rentschler and since then it builds its business on the seven core values: Excellence, Innovation, Dependability, Adaptability, Customer service, Integrity, and Accountability. Pratt & Whitney’s products are engineered-to-order (ETO), where the product development often points out knowledge gaps and a well-documented decision-making process can help the teams during the project and during the future developments to trace the decisions made previously.

The Decision mapping technique helps visualize knowledge gaps that are hard to identify through other processes. It is a visual representation of all deliberate decisions taken during the design process and clearly shows all knowledge gaps identified, and how the decisions and knowledge relate to the customer’s interest.

As Pratt & Whitney mostly create products engineered to order, the decisions taken during a development different products are several times based on the same evidence and using the decision maps, the time to take an informed deliberate decision can be reduced significantly. The task of making an engineering decision typically involves extensive and complex analyses, the evaluation of alternatives, closing knowledge gaps and the resolution of conflicts between stakeholders. Decision mapping supports the process by aligning stakeholders, data-based decisions visually represented and as being the stepping stone to capture knowledge through identification of knowledge gaps.

Benefits of decision mapping

Decision mapping is in Pratt & Whitney considered as an alternate form of value-stream mapping. If knowledge is defined as the essence of “value” in product development, then the decision map describes how knowledge needs to flow to make decisions that support customer interests.


Design space exploration supports knowledge gap closure and visualization enabling improvement of customer interests.

Book 2017 - Mockup 01 (small-900px)

Pratt & Whitney’s Best Practices are presented and described on more than 25 pages in the Lean Product Development Best Practices book. Pratt & Whitney’s chapter is only one out of the 10 chapters presenting the real-world application of lean product development in multinational companies.

The hard copy of the book with the 10 cases is available for only 74.99 EUR.


Pratt & Whitney’s Lean Product Development case is available digitally free of charge to our members.


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Lean Analytics Association

Doroteja has 3 years of experience collaborating in lean product development projects with a background in mechanical engineering and ultra-precision technologies. She has worked with global organizations from various industrial sectors, either leading or supporting the development and introduction of bespoke lean innovation and new product development solutions.

Doroteja is interested in innovation capability development and over the past years, she has developed several training courses to support organizations achieving quick and efficient knowledge transfer through customized simulated sessions. Being a certified Service Design Thinking Facilitator she believes in “Doing, not speaking” and supporting developments of truly customer-centric products and services.

Doroteja is a co-author of the Lean Product Development Best Practices book and conference publications.

Lean Analytics Association

Dr. Flores has over 20 years of experience collaborating as internal or external consultant in different manufacturing and services organizations, leading several initiatives related to Lean Thinking, Business Process improvement, Six Sigma, Supply Chain, Change Management, Open Innovation, Digital Transformation and Human Centered Service Design; providing also training and coaching.

She is co-founder and president of the Lean Analytics Association (LAA) and visiting scholar at the College of Management of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland.

She carried out her Post-doc at EPFL collaborating at the Lean Product and Process (LeanPPD) FP7 European project from 2009 to 2013. She completed her PhD in 2006 at the Politecnico di Milano studying Open Innovation Models to enable Industry-University collaboration for innovation. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Manufacturing Systems in 1999 and a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Monterrey Tec (ITESM) in 1996.

Doroteja Maklin
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