Adapting Lean Methods in an R&D Driven Technology Development Engineering Process
  • Becky Tallon
  • Engineering Director -- Water Treatment Technology
  • A.O. Smith Corporation
Becky Tallon shares her initiatives, and challenges, in adapting Lean tools and methods to improve technology transfer and better integrate Product Development and Engineering Projects with R&D teams, who use different tools and methods to solve problems and generate knowledge. Product Development and Engineering Projects incorporate shorter learning cycles and rich personal collaboration among the technical knowledge people. Product design engineers employ tools and methods that require better resource utilization, greater collaboration, and more frequent pivot points. R&D teams use scientific depth for their problem-solving knowledge generation and technology development, but are often farther removed from the voice of customer, have less collaboration with other departments, and need to take more technical risks. Becky describes how bringing the differences to light enables better R&D and NPD processes, allowing high performance New Product Development teams to better collaborate with R&D people.