Business901                      Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systems Lean Design     Guest was Ron Ma...
Business901                      Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systems                    Ron Mascitell...
Business901                      Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systems                   Transcription ...
Business901                      Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsfrom the very beginning of select...
Business901                      Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsframework that could easily, in a...
Business901                      Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemssay a year for a first phase impr...
Business901                      Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsriskier a project is, the more yo...
Business901                      Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemspeople in the room or scope creep...
Business901                      Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsI think its a very powerful forci...
Business901                      Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsthey use so that we really do get...
Business901                      Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsJoe: You talk about the Toyota 3P...
Business901                      Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsThere is constant communication i...
Business901                      Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsRon: Those of us that have come o...
Business901                      Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsJoe: I always use the line that i...
Business901                      Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systems"Gee; I know we all should do it,...
Business901                      Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsof all, say that you cant take it...
Business901                      Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsI think that every company needs ...
Business901                      Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsIn fact, what Ive noticed are Eur...
Business901                      Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsIts actually a strategy that Adid...
Business901                      Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsprice over a standard traditional...
Business901                      Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemswithin a market sector might have...
Business901                      Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsgreat team leader thats both insp...
Business901                      Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsRon: Certainly, they can contact ...
Business901                      Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systems                                 ...
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Lean Design and Development

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Ron Mascitelli, president of Technology Perspectives was my guest on the Business901 podcast, Lean Design interview with Ron Mascitelli. Ron is the author of five books, his most-recent publication, Mastering Lean Product Development: A Practical, Event-Driven Process for Maximizing Speed, Profits, and Quality. This is a transcription of the podcast.

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Lean Design and Development

  1. 1. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systems Lean Design Guest was Ron Mascitelli Sponsored by Related Podcast: Lean Design interview with Ron Mascitelli Lean Design interview with Ron Mascitelli Copyright Business901
  2. 2. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systems Ron Mascitelli, a Project Management Professional, who has served as senior scientist and director of R&D for Hughes Aircraft Company and the Santa Barbara Research Center. Since founding Technology Perspectives in 1994, Ron has worked with over 100 leading companies worldwide to implement his highly practical approach to lean product development. He is the author of five books, including The Lean Product Development Guidebook, and his most recentpublication, Mastering Lean Product Development.Technology Perspectives is a consulting, training, and publishingfirm dedicated to the elimination of waste and theenhancement of profits in all aspects of productdesign and development. Their goal is to providethe most comprehensive educational materialsand workshop experiences available topractitioners of product design and manufacture,with a focus on practical, proven, and immediatelydeployable tools and methods. With thirty years ofleading-edge R&D experience and over onehundred clients spanning industry sectors fromhigh-technology and aerospace, to medical products, totraditional manufacturing, we are uniquely capable of connectingwith an engineering audience in their (and our) own language.Our tools and methods are globally applicable (having beentaught and successfully deployed in twenty countries on fourcontinents) and eminently practical. Lean Design interview with Ron Mascitelli Copyright Business901
  3. 3. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systems Transcription of PodcastJoe Dager: Welcome everyone. This is Joe Dager, the host ofthe Business901 podcast. With me today is Ron Mascitelli. He is aproject management professional who served as Senior Scientistand Director of R&D for Hughes Aircraft Company and the SantaBarbara Research Center. Since founding Technology Perspectivesin 1994, Ron has worked with over 100 leading companiesworldwide to implement his highly practical approach to leanproduct development. He is the author of five books, includingthe "Lean Product Development Guidebook" and his most recentpublication, "Mastering Lean Product Development." Ron, Id liketo welcome you and mention that I have this dog-eared,written-in, pages-taped rag of an orange covered book behind meon my bookshelf. I want to thank you for joining me. Any updatesto that introduction?Ron Mascitelli: Thank you very much again for having me. Itsa pleasure. What it says, Joe, is that you need to buy anotherbook. No, Ive been excitedly working, of late, with a lot ofmedical products companies, in fact, doing more global work,working in both Europe and Asia. Im always excited to learn newthings. Every company I work with teaches me something, so itsalways a pleasure to work in new industries and work in newparts of the globe.Joe: I enjoyed your new book. Could you let your listeners knowwhat is new about it and different in the new book?Ron: OK, very good. For as long as Ive been working in leanproduct development, which is eighteen years now, its been acollection of tools. Whether its A3 problem solving templates orvisual workflow management tools, things of that sort, its alwaysbeen a collection of tools without really an integrated frameworkso that the tools have a purpose. Theres a flow and a connection.And you can really visualize the how of product development, Lean Design interview with Ron Mascitelli Copyright Business901
  4. 4. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsfrom the very beginning of selecting projects and managing theportfolio, all the way through to production. So this book really,for the first time, puts it all together into a framework. Its anevent driven approach, meaning that weve crafted a number ofvery specialized standard work events. Each event has a set ofstandard tools; standard preparation, and well-defined outputs,and so these transformative events actually represent lynchpinsin a process that really runs front to back.I think the other new part of this book, and the material is thatits really set up in such a way that its so modular that you caninstall it within an existing process and lubricate that process andget significant benefits. So, in a sense, you dont have to throwout your old process and start from scratch you can use thisactually and embed it within your existing phase-gate orstage-gate process, whatever you might have, and get thebenefit immediately. Highly practical, very modular and intendedto be a front to back picture of product development from a Leanperspective.Joe: You can toss it in; its not just like throwing out andstarting anew, that you can actually supplement it to yourexisting process.Ron: Absolutely, in fact the number one obstacle I think I facewhen I work with clients is that they have invested, in somecases, a lot of time and often substantial money in putting inplace some kind of governance process for product development.In addition to a governance process, such as stage-gate, theyoften have a product lifecycle management software that theyveembedded, so they have key deliverables. If theyre in aregulated environment they have some fairly heavy constraints toregulation, and I think that a lot of companies are reluctant toembark on a new process when they have so much vested and somuch time just getting the old one in place. That was one of mygoals in this latest book, to come up with tools, methods, and a Lean Design interview with Ron Mascitelli Copyright Business901
  5. 5. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsframework that could easily, in a modular fashion be embeddedwithin an existing process and still give you tremendous benefit.Again, it lowered the barrier to entry; it makes it much open; Ithink, to any company thats looking for improvement.Joe: I can piecemeal, your practices into mine?Ron: Of course, in fact, actually, I recommend that. Theres noreason, if you have something thats working for you and yourcompany, theres no reason to fix something that isnt broken. Infact, it is where I learn an awful lot of what I publish and what Iteach, from companies that have found an excellent way to do ajob. Theres no question, every firm has things that work well,that they feel very comfortable with, and then therere thoserocks in the road, the things that are obviously not going so well,and fix the things that are broken. So, in this case, you literallycan create future state vision thats an amalgamation of essenceof class tools that I offer, with some adaptations to yourcompanys needs, along with whats working for you. And literallydo a kind of first phase improvement, then as you move forwardyou might identify some new issues as you move a little moresmoothly and a little more efficiently, and then you can addressthose issues again with other tools.Joe: So how long as a process does it take to intertwine, letssay, a new product development, am I talking that I can do thisin three months, or is this more of a journey that Im making?Ron: Its unquestionably a journey. One of the problems withproduct development, unlike manufacturing and applying Lean tomanufacturing, is that the cycle time to learn is much longer.Even in fairly quick turn environments some companies productsmight be in development three to six months. Thats a fairly quickturn development and a lot of companies, their products takeyears, so you dont have a lot of cycles of learning therehappening very quickly. In general, were talking about; I like to Lean Design interview with Ron Mascitelli Copyright Business901
  6. 6. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemssay a year for a first phase improvement initiative. You should beseeing substantial benefits; you should be seeing both efficiencyin terms of time to market and, probably more importantly;youre seeing less conflict among projects, more predictableoutcomes, higher-quality products, and hopefully moreinnovative products.The idea really is, I think; to take it a reasonable bite at a time,try to do it in a non-invasive way, and imagine a year toimplement, say, phase one. If the company has the initiative, youdo phase two, phase three, ad infinitum, until you feel as thoughyou have, you know I dont think were ever happy with anythingand the solutions. There is always an opportunity to improve.You take your high priority stuff first. You make your quick wins,and you can probably again, in about a year; you can start seeingsome really substantial improvements.Joe: From your book, I came away with the understanding thata process drives innovation, and having a standard process,standard work, accelerates not only the cycle but the ability tolearn. Am I on the right path?Ron: Yes, absolutely. One thing that is funny about productdevelopment is that product development is really a process thatguides projects. Depending upon how common and similar yourproduct development projects are, you can factor out a lot moreof the project aspect and make it more of a standard process. Ithink its really a misconception to think of product developmentas being similar to, again, manufacturing or more officetransactional processes, where we map it out and say, "This iswhat were going to do on every project, and then were going toturn the key, and its going to run."Every project is different, at least to some degree. Value creationhappens as a result of those differences. The more unique, the Lean Design interview with Ron Mascitelli Copyright Business901
  7. 7. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsriskier a project is, the more you have an opportunity to make abreakthrough in the marketplace.So to overly standardize and create a "one-size fits none" processreally doesnt make sense. Whatever we do in terms of astandard process for product development; we want to havestandard work, but it needs to be flexible. We need to havelatitude to adapt to small or large projects, high and low risk,more or less complexity, et cetera.I think the whole idea is to define a process but one where itsmore of a guideline for how we go through the transformation ofknowledge, and also how we learn, and not so much a rigidstructure like a very highly-detailed process map.Joe: Well, you seem to be event driven, and I dont meantime-based necessarily, like a scrum sprint or anything, but couldyou explain what you mean by an event-driven process?Ron: After a number of years of trying to find a way to packagetools and methods that I knew were working within a framework,what I arrived at was basically, to be honest, I was inspired bygoing on jury duty with 11 other people that I didnt know anddidnt particularly want to be with, in a hot-stinky room with staledonuts. Our goal in life was to reach a verdict. It occurred to methat the conversation and the consensus that was built in thatroom fairly quickly, was built because people had focus. They hadno choice, essentially. They were going to be in that room untilthey got an outcome, and it was so much more fruitful that if wehad, for example, tried to reach a verdict by sending each otheremails and having an occasional conference call. I mean, in thatenvironment, I think wed still be waiting for the OJ verdict.It, ultimately, inspired me. I said, "Well, why dont we package aset of tools?" - For example, defining market requirements. - thiscan drift on for months in some companies, with the wrong Lean Design interview with Ron Mascitelli Copyright Business901
  8. 8. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemspeople in the room or scope creep, or someone comes up withsomething, and we throw something else in.So I have new thing called the market requirements event, inwhich we actually pull together for a day, focused day, with a setof tools, collaborative tools that the whole team can use, and wefocus on just market requirements.Again, it is a standard work event, but its flexible enough to scaleto the needs of the project. The outcome is a prioritized list ofengineering design requirements, the scope of work to moveforward in the project. And the other events, of course, hit atcritical points within the process.Were not doing all the design work in an event. What we aredoing, however, is those critical collaborative junctures. In asense, this is a forcing function for fruitful collaboration.Joe: Thats an interesting take on it, because its not necessarilya Kaizen event? What is it called?Ron: No. Other than the fact Kaizen events are a great exampleof how powerful this kind of intensive collaboration with the highfocus can be. But its not a Kaizen event in the classical sense ofbeing continuous improvement. It is an execution event, whereyou have, again, a standard preparation in advance. Everyone,within their role, comes to this very cross functional event withpreparation, information, and in some cases work done. When weget in the event, we follow an agenda of tools, discussion, andprioritization. Then ultimately, we have a standard output thatdetermines the close of the event.In fact, if we dont close the event properly, if we dont reach thatoutcome, we reconvene in a week or whenever we can, and wecontinue until we can reach that closure. Lean Design interview with Ron Mascitelli Copyright Business901
  9. 9. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsI think its a very powerful forcing function for timely decisionmaking and for really getting all the voices together, looking atthe same issues and problems, and answering the same question.Joe: Do these happen at phase gates or control points of theprocess, then?Ron: Actually, in my perfect vision of the world, the eventsbecome the phases and gates. Our market requirement event is aknowledge gate, so is our project planning event. The rapidlearning cycle event, which is to burn down your early risk on aproject, each of these, in a sense, are knowledge gates. So in myperfect word, we dont use artificial governance gates like conceptfreeze gate and a detail design freeze gate or whatever theymight be. We actually use these events as knowledge gates. Butin most companies that already have a comfortable language ofgovernance, we just embed the event at the appropriate phase,and it will give you the outputs you need for your existing gatereviews.Joe: So its really a way of distributing all the knowledge, theneeds and deciding on what knowledge you need to proceed with.Is that a simple explanation of it?Ron: Perfect, perfectly well said. If you think about it, in productdevelopment all the knowledge that is needed to create the bestcommercial product in the world resides in the heads of thecross-functional groups that you have in your company. Its all inthere somewhere. All they need is a problem to focus on and theability to somehow pull all of that diverse cross-functionalknowledge together in a way thats optimal. Thats what weretrying to get at here. Really, its forcing collaboration, not justnames on a list, "Oh yeah, weve got a manufacturing person onthe team. See heres Joe; hes listed down here on the list."Its getting them in the room, break down the barriers tocommunication, have a common vision and a common set of tools Lean Design interview with Ron Mascitelli Copyright Business901
  10. 10. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsthey use so that we really do get that consensus input. Productdevelopment cant be optimized without the contribution ofvirtually every function in the firm at one time or another.Joe: Let me play devils advocate a little bit here. Is this just theLean version of Design for Six Sigma?Ron: No, not at all. Design for Six Sigma is really very much atool box. It offers at best a problem solving framework. It doesnot offer a front to back transformational framework in which youstart with the market needs. There are tools in there, forexample, quality function deployment or house of quality, to doinitial requirements. But theres no clear connection. Theres noderivation of the knowledge flow. Its really much more anamalgamation of tools.The tools of Design for Six Sigma are, in fact, in some cases,embedded in my process. I use a Lean version QFD, for example.I use failure modes and effects analysis. Then any other toolsthat are successful, that are working in your firm, you can embedin the process at the appropriate events.The events are very flexible. I offer a generic framework and ageneric description of each event. But you can enhance them inany way you wish by adding appropriate tools for design formanufacturing assembly, whatever is appropriate for your needs,design of experiment, et cetera.So again, in a sense, Im offering a generic starting point for afront to back framework from the very early stages of projectselection all the way through to launch. But you can enhance itwith the tools that are working for you. If youre currently doingwell with Design for Six sigma, not only is there noincompatibility, theres a tremendous amount of synergy byfolding those tools into the same framework. Lean Design interview with Ron Mascitelli Copyright Business901
  11. 11. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsJoe: You talk about the Toyota 3P process as part of that, whichIm going to say, is people, process and product. But is there adifference in yours, or do you embed that in yours and maybewhy?Ron: First of all, my definition of the 3P is production,preparation, process which is taken off the Toyota model.Toyotas ideal situation, which I believe is the most highlyevolved version of this, is true parallel product and processco-development. So the production process is being planned,conceptualized, refined, and ultimately implemented along aparallel path with the product design. There is constantcommunication between the two teams that are developing thosethings. So if theres a decision made on the design side thatimpacts manufacturability, that decision is consulted with themanufacturing folks, validated, and in some cases, tweaked dueto feedback, and likewise on the process side. The effective endof this is that those two things come together, dovetail togetherin a successful launch. Of course, Toyota is notoriously good atthat.My approach is a little bit simpler to implement. It doesnt requirethat you have literally thousands of engineers and a billion dollarbudget. So I use three events that are surgically located in theproject schedule in such a way that they give you the maximuminput.The first one is called the design 3P event, which is entirelyfocused on making design improvements and modifications toenhance cost quality and manufacturability. We then have aprocess 3P, where we discuss production plan, line layout, capitalinvestment, and new tool and equipment facilities and layout.And theres a production 3P, where we actually refine the line anddo what amounts to a line Kaizen for launch. Lean Design interview with Ron Mascitelli Copyright Business901
  12. 12. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsThere is constant communication in between those events. Weuse standup meetings, visual workflow management to keep thewhole team talking. But these three key elements really aredesigned to have the process and the product meld together asone system, as opposed to being treated completelyindependently, or even worse, where its completely over thewall. The design gets thrown over to manufacturing, and theyhave to somehow figure out how to do it. The goal is to force veryearly in the process of strong consideration of cost and quality.Joe: When youre operating these things in parallel, is thereconstant communication between the parallel branches?Ron: Absolutely. The one thing that I sometimes have to cautionclients on, because youre using these collaborative events,doesnt mean that the people go back to their cubicle and dontspeak in between. To enforce that, we use a visual workflowmanagement technique, which is basically a combination offrequent standup meetings, totally cross functional standupmeetings, combined with a visual project board that tracksprogress, highlight major issues and risks, and allows that teamto do dynamic planning of the next several weeks of their projectto meet their milestones. In principle at least, the design folks,and I hope the marketing folks, and I hope the manufacturingfolks are all talking several times a week on an exception basis;its not a deep-dive discussion. But any issue that comes up, anychange that might happen is voiced to the whole group, andevery can act on it.Joe: You touched upon something right there that jumps at me.It used to be that engineering product development was a veryinternal thing, and its becoming more and more external andincluding more open innovation. But what role has changed forsales and marketing in product development? Lean Design interview with Ron Mascitelli Copyright Business901
  13. 13. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsRon: Those of us that have come out of the design side ofproduct development have always been frustrated perhaps by thelack of good communication with manufacturing. And its afrustration thats shared on both sides. We both know we shoulddo better, but the mechanisms just arent there. On the otherhand, perhaps the highest leverage in critical interface has alwaysbeen between marketing-sales and the design group. Thats reallythe very earliest definition...you have an idea for a business case,how do you translate that into a set of requirements thats ascope of work that will stay relatively stable so the designers cango off and be efficient in developing the product?The role of marketing and sales has shifted from being more afountain of business opportunities thats somehow get thrownover the wall with tons of unnecessary detail, and in some cases,misconceptions about what can and cant be done, into a muchmore collaborative role, where marketing is working with designengineering on whats possible, what can be done at cost, whatcan excite the customer, so thats really, probably the mostfruitful interface that Ive been working on.And over time, Ive seen it evolve from again, very much of a"thrown down from on high, go thou, and design this," to a muchmore egalitarian approach where theres constant conversationand feedback and listening on both sides. And thats really whereit has to go.In some companies, even the organizational skill structure issetup where product management is in a completely differentorganization from engineering, design, management, andmanufacturing. And over time, Im hoping that will evolve towarda much more product-centric organization where marketing andproduct management is in the same group with the same statusand the same kinds of discussions as the engineers and themanufacturing people who have focused on that type of product. Lean Design interview with Ron Mascitelli Copyright Business901
  14. 14. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsJoe: I always use the line that its no longer marketings job toget the message out, its just as much their job to get themessage in.Ron: Yes, absolutely. And you know; its great to have a vision,but ultimately, any one person in product development; any onefunction cannot optimize that system. If engineers, given somemarket need, come up with what they think is the best solution;it may be overshoot for the markets needs. It may be overlycomplex. It might completely miss the subtle, empatheticunderstanding that the marketing people have. But likewise,marketing, though they may have the empathy with the client,and understand the voice of the customer, they arent really ableto know whats possible, what solutions could be offered, whatcould be potentially brought to market. So you have to have thatconversation across that boundary and likewise, manufacturinghas to be in that mix, to put a sanity check on cost, quality,manufacturability, capacity, etc.So it really needs to be all functions working together from thebeginning. Marketing, take the lead initially. Certainly, theres ashift in Lean. In a sense, it flows from sort of a marketing, adivisioning part of the process to the engineering and design folksduring the conceptualization and development to themanufacturing as we start ramping up to launch. But theres aconstant quality of discussion to that whole process.Joe: Now, you talk about sustainability a little bit in the back ofthe book and how has that affected the role of development? Or,has it changed development in any way?Ron: Thats a good question. Were talking here about - to usethe banal term "green design," but a sustainable design isprobably a much better term for it. Its interesting, because Iveactually seen a bit of a shift in the industry over the last 10 yearsfrom essentially completely ignoring it as an altruistic, you know, Lean Design interview with Ron Mascitelli Copyright Business901
  15. 15. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systems"Gee; I know we all should do it, but I just cant make aneconomic argument for it," to more recently where its become akey differentiator in some industries. There are a number of caseexamples of companies that have made significant market gains,and in some cases, significant margin increases by virtue offocusing on sustainable products.What I will say is that it is a bit of a pendulum swing. I would sayprobably in my latest probing of the market, I would say that itssettled down to being one of many differentiators, where it had alot of cache about five years ago. I think its settled down now tobeing one of the many considerations that customers have for theproducts they buy.In certain markets, especially in things like architecture, interiordesign, décor, longer-term investment, its still very powerful. Inother industries, it was more of a gimmick. For example, in someretail products, where everything is made of bamboo andeverything is sustainably harvested. Im a huge environmentalist.Of course, I hope theres a business case, but Im also apragmatist, and I realize that if a company cant justifyinvestment in sustainable design, by virtue of a market pull, thenits just not the right investment for them. They have to wait untilthe market comes around to realize the advantages of asustainable product.Joe: Now we all have what I call Apple envy, when comes toinnovation. I always thought the secret to Apple was thesimplicity of their product line, and how they all intertwined. Theybuilt one upon the other. What are some of the lessons that wecan learn from them?Joe: Hire Steve Jobs. I mean, in reality, Ive been watchingApple for my whole career. Certainly, both through their glorydays early on, and then their dismal days when Steve Jobs left,and now of course, in the much more glorious present. I will first Lean Design interview with Ron Mascitelli Copyright Business901
  16. 16. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsof all, say that you cant take it with you when you try to beApple, because that company was built on a single personsvision. The more I read about it, and the more I study it, themore that becomes apparent that this was a not so benevolentdictatorship by a person who was an extraordinary inventor,really, a Thomas Edison of our era. Very different types ofproducts, not fundamental basic things like, light bulbs.In this case, a vision for an entire sort of social environment thatinvolves physical products, but not just physical products. Itinvolves whole different ways of purchasing things. Wholedifferent ways of connecting things together. That kind of a globalvision thats so out of the norm is not something you canreplicate. What you can replicate, however, is some of the, asyou mentioned, maybe more mundane lessons, like, simplicity. Iwould say the number one lesson that Ive learned, and I thinkother companies have learned is the importance of aesthetics, ofergonomics, of industrial design in products.To take your product above a commodity today, you have to beworking on what I call esteem value. Esteem value means theproduct doesnt just do the functionality. Almost any goodcompany today can deliver functionality. It does it in some waythat is elegant. Its cool. Its exciting. It somehow feeds youremotions in a positive way.Were at the top of the Maslows hierarchy of needs in mostproducts these days. Were not looking at you...we need to havea way to drill a hole, or something basic like that. Were lookingfor something that excites us that gives us a sense of personality,personalization, and again, sort of feeds our emotions. He wasreally the first to...going back to the first iPod and even beforethat. Certainly with the operating system, the Mac operatingsystem. It really captured our imagination at a very human level. Lean Design interview with Ron Mascitelli Copyright Business901
  17. 17. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsI think that every company needs to relook at their products andsay have we taken the time and put in the detail to make thisproduct appeal to people beyond just core functionality. This isntjust retail products; this is business to business products, it’s themost hard-nosed industrial products benefit from moreconsideration about the human element and the aestheticelement of a product.Joe: Ive always looked at the concept of value, and use hasbecome so important. When I look at value, of course thefunctional which is the easy part for most of us and what youtouched upon just there, is the emotional and social side of value.I think thats the predominant thing that needs to be looked ateven from a product or a service anymore. Are you seeing thatconcept of value and use being used more in development?Ron: Absolutely. Theres a number of examples but let me giveyou one that is very close to my heart. I travel continuously, andI stay at the relatively generic business hotels around thecountry, in fact, around the world. What Ive noticed over the last10 years is a remarkable transformation in the quality of serviceand the personal attention at business hotels. When I first startedtraveling 15-20 years ago I found that it was a terribleexperience. You go in there, and the person at the desk wouldbarely look up; they hand you your key. You didnt get any kindof amenities; there are no fresh little cookies that are baked foryou. There was no water in your room. There are no little detailsthat made you feel comfortable. Feel at least a little bit like youare at home. That has totally changed the marketplace today.The companies that win in that business are the ones that havefound a way, for an extra couple of dollars, to deliver that realpersonalized service that makes people smile, good morning,good evening. How was your day, how was your stay? All of thatstuff has really changed. Lean Design interview with Ron Mascitelli Copyright Business901
  18. 18. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsIn fact, what Ive noticed are European companies that send folksto the United States to stay at U.S. hotels always comment itactually makes them a little uncomfortable because in Europebusiness hotels are still very Spartan and very sort of cold inmost cases.They come to the U.S., and they say, geez its early in themorning, and people are saying good morning to me, theyrewaking me up. Theyre really surprised at the level of servicethats being delivered. I think its true in not just service butphysical products as well.Products that have gone beyond well it does the job, it does itreally well. Its a little engineering-centric and we need to bebroader than that. Its the perception of value that determinesmarketability and price. People perceive value not just fromperformance. The best product doesnt always win. The bestmarketed product wins. We really have to be careful not to ignorethose. I think I seen a trend towards more awareness of that forsure.Joe: So is "better, faster, cheaper," dead? Is it gone?Ron: To some degree, I think it is because I think the definitionof better has changed. Theres no question that if you push amarket into commoditization, right? Where there are manyequivalent substitutes, the price is the only differentiator; thecheaper part always will bear out. But what takes you out ofcommodity, what can actually reboot an entire market is notcheaper, cheaper, cheaper, its someone that comes up withsomething that people say, "I hate to spend more money on aproduct like this but Im willing to because I really want that. Iwant to be able to customize my running shoe to look just theway I want it, to so Im the only one that has a pair that lookslike that." Lean Design interview with Ron Mascitelli Copyright Business901
  19. 19. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsIts actually a strategy that Adidas is using. They have kioskswhere you can actually go in and design your own shoes inEurope and have it delivered to your house as a perfect fit. Thattype of personalization, the discovered detail, I think is reallydominating the best or the better part in "better, faster,cheaper."Faster is market-driven. It depends on the sector, medicalproducts and high technology products in fashion, faster iscritical. In other markets, its much more important to get theright product into that market than it is to race to market. And Ithink a lot of companies that have a little more time, are trying tospend the time doing some of this more subtle work as opposedto again, just cranking on the additional metrics of improvement,functional metrics of improvement.Ill give you a good example of that would be Dyson. Really, oneof the great innovative companies and great innovators, Dyson,himself. Yes, he has technology in there thats very effective. Hesmanaged to shift the whole market place for vacuum cleanersaway from "more amps is better suction," which it isnt, by theway, to an argument that says, "It not only has to do the job, butit has to do the job in a clean and healthy way."And most importantly, the industrial design associated with hisproducts is just exceptional. Things like the ball that actually is adriven ball. And the vortex, which, by the way, is a classicexample of perception. Yeah, you can have a vortex, but itdoesnt have to be visible, and it doesnt have to look cool, buthis does.And so, when someone buys that product, its as much havingsomething that feels like its worth some money than it issomething that just happens to suck well - pardon theexpression. I would argue that hes getting a huge premium in Lean Design interview with Ron Mascitelli Copyright Business901
  20. 20. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsprice over a standard traditional vacuum cleaner. Most of it isperceptive as opposed to functionality.Joe: Yeah, and I think thats a great example. I think you hit thenail on the head in that description. One thing you brought upthere, and were talking about faster, you know, the more we talkabout shortening the development cycle, isnt it time that worksagainst you?Ron: Theres a time when any one product and metricdevelopment works against you. Theres no such thing. You cantoptimize a system by optimizing one metric in the system. Infact, you almost always sub-optimize it. So for example, if youhave an opportunity to spend a little more time on a much morecreative, innovative, maybe even a break-through product, asopposed to just fighting the clock to get to the next trade showwith something new to show, you are always going to becompromising your ability to be truly innovative.Likewise, speed can often sacrifice quality. And in thismarketplace, you really cant afford that because most companiesnow, quality has become table stakes, and high quality hasbecome table stakes. So, too fast - I guess the best way to say itis that its entirely dependent on the business case.If the business case for the product says that its hugely sensitiveto its market entry point whether it’s timing to a trade show or aretail buyers window or seasonal then you do have to contortyour process around trying to hit those marks. On the otherhand, in many cases, you can slow down in order to go faster.Spend more time up front thinking about the product, thinkingabout the market, really coming up with the highest valuesolution, and time it appropriately, but not necessarily yourfastest possible speed. Its a balance between driving pricethrough innovation, driving costs and quality through goodmanufacturability, and driving time, and any given product, even Lean Design interview with Ron Mascitelli Copyright Business901
  21. 21. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemswithin a market sector might have a different mix of those toemphasize.So this mantra of "lets just be faster, faster, faster" is like agame of Whack-a-Mole. You know, you hit speed, then you findout you have problems with quality, and so you whack on thatone, and you find out youre not being very innovative anymore,and so it is always I think a balance of them, and thats oneadvantage to lean product development that it offers you aholistic way of attacking the problem. Eliminating waste is anunambiguous benefit to all three of those dimensions. How wespent our benefit is depended on the business case. But,eliminating waste is unambiguous, and we do have-we can getbetter, faster, and cheaper, if we get it all.Joe: Is there something I didnt ask that you would like to addto this conversation?Ron: No, I think its been great questions, but I will make onecomment just because its something thats currently pressing onme a bit is, if you really look at how companies improve productdevelopment they work in many cases hard on the process, hardon the standard work, hard on the documentation. What they failto realize is that product development, the number one attributethat determines product development success is quality of theteam leader. Ultimately, you can have a terrible process, and ifyou have great team leaders, theyll find a way to fight their waythrough it, and you can have the best process in the world, andwithout good team leadership, youre not going to get anywhere.Im working now with several companies who develop veryrobust, whole career-length plans for how to develop teamleaders over time.You know, giving them initial responsibilities, growing thatresponsibility, training that matches with the responsibilitiestheyre gaining. It is the absolute crux of product development, a Lean Design interview with Ron Mascitelli Copyright Business901
  22. 22. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsgreat team leader thats both inspirational and, to some degreecharismatic, solid interpersonal skills, and also has thefundamental skill sets of project management, ofdecision-making, of technical analysis.Having those guys and theyre hard to find, theyre kind of agolden egg when you can get them, but youve got to developthem over time. And I think a lot of companies just throwsomeone at the top of a project and say, OK, follow the process,and its going to all work out, and it just doesnt work that way.The team leader manages the risk of the project, and if you donthave a really great team leader, that risk is going to bite you, atleast in some cases, and maybe in many cases. So thatscertainly something that tends to get missed when we get toprocess focused.Joe: I know you put workshops regularly is there a particularworkshop on team leaders?Ron: Actually, no, Im just now starting to develop a whole setof material on team leadership. Ive been very hard-skill orientedfor most of my careers. Ive bought in, to some degree, that ifyou give people the right tools, theyll be successful. What Irealized is that Ive reached my limit. If I dont have great teamleadership to facilitate events, to organize standup meetings andget the most out of team collaboration, Ive reached the limit ofwhat I can do. So, Im pushing forward in a little more of asoft-skill, its not tree-hugging or singing Kumbaya, but its atleast a relatively well-understood skill set, maturity model anddevelopment process for team leaders. So, perhaps, in the nextyear or two, I think Im going to be ready to write another book,but also certainly trotting out some new workshops on thatsubject.Joe: I would look forward to it. This has been a veryenlightening conversation. How can someone contact you, Ron? Lean Design interview with Ron Mascitelli Copyright Business901
  23. 23. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsRon: Certainly, they can contact me just by searching me on theweb. Im pretty much everywhere. My email address istechper@att.net, company name is Technology Perspectives.Joe: Thanks again. This podcast will be available on theBusiness901 blog site and the Business901 iTunes store, sothanks very much, Ron.Ron: My pleasure. Lean Design interview with Ron Mascitelli Copyright Business901
  24. 24. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systems Joseph T. Dager Business901 Phone: 260-918-0438 Skype: Biz901 Fax: 260-818-2022 Email: jtdager@business901.com Website: http://www.business901.com Twitter: @business901Joe Dager is president of Business901, a firm specializing inbringing the continuous improvement process to the sales andmarketing arena. He takes his process thinking of over thirtyyears in marketing within a wide variety of industries and appliesit through Lean Marketing and Lean Service Design.Visit the Lean Marketing Lab: Being part of this community willallow you to interact with like-minded individuals andorganizations, purchase related tools, use some free ones andreceive feedback from your peers. Lean Sales and Marketing Workshop Lean Service Design Workshop Lean Design interview with Ron Mascitelli Copyright Business901

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