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5 Lessons in Lean Product Development from the Wright Brothers

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http://www.wrike.com - The Lean product development approach is all about delivering a great product without wasting time or resources. When it came to building the first airplane, The Wright brothers had far less money, fewer resources, and a smaller team than any of their major competitors. And yet their names are written down in history as the Fathers of Flight. Use these Lean lessons from the famous brothers to make your product development more efficient.

See the video we prepared that discusses this in more depth: https://www.wrike.com/blog/09/30/2014/Product-Development-Tips-Wright-Brothers-Video

Published in: Business
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5 Lessons in Lean Product Development from the Wright Brothers

  1. 1. LESSONS IN LEAN PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT FROM THE WRIGHT BROTHERS 5 The Lean approach is all about delivering a great product without wasting or underusing time and resources. When it came to building the rst airplane, the Wright brothers had far less money, fewer resources, and a smaller team than any of their major competitors. And yet their names are written in history as the Fathers of Flight. Use these Lean lessons from the famous duo to make your product development more efcient. RETHINK YOUR PROCESS Learn rst, design later. While others focused on building the perfect plane, the Wrights built a wind tunnel, scaled kites, and unmanned gliders. Only after thousands of tests and revisions on paper did they build their rst successful model. 1. TRANSFORM DATA INTO ACTIONABLE KNOWLEDGE 2. Rather than continually rebuilding expensive test models, the Wrights analyzed their wind tunnel data to correct errors on paper rst. This approach radically shortened their product development cycles, making the process faster. 3. BUST ASSUMPTIONS Through testing, the brothers discovered that the lift and drag calculations other airmen took for granted were incorrect. They used their data to optimize wing shapes and control surfaces, giving them an advantage over the competition. 4. 5. PINCH YOUR PENNIES Unlike some competitors, the Wright brothers had no federal money. Instead they used $2,000 they earned from their bicycle shop to fund their ventures in controlled ight. This made them cautious with resources, and forced them to carry out experiments efciently. WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT LEAN? Curious about how to make your projects more efcient? Go to bit.ly/leanprojects SOURCES www.wright-brothers.org; www.loc.gov; wrightstories.com; The Lean Machine by Dantar P. Oosterwal; Ready, Set, Dominate by Michael N. Kennedy BROUGHT TO YOU BY Award-winning collaboration and project management software Wrike.com BREAK THE PROBLEM DOWN The Wrights divided the problem of ight into three separate elements: lift, propulsion, and control. They focused on one element at a time (and nothing else) until each one was resolved.

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