The Lean Machine: How Harley-Davidson Drove Top-Line Growth and Profitability with Revolutionary Lean Product Development

The Lean Machine: How Harley-Davidson Drove Top-Line Growth and Profitability with Revolutionary Lean Product Development

The Lean Machine: How Harley-Davidson Drove Top-Line Growth and Profitability with Revolutionary Lean Product Development

The Lean Machine: How Harley-Davidson Drove Top-Line Growth and Profitability with Revolutionary Lean Product Development

Synopsis

Some things never change. Harley-Davidson is still the great, iconic American motorcycle. But like many storied companies, Harley has had to evolve to stay on top, even to stay in existence. From near-extinction in the early eighties, it has risen to worldwide recognition for management excellence and innovation. The Lean Machine is an inside look at how Harley-Davidson was able to adapt in an ever-changing world and accelerate product development. Rooted in Japanese productivity improvement techniques, Knowledge-Based Product Development helped fuel Harley's incredible period of sustained growth.

Even after the company earned the PDMA Corporate Innovator Award in 2003, Dantar Oosterwal, a Harley-Davidson executive, took the improvement a quantum leap further. By implementing Lean Product Development techniques, Harley realized an unprecedented fourfold increase in throughput in half the time, powering annual growth of more than ten percent.

In The Lean Machine, Oosterwal shows the day-to-day transformation at Harley and identifies universal change and improvement issues, so that companies in any industry can incorporate Knowledge-Based Innovation - with predictably excellent results.

Excerpt

Learning is not compulsory … neither is survival.

W. Edwards Deming

This book is written with one purpose in mind: it is intended to help you improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your product development system. The objective of this book is to provide you with the insights necessary to develop more new products of higher quality in less time with your existing organization. This is the story of my personal journey of learning and discovery and is intended to encourage you on your improvement journey, or perhaps persuade you to embark.

In 2003 Harley-Davidson was awarded the Outstanding Corporate Innovator (OCI) award by the Product Development Management Association (PDMA). The OCI award was won based on conventional phase gate thinking. Through the application of lean principles to product development, the same organization reduced their development time by half and quadrupled new product development throughput. This book provides the organizational learning practices and the knowledge-based development principles to enable your organization to achieve similar or better results.

This is a true story, not a novel. Some poetic license has been . . .

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