Lean product development systems: How internal lean production principles and work organization integrate with product development systems

Magnus Gillebo & Morten Skogli Pettersen

Student thesis: Master thesis


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate how internal lean production principles and work organization can integrate with organizational systems for product development. Research design – The study applies a qualitative approach with an explorative design. The method employed for data collection is five in-depth interviews based on a semi-structured interview guide. The respondents include practitioners working with product development in the Scandinavian region in the IT and automotive industry respectively. Interviews were recorded and transcribed, thereafter organized using topic codes. The research applies a hermeneutic ontology where the analytical outcome is a co-creation of understandings and presumptions between the researchers and the informants. Findings – Lean principles are primarily integrated with product development systems by redefining value and waste. Product development generates value through variation while in production value lies in consistency. Hence practitioners translate the original forms of waste in order to fit a specific context, which establishes a foundation for the removal of non valueadding activities and efficient use of resources. Originality/value – According to the author’s best knowledge, this is the first known study that investigates how lean principles and work organization can integrate with organizational product development systems, more specifically the StageGate and Agile product development processes. The study seeks to evaluate how pure lean methodology functions outside its original context of production, excluding obscured versions of the concept and thereby finding it’s true applicability in product development.

EducationsMSocSc in Organisational Innovation and Entrepreneurship , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2013
Number of pages209