Product Development workshop from the Lean guru Reinertsen

Lean Product Development is not just a product management practices following some processes. Last year I was fortunate enough to attend a workshop by the legendary Donald Reinertsen called “The Science of Lean Product Development”.

Two-day product development workshop in Melbourne

This year – after many discussions, we have convinced Don to bring his Flow product development workshop down under with two-day events in Melbourne, Christchurch and Auckland in December.

The experience is something like turning on a fire hose; opening your mouth and just trying to drink in the incredible amount of valuable information that pours out in your direction. If there is ever a case for two people from an organization attending the same event – this would be it – the flow (pardon the pun) is so great that it is hard for one brain to process it all.

Like all great speakers, Don doesn’t come cheap. While he is not your typical evangelical, zealot type presenter you expect on the circuit, his approach delivers real value and is a reflection of his very practical, man-of-science approach. So if you are deciding whether to invest or not – here are the five reasons I give my staff as to why they should attend:

Advanced Product Management and development is not just Agile or Lean

Don isn’t wed to any particular framework – just the science and mathematics behind why Lean and Agile approaches work. Since his days of expertly guiding executives in Lean Manufacturing while working at McKinsey, he has been dedicated to product development and has written some gems of books including Developing Products in Half the Time, Managing the Design Factory and most recently the Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development.

He re-establishes a simple context that I feel is so lacking in New Zealand – we are paid to come to work to deliver things that make or save the company money. We, therefore, need to consider products in the language of money. A classic Reinertsen quote: “There are two lines of people at my desk – one of people with good ideas and one who can show me how this good idea makes money, including the cost of delay for not doing this now. Guess which one I talk to?”

Product Lean movement is failing today

Don explains how the Product Lean movement is failing because it is trying to apply the LM relay-race approach (suitable to a simple domain such as manufacturing) into a complex, intangible and abstract domain like software.

He highlighted how this “lift and shift” of approach from two vastly different domains was fundamentally flawed – but most importantly, he delivers some strategies to overcome this. Perfect for anyone involved with embedded software or specialized manufacturing – which is most of the NZ manufacturing industry. Understand the difficulties in Agile Scrum teams and managing their work process.

What you learn is real and you apply it to your everyday business. You bring a calculator to the workshop and learn how to do this on the spot. Attendees at this workshop previously report improvements of up to 90% time reduction per cycle – what you learn really works.
Finally – Don is the man. We seldom get someone that has globally changed the way the world designs and engineers products to come to New Zealand.

His workshop will set you and your business on fire – just be prepared to drink from the fire hose when he comes. We have Don here in Auckland and Christchurch in December.

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