Like many traditional business practices, research and product development is undergoing an evolution that will require new perspectives and practices to ensure sustained competitiveness.
Some of the drivers behind these changes include the proliferation of products on market, an information overflow, increased digitization, globally connected work tasks, and the integration of hardware and software. To keep up with this pace of change, companies need to turn their focus to lean R&D/engineering practices.
Traditionally, R&D/engineering consisted of a fixed set of requirements and specifications. The process from concept to final product moved in a linear sequence. Product testing was based on mock-ups and prototypes, often requiring long lead times. And once the final product was introduced and evaluated, any failure would require a complete process restart—an expensive and risky proposition.
The future of lean R&D/engineering will look very different: