Are You Continuously Improving Engineering Processes?

by Jennifer DeGlopper

Are You Continuously Improving Engineering Processes?

Engineering processes are never in a static state. They are either improving or degrading. Without continuous improvement, they will degrade as they become more complex across time. They require constant trimming to retain their optimum value.

Engineers constantly complain about such process inefficiencies but rarely present a solution for them. Faced by tight program deadlines, improving engineering processes fall to the bottom of the list of things to be done. Even when it is agreed that a process needs updating, there is no systematic way to do it in an efficient way. Process problems are thrown in a bucket to be corrected (hopefully) on a new program.

Now Lean Engineering Interoperability is correcting this problem. There is no need for new software, training or people. The engineers who do the design work can improve the processes for how their work is done. Process improvement is done “on the fly” with no disruption to the program work flow.

Take for example Gulfstream Aerospace, a subsidiary of General Dynamics, and the world’s leading business aircraft company. Gulfstream took the decision to launch two new aircraft in quick sequence. The goals were of go to market in less time, with less cost, yet still maintain their record of high quality.

Gulfstream had first used the Huthwaite Lean Design method to reduce material and manufacturing cost, in many cases by as much 50%. However, there was another challenge that stood in the way of success. Their current engineering processes were incapable of meeting program goals and deadlines. It became clear their engineering organization had to become more efficient.

Gulfstream again turned to Huthwaite for help. The result was the Gulfstream Lean Interoperability method. Lean Interoperability improves the human dimension of product and process development. More than 45 engineering teams have applied the method with a high success rate. Engineering efficiency increased in many cases by 25% or even more.

I would like to share with you how Gulfstream Aerospace is applying Lean Engineering Interoperability. Please email me at Bart@barthuthwaite.com for more information or to set up a time to talk.

Jennifer DeGlopper
Jennifer DeGlopper


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