Before we arrived, several of our clients had measured that 70-75% of their engineering capacity is consumed in making revisions to design decisions after they had thought the design was done. While others haven't measured it, many of our clients tell us that they are swamped with fire-fighting.
Fortunately, the Set-Based Thinking™ Methodology that we teach includes robust learning and problem-solving skills and tools. And our clients have consistently found those to have immediate positive impact on that fire-fighting. Some have told us, "We've worked through our backlog of problems... we don't really have a problem backlog anymore." Others have told us that the time freed up from fire-fighting was crucial in allowing them to make the rest of the improvements to their product development process.
The first shift during the ramp up of Set-Based Thinking™ is from innovative fire-fighting, to innovation in how to test and learn quickly and inexpensively. As the focus turns to managing the decision-making in your projects, the knowledge gaps get identified and they begin to pull innovation to filling those knowledge gaps. And as that learning ramps up and is made visible, the innovation shifts again to optimizing the design within the now-visible design windows. With that optimization done on the first round of products, the limits that are preventing further optimization are now clearly visible. And a new focus for innovation is established: moving the limit curves to widen the design windows in the direction the designers are wanting to optimize to better satisfy customers.
What innovation might you see if you offload 70% of your engineering workload, and then give those engineers clear visibility to the limits and trade-offs between the decisions that they are making?