Becoming an innovative company on the next project

GOALS; establish goals in percent improvement for next project , selected for the greatest overall opportunity. Then, based on tht,  structure product development strategies to accomplish those goals in the next project starting with:

Education and Learning: The first step is to ensure everyone on the extended team is educated on the most effective product development methodologies through

(A) The 600 page DFM book (2020, Second Edition), which is available overnight from A complete description, a TOC with most of the 800 sub-title, the back Cover text, and an author bio is available at the publisher, Rotledge, along various discounts throughout the year.    Go to the DFM book's  page: at the Publisher

(B) A Webinar (for the whole NPD community) and a customized Product-Specific work workshop , which are taught and/or facilitated privately by the global the thought leader with 30 years experience teaching DFM and seen years before that designing and personally building special production machinery in his own machine shop.

All workshop team members and their designs will greatly benefit from Dr. Anderson’s personal insights and_ effective strategies and discussions of the topics mentioned herein.


-Tune: Management or marketing sets goal for the only time metric that matters: Time to stable production. The team must determines and commit to the proportion of time for thorough up-front work, as presented in the lower graphs of Figures 2-1 and 3-1 in all editions of the DFM book and as shown below.

Cost: The "cost" that matters the most is the selling price.

Section 3.8 in the 2020 DFM book on Half Cost Product development focuses on 9 cost categories that  cost results range    from half to 10 times less! The easiest to implement at that level of cost savings (without needing to change the cost system) is material overhead (Section 3.8.10: "Material Overhead Can be Cut by 10 Times").


full article:


This is how the leading Product development expert uses his 30 years experience and a 600 pave DFM book to teach companies how to the most advanced product development methodologies:

The full feedback form on the front page of all three web-sites start and end by asking about "Challenges, Goals, and Opportunities." However, many companies and broader initiatives don’t get further then contemplating their challenges.

Companies and imitative leaders will need to summarize their challenges and convey these so their expert can start formulating solutions.

This thought-leader expert can confidently claim to be able to show how to start solving all product development challenges.

His 600 page DFM book includes 70 discussions of challenges and over 100 on solutions including discussions and references.

The on-line white-paper is titled: "Concurrent Engineering of Challenging Projects."

GOALS: The next information to get conveyed to the expert are the goals. , which should be normalized compared to the current state, which will determine what advanced methodologies need to be learned applied, for instance;

Five or ten percent improvement might be done by doing the current system better with continuous improvement, but no more.

Twenty or thirty percent better would need to learn and apply most advanced NPD methodologies taught on this web-site on a new clean-sheet-of-paper project in its own micro-climate or skunk-works (Section 11.7.2 in 2020 DFM book). Specifically, see Section 3.11 (Generating Interest in DFM) and Section 11.7.4 (Ensuring Success for the First Team Project).

Over 50% better will need learning and implementing the most advanced methodologies available: For instance, for cost, this has just been published as section 3.8 in the 2020 edition of the DFM book, which shows how to save half the cost of product development (the budget), half of the Cost of Quality, half of direct labor cost, and one third of indirect labor costs. Strong enough standardization, Lean Production and Build-to-order techniques can save up to times the cost, as shown in Sections 3.8.10 through 3.8.13 .

Rather than just issuing "show-me -the-money goals, the ambitiousness of the goals must determine how many of these advanced methodologies must be learned and applied.

All of this will require optimal strategies. The 2020 DFM book has 22 sections with "Strategy"" in the title! Section 3.1 (Design Strategy) recommends "starting early to solve major problems at the concept/architecture level/" 

See the  most frequently  updated page on on this site; which is on  on Strategy.   

This is the most advanced product development course available because  original principles based on six books and three web-sites that is not available from any other books, web-sites or courses. These unique principles will show you how to

Apply the most  practical  DFM principles using Concurrent Engineering in multi-functional teams.

This DFM section is the most effective and practical class available because:

  • The instructor  has personally taught 30 years of classes and have customized all of those based on surveys, interviews, plant tours, and research.

  • Workshops are based on a prior decade of being a project leader, most of which he personally build what he designed in his own machine shop. 

  • Workshop exercises are customized for your product-specific project or a similar examples (never generic examples that are not relevant to your products).

  • Teaching design guidelines is hard to do without many visual examples. The four hour section on DFM and Design for Quality  has 600 PowerPoint  slides available, that can be selected based on customization research.

So the most Advanced NPD course will provide much more than the usual "canned material taught by staff  trainers  to only teach engineers  guidelines  "teaching" tools  that may use software that look for “opportunities” after something is designed, which is discouraged, as shown in the articles “Why it is so hard to reduce cost or "implement" DFM after design” at   and 7 Reasons Why “Cost Reduction” Attempts after Design Doesn’t Work;' at: ction.htm


Finish Design in Half the time to Stable Production with thorough up front work, which is a unique theme of this course.

 The following graph, on the left, from Figure 2.1 of the author's DFM book, show s that the  "Advanced" timeline finishes design in half of the usual amount of  the calendar time and half  of the  resource-hours, thus resulting in half the NPD cost (half the budget).   For more on this see the article " Half the Time to Stable Production."

    The graph on the right, from  Figure 3.1 from the book, shows  that thorough up-front work cuts in half the time needed to do firefighting and change orders.  It also shows the green bar on the left end of  the " Concurrent Engineering" timeline, which provides the focus and time to innovate and commercialize innovation (later)















For more on the right graph, see the article "Time to Innovate"

Reach any cost goal by cutting 9 cost categories from half the cost to 10 times less, with the following degrees of cost savings:

Cut product development budgets in half
• Cut Concept/architecture cost in half
• Cut labor and processing costs in half
• Cut quality costs in half
• Cut indirect labor cost to 1/3
• Cut material overhead cost by 10 times
• Cut raw material inventory cost by 10 tines
• Cut W.I.P. inventory cost by 10 times
• Cut finished-goods inventory cost by 10 times

For hyper-links to the  explanations of how these work, go to the article on half-cost-products.

The overhead categories that can be reduced 10 times do generate so little overhead cost that they should not be charged any overhead at all, thus ensuring that those cost savings will make it to the selling price of the products designed by the principles presented only in this course.

Many designs will work, but only one will be the lowest cost.

Apply many Unique says to improve Quality.  This course presents many ways to Design in Quality.  Below, many ways to do that not in any other product development course.

Since the course presents many new ways (above) to proactively design substantially lower product costs, that can eliminate the common  practice of substituting cheaper parts, "to save parts," which degrades quality and adds many variables, which complicates quality programs and product development itself.

    Eliminating one of the worst counter-productive practicewill then minimize variables that cause serious problems that range from quality to product development itself!, Too many change orders and variables slow ramps, and paradoxically raise quality costs.   For a discussion on many quality costs, see the article  on Cost of Quality at  This summarizes a list of cost of quality categories published by the American Society  of Quality.

    The course section on DFM principles presents many design guidelines that optimize assembly and also improve quality by mistake-proofing the design.  This is called Poka-yoke in Japanese and English classes  that show how to design for Poka-Yoke are rare.

    The leading-edge DFM section will also show how to do-it-right-the-first time, which will greatly reduce change-orders, which cost money, drain resources, add variables and have serious consequences.   The course will also cite many leading  companies, like Toyota, that says that late design changes are "expensive, suboptimal, and always degrade both product and process performance."

    Another section correlates the cumulative effect of part count and quality statistically and encourages design simplification significantly reduces the number of parts and electrical connections.  This is covered in the article on Designing for Quality  which illustrates this with a graph that shows, for instance, that if a product has 500 parts that are all 99.9% good, then one third of the products will fail assuming perfect manufacturing


Achieve  major cost reductions with just a few resources with  Backward-Comparable “Drop-in” Replacements, e.g for sub-assemblies like hard-to-build frames and structures  This can  save a lot of money now replacing hard-to-build, high-skill versions, both on existing products and then become the foundation of new generation product developments


Design for Lean Production  Platforms Families each of which can be Built On-Demand Without Inventory

This course is unique in showing how to concurrently engineer product families and flexible production cell equipment.

This course has a unique section on Design for Lean and Build-to-Order, which will make Lean Production easier to implement with much more effective results while making Build-to-Order practical with Spontaneous Supply Chains and eliminating forecasted inventory.

The class enables what makes Lean possible and successful, such as:

• Aggressive standardization, which actually is discouraged by cost pressures on BOM entries.  That pressure is alleviated  by the real cost reduction presented above.

•Standard parts pulled "dock-to-line" to all points of use, which is enabled when part are designed to readily available and long lead-time part problems eliminated (both of these unique sections are part of the class)

•Batch production and batch distribution (kitting) is eliminated, thus enabling one-piece flow and spontaneous supply chains, like kanban. Corresponding inventory carrying cost savings in 9 categories (from 1/2 to 1/10) are eliminated from project overhead charges and reflected in that product’s price.

This is the only course that shows how to design product families and build them in platform cells (the most lean version of 'cellular manufacturing') on flexible fixtures without setup delays and even with the ability shift products between lines for the fastest delivery times in any market. In fact, product families based on standard parts and flexible cells is the best way to build Mass Customization product families.

Platforms of products can expand markets to include broad families faster than individual new product introductions, and offer the ability to thrive in a low-volume/high mix environment, and use the unique Scalability methodologies for unlimited growth.


Ways to implement the most advanced product development:

Company implementation.

Hold a customized class for the whole product development community

NPD Champions and Task Forces

        Hold a customized class for Champions or an Implementation Task force

New Project

Hold a customized class and workshop for a important project that will apply all the principles in a micro-climate  or skunk-works.

Multi-functional  Learning Team

The fastest way to implement the most advanced NPD system is to arrange a customized class for a multi-function team to immediate apply  everything taught to a project where all the principles to apply to new projects microclimate as introduced in this course ,  which would be enhances if the project had its own project room   

Other unique class options for Innovation:

The official page of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition (led by the most famous high-tech leaders) is quoted as saying

“Experience indicates that even the most promising ideas face daunting commercialization challenges and a nearly impassable Valley of Death between promising concept and viable product. Neither government funding nor conventional private investment can bridge this gap.” 

Any research organization that has this problem, needs , first, Manufacturable Research, and, it that is not done, needs commercialization.

Manufacturable Research

This is a unique set of methodologies that, for the first time, shows research labs many "low-hanging-fruit" cost savings that can easily be done in research efforts to ensure that whatever comes out of Research will result in manufacturable and scalable products.  This is described in the article on Manufacturability Research,

Commercialize  Innovation for Manufacturability

This is also a unique aspect of this Advanced NPD course.  If research efforts have not done the above references "Manufacturable Research," then they will need to commercialize  patents or acquired technologies or just proofs-of-principles that were designed without any thought of manufacturability.  See article at on commercialization at


As in all pages on this sit all the leading, most effective principles and methodologies presented presented in the author's 600 page book, which is summarized in 6 sentences on the books page  organized in  800 section titles with those that are new or unique printed in italic in both the Table of Contents  AND  Index.


Strategy  for  Advanced  Product  Development

Strategy   should be based on knowledgeable premises and the right goals


Knowledgeable Premises:

. Each knowledgeable premise comes from the wifedom of the most advanced training and books. Optimal premises include:

Thorough Up-front Work, which is the key to:

• Half the time to stable production
Commercialize designs that the desired functionality can be made at the desired price.
Plan the product portfolio to be able build any product family version at the lowest cost on-demand without inventory.

• Resource Availability is assured by

Concurrent Engineering, which needs half the resources at half the budget, as shown by the graphics in this white paper
Product  Portfolio Planning/Rationalization to rationalize away resource -draining-losing legacy and low-volume products

The right goals are based on the following:

Cost Goals

• The wrong goal for cost is just “cost,” which is usually based mostly on parts cost, which often encourages trying cost reduction after design which doesn’t work and actually compromised functionality , quality, and product development itself as shown graphically in Figure 1.2 in the author’s DFM book.

• The right goal for cost is the absolute lowest selling price which is based on

“Half cost ” design techniques that can reduce many cost categories from half to 10 times time less cost, and

Rationalize away money-losing products that will be replaced with “half cost” products, platform products, and build-to-order

unfortunately, many more companies compile the wrong cost goals than the right goals - and worse - have systems that enforce those goals no matter how much it costs.


• The wrong goals for time are “release date,” arbitrary deadlines, first prototype available, or “time to market” which usually means “throw it over the wall on time.”  See the article:How_not_to_lower_cost.

• The right goal for half the  time is time to stable production.

Unfortunately, many more companies compile the wrong time metric than the time to stable production.


       Lack of  Strategy

Before discussing how the  wrong premise has affected  proper strategy development, it might be useful to observe how often poor strategy, or lack of  strategy, can result in just calls for action such   as:  we must do more -- with greater urgency!


What the  Wong  Premise  Can  do to  Strategy

Decades ago, the premise for product development was that companies had to choose between cost, quality and time-to-market!

Proponents of this premise would quip: "we can only have two, " while cynics said, "maybe that is only one."  One leading management "guru" book confidently said that companies had to make the "winner's choice about which one(s) to be good and use as a competitive weapon.

The flip side of such faulty think was to identify which companies were worst at, and then use the only desperate measures they could think of, like substituting cheap parts, low-bidding, and   OffshorIng , which is known to waste 2/3 of product development resources!

 Then 30 years ago, the first edition of author's DFM book came out with the sub-title: Optimizing  Cost, Quality, and Time-to-Market"  (see cover at right).  And this  site and  the  latest 2014 book shows how to do all that.

The General Strategy to avoid an either/or Dilemma

Similarly, here is here is the general approach to avoid either/or dilemmas and formulate a both/and strategy.

Gather enough experts to have creating brainstorming sessions to formulate strategies to implement acceptable solutions.

Be sure to have a facilitator and a broad range of experts that can thoroughly understands the opportunities and challenges of both “horns of the dilemma” of conundrum.


Supporting Strategies

Standardization is the foundation for the following:
                See Standardization article

  • Build-to-Order & Mass Customization, which will
  • eliminate Finished-Goods Inventory; see Inventory reduction    
  • ship custom products right-away to customers or stored
  • Inventory Elimination
  • Cut material overhead by 10 times and easily get credit for that on standard parts.
  • Delivery parts "dock--to-line" without incoming inspections or inventory.

Design Products for  BTO, and Platforms  
            See:  Designing products for Lean Production      

Design and Build Product Families
        Design products that can be Built to Order as Product Families  with plant cell layouts 

Implement Manufacturable Research or commercialize  products after they are design



Valuable resources should focus on what is more important to customers
and get the rest off-the-shelf; see Section 5.18 in the
DFM book.

This strategy assured the best customer satisfaction at the lowest cost at the highest quality at the fastest time to stable production

For example, a vast array of the following proven off-the-shelf modules are readily available:

  • Processing Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs, sometimes called Single Board Computers)
  • Computation PCBs
  • Memory PCBs
  • Input/Output PCBs
  • Communication PCBs         
  • and all of the cabinetry to house and connect all of the above boards in standard bus card cages.

    A key element to success is to implement this strategy
    before arbitrary decisions preclude the use of Off-the Shelf parts and systems..


    STRATEGY   TO   DESIGN   custom   processing   equipment

Ultra-Low-Cost frames can be built can be built automatically on programmable machine tools working in flexible cells using Cellular/Flexible  Manufacturing  principle and then be assembled by local labor  rigidly and precisely by DFM principles.

Again, a key element to success is to implement this strategy
before arbitrary architecture layouts preclude such opportunities.


Call Dr. Anderson at 1-805-924-0100 (Pacific Time Zone) to discuss implementing these techniques or e-mail him at with your name, title, company, phone, types of products, and needs/opportunities.

             or fill out the form at the bottom of

Contact Dr. David M. Anderson, fASME, P.E., CMC
phone: 1-805-924-0100
fax: 1-805-924-0200


copyright © 2022 by David M. Anderson

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