Migration of the Lean-Startup approach from High-Tech startups towards product design in large manufacturing companies
Global competition, rapid market changes and the need for more and faster innovations lead to a new risk situation for manufacturing companies. As dynamics increase due to the Digital Transformation, the reliability of success forecasts decreases and many of the product design innovations launched on the market fail. Manufacturing companies, which design products down to the last detail and then develop them over a long period of time and with high investments are highly likely to find that their product will not be accepted on the market. To reduce this risk, agile processes and iterative product design is useful. This approach is based on multiple, iterative tests with customers and the possibility of implementing the knowledge gained. It is important to constantly check, whether the products meet the demand of the market and to design the product in such a variable way, that changes can be taken up immediately and learning effects can be implemented. The Lean-Startup approach is based on these principles. It has been established as a way of thinking for startups and young High-Tech companies who want to optimize their initial market approach through iterative testing of prototypes and continuous improvement through learning. However, the Lean-Startup approach is also suitable for larger companies, which want to make their product development more agile and flexible. This enables companies to react more flexibel to external influences, such as market competition, technologies and politics and to integrate customer needs are more effectively into the product design process. This constant monitoring of the product market fit reduces the risk of developing past the market. This paper introduces an approach for migrating the Lean-Startup approach to large manufacturing companies.