In new product development, it is typical to need some design revision before releasing the design for high volume production. However, this chip manufacturing organization was needing to revise multiple times on each new product generation. Each revision costing several weeks and millions of dollars. They were proving that “there is never time to do it right the first time, but there is always time to do it again!”
Their immediate reaction was to redefine the process flow for developing this class of products, but that did not create a significant improvement in speed or quality. Armed with several specific examples of how the teams were trading off quality to say they were “on track”, we were able to convince the leader of the next major development project to take a new approach.
It began with finding out what the team could really commit to. In this case the team could see no further out than a proper product definition. They said they’d need 4 more weeks than management had given them. They got it done a little faster than planned, but they were confident the extra due diligence would speed up the project overall.
After that, the team continued to meet their milestone commitments. It took a few weeks longer than management had hoped to get the design ready for tape out, however, it was finished within days of when the team had committed. The resulting design was much higher quality (less buggy), leading to a rapid single revision and a significant reduction in overall time to volume production.
Often, the biggest impact on profitability is doing things right the first time. In environments of uncertainty and time pressure, getting something done is not always the same as satisfying the customer. Understanding the customers “conditions of satisfaction” is a necessary part of any effective commitment conversation. This is true for internal downstream customers as well as the end customer.
If too much rework and too many revisions sound familiar to you, Contact Us for a free consultation about how creating a culture of commitment and accountability can deliver more satisfied customers, while saving you substantial time and money.