Product Development

Systems Thinking – The Product Development Operating System Framework

22 April 2015 | Team EACPDS


I’d like to talk about systems thinking in the context of your overall product development operation.

At EAC we’ve developed a framework that we use to analyze the operation of product development at our customers and clients. Our Product Development Operating System, this framework, is broken down into three subsystems. The first is an Information Flow subsystem. The second is a Workflow subsystem. The third is a Continuous Improvement subsystem. The Information Flow subsystem is analyzed as a whole, but the other two are broken down into subsystems of their own.

Within the Workflow subsystem we have an Innovation subsystem, a Leadership subsystem, and an Investment decision subsystem. In the all-important, critically important but often missing, Continuous improvement subsystem — we break that into Expertise, Learning, and Strategy. All of the elements of this system are critically important for your system to operate optimally. If you have a missing or sub-optimal subsystem, the effectiveness and productivity of your overall product development system will diminish.

So let me challenge you. Look at your product development system. Look at it through this framework — through Information Flow, through Innovation, through Leadership, through Investment Decisions, through Development of Expertise, through learning, and through strategy. Are any of these elements in your operation either ineffective or missing? If they are missing, or ineffective, don’t be too concerned. Moving to a product development operating system is an evolution. Your evolution simply may not be complete.

In fact, look to other materials in this series called the Product Development Operating System Evolution. That will give you both a mental model to reinforce your knowledge of the system and some insights into how to evolve your system to one that is more effective and productive.

Contact EAC ( ) to learn more about how Systems Thinking and the application of our Product Development Operating System can help your organization become more efficient, productive, innovative, and competitive.

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